Years After Live In Soest, Germany
and Arrival :
easy, open road and only one hour and fifteen minutes to get there. Met
up with Anita and Erdme standing outside of the café, that is connected
to the venue, the four of us headed inside and ordered a round of drinks.
We waited for about half an hour before entering the venue.
place, but the first thing I noticed was, that there was entirely way
too many security guards for one little venue. I handed in my ticket and
went over to introduce myself to Sarah.
met her on face-book, she is a lover of 1960’s and early 1970’s
blues and rock music.
acquired this love of Classic
Rock and Original Blues, from both her parents.
had invited Sarah and her friend to come to this concert, but
unfortunately her friend couldn’t make it, so we hung out together
throughout the concert. I told Sarah she’d be in good hands, so not to
worry. Sarah is a very mature twenty one year old , she’s smart, quick
and cute. She is also very independent and a joy to be
around. her eyes and facial expressions are a delight to watch, because
whatever's on her mind, is also reflected on her face.
To Know Our New Friend:
first had to apologise for
me being in the café and her in the venue. Then I had to calm down
enough to listen to her words, and respond in my normal tone. As if
nothing had happened prior to us meeting. It was lucky for me that she
understood my frustration perfectly. She made it very easy for me, she
just carried on as if nothing had happened, smart young lady she is. I
thanked her for that. I was still hyper, after all the driving and heavy
traffic it took to get there.
started rattling off questions at her, and she surprised me by answering
each and every question in a totally straight forward honest way.
Directly honest, with a “matter of fact” sense, that was both
refreshing and relaxing.
is soft spoken, with clear bright eyes and natural red hair, that
wasn’t blazing red, but with a soft tone like a hot glowing sunset
right before dusk.
then moved towards the stage, and settled in by four large inactive
monitor boxes, that made a good table. Not the best position to view the
concert, but she never complained.
and Anita got themselves right into position as usual, front row centre.
Right in front where Joe will be standing. Cameras at the ready, and
waiting patiently, because it seemed to take an incredibly long time for
the band to come on stage, but this was just my personal opinion. The
doors opened at 7:00 and the band came on at 8:00 sharp. I chose this
place to stand because it was right under the stage sound system, so it
would not blast my ears to death, and Sarah didn’t question my choice.
This was good for the time being, as I had other plans for a better
location in which to view the band performing. Just as I had done for
Juliette Bellier in Luxembourg a few weeks before.
we were standing, the stage was to the right and the entrance to the
backstage was right behind me. Brigitte had her Ten Years After Concert
Passes on as did I,
we used them in Luxembourg and felt we should have no problem
here as well.
most normal cases the venues accept us willingly and welcome our
presence. We never had a problem having access to the band, because we
never got in their way or caused any problems. This time we were not
allowed access. And I rebelled vehemently, once again due to the heavy
handed and obnoxious security staff
HELL OF A PERFORMANCE:
smoke machine starts smoking its steam - vaporous fog across the stage.
Chick, Joe, Ric and Leo enter poised for action. It takes Joe less than
a minute to get himself in order, then he hits the strings for a little
feedback introduction, then slides right into the 1970 classic
from the bands “Watt” album, and the first track:
On”. Joe is cranking it up and not missing a note, Leo is following
Joe’s lead, Chick is keeping up nicely and Ric’s drums are
kicking the song right along at a fast pace. The song is sounding
more like the album version now, and better than the last time I heard
it. It has the power and kick as I remember it being.
the way through this number, the entire band is rocking hard enough to
shake the walls and rattle the glasses on the table next door! Joe is
pulling out all the stops tonight, he is all over the fret-board like a
mad-man – on the strings, over the strings, shaking the guitar and
creating his own vibrato without the help of any electronics. Leo is a
legendary phenomenon in his
own rite, no bass player alive plays or moves like he does, and he would
play all night long if you would let him. The song comes to an
extended ending courtesy of Joe….stretching it out, and letting it be
known that he has arrived, and that he is here to stay! The audience
erupts with a loud screech like
(tires hitting the tarmac) into
a thunderous roar of a 747 hitting its reverse thrusters, to slow it
down upon landing. Leo steps up the microphone and introduces the next
“King Of The Blues”. The count off begins and the band is
right into it. The rhythm section is kicking it alive, while Joe stands
listening, but Joe allows
more than the usual bars of music to roll by before joining in with the
others. Timing, it’s all in the timing, and he’s not in any rush to
play his guitar until he’s ready. During the song Leo adds his vocals
to the number, while Chick’s supporting keyboard work from the other
side of the stage is impressive. While I can’t see Ric, from my
position, I can certainly hear him back there no doubt. What the entire
band is laying out here, is an energetic and passionate performance,
that is the essence of what they’re all about – past and present.
song finishes, and the audience once again is wild with appreciation and
let the band know it – in no uncertain terms.
next number is “Hear Me Calling” – Now this song is a classic Ten
Years After staple, their bread and butter from the early days playing
in clubs and recorded in the studio, for release on their Stonedhenge
album. With a boogie beat, and a natural hook, this tune will warm
anyone up on a cold damp day. A cute little rocker, that’s guaranteed
to pull you in and make you tap your feet. During the early days, the
band would keep this song going much longer by adding Canned Heats “On
The Road Again” which has the same boogie beat and slips right into
the Hear Me Calling groove. Such as the bootleg recordings prove goes
something like this: Hear me callin´ hear me callin´ loud, I’m on
the road again, on the road again….hear me callin´, can’t wait to
get on the road again. (just slipping from one song into the other). In
the old days, it would start with Hear Me Callin´- the middle part
would be On The Road Again and then back to Hear Me Callin´ for the
grand finish. This is what I was thinking as the song was playing on.
This audience would have loved the old, live version, right about now.
band slows it down some for the next song, a bluesy ballad called,
“Angry Words” from their “Evolution” cd. Let’s call it a power
ballad, and done to perfection, all the way through.
is on fire, never missed a note, just the right amount of passion,
emotion and power.
audience is hanging onto every phrase and accent played. It is also on
these slow numbers where Chick Churchill become a vital part of the
bands complete sound. When he is in his element he really shines, and
it’s on the slow numbers that his real talent comes through.
these Chick could be very conservative, economic and subtle in his
playing and still get the mood of the music across. Given enough time
that is, but time is of the essence here, and he needs to pack in as
much as he can, in a short amount of time, without coming across as over
bearing, or appearing to be showing off, thus losing his credibility,
and that would be a real shame. On this song, Chick is providing
everything that’s needed and with the style of a master craftsman.
Joe, and the rest of the band allow Chick as much space as he wants,
nothing is rushed along here. If he wanted to play another ten minutes,
that’s Chicks choice.
song comes to a close, the audience responds appropriately and
everything is in balance once again.
comes “Big Black 45” which is another Leo Lyons song from his days
with his band “Kick” from the album………. This is a nice little
rocker with a great hook and a good story line. A good change-up to
follow Angry voices for sure. But it’s Joe who kicks ass throughout
this song and is outstanding moving around the stage, from one member to
gets the audience and band back into high gear and rocking-out!
is the middle of the show, and so far everything is perfect – from
stage to audience and back again. So what song do you inject here:
“50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” from the bands 1970 album
Cricklewood Green. Leo introduces this song as being in the realm of
Psychedelic and tries to explain Psychedelia
to the audience, the audience is oblivious / unaware to the lesson Leo
is trying to convey, I’m listening to Leo, and I just smile to myself.
Leo smiles at the audience, and Chick starts the organ intro to the song.
Joe steps up to the microphone and starts singing the ballad part of the
beginning groove now turns directly into a hard driving jam explosion.
In which the band and audience become one in the same. Joe’s guitar
playing kicks it up a notch, the band follows, and the audience is one
step ahead of them all.
song last close to ten minutes, from start to finish. A perfect
performance, and the audience loves every bit of it. Which now leads us
Lee’s solo - by popular request -
starts off at full force, and he
doesn’t let up until the entire nine minutes are up.
uses every trick in the book, everything he has learned over the years,
or techniques he has invented himself along the way, “acquired
bits of business” – according to………..
ends his solo on a high note as well – everything remains in balance.
As he approaches the microphone, towelling himself off before attempting to speak. He starts by asking everyone if
they’re having a good time, a weak reply from the audience is returned,
not good enough for me Ric says, I said are you alright? A louder yell
is returned, and on the third request, an even louder yell and then Ric
is satisfied. He then thanks the audience for everyone coming out
tonight and making it a good showing. He then points out where the
merchandise area is located, at the back of the venue, where he and the
others will be for autographs after the show.
then introduces the bands big 1970 hit called:
Like A Man” again from their “Cricklewood Green" album. Like 50,000
Miles Beneath My Brain, it’s the bands chance to cut loose and break
out of standard song
sequence, and making a long
band jam of it.
band really cooks on this song, Joe makes it very interesting by
expanding his guitar work in different places. A different riff here, a
new lead part there, that made the entire song fun.
“Bad Blood”- A song written by
Lyons / Crooks – from Ten Years After’s
Time” CD from 1989. This is one of my favourite Leo Lyons songs, as it
starts off with a slow moderate beat, with enough room for the other
band members to add their personal touches and accents as the song
progresses. Leo has a proud look on his face, as he plays along, really
enjoying his own accomplishment, in giving this number life.
middle part of this tune is more powerful in its dynamics, than in its
volume, as it should be. Another example of a song like this would be
On” or “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” by Argent. The music and
the message have to be in perfect balance for it to work.
audience follows right along, some singing the words, others swaying to
all comes off perfectly from beginning to end, and it ends on a high
note for everyone.
sound tonight is brilliant, every instrument is heard with the ultimate
clarity. The vocals and guitar work are outstandingly at their optimum
level . Leo and Ric are right in time with each other, and Chick
doesn’t even have to strain a gut to be heard with the others.
total sound mixing is simply / fantastically / professionally executed.
you Wolfe and Crew.
song was on the set list at Luxembourg, but was never played there.
at Soest, it is written in on the set list as an after thought, it was
played and the review of it is here:
Me, written by Sonny Boy Williamson:
the history of Ten Years After, this song is once again a staple in
their set list. But has not been performed live in the last
ten years. It’s an audience favourite, and a loyal fans dream
come true. Joe has never played this live on stage that I am aware of,
at least at none of the concerts that we have seen. It was a pleasant
surprise for Brigitte and I, as well to our friends who are here with
us. As we anxiously await to see what
“Ten Years After Now” does with it.
a very slow blues number, it starts off slow / sleepy, and most
importantly, it needs to be performed with the right mood, feeling and
passion in order to make it come off properly.
will cut to the quick and tell you the outcome, and save you the
was brilliantly performed, by four expert musicians, in front of a great
was amazing, his vocals were filled with passion, heartfelt passion and
no faking or acting the emotions here. He sang so slow and deliberate,
hanging onto every word, dragging the words along one by one, giving
each one the emphasis that it deserved.
song tells the story of a man warning his woman, that if she does not
help him, and pull her weight, and earn her keep, then the consequence
is – he will have to go and find somebody else to help him. If
his woman does not do right by him, she will be replaced.
simple, black and white and without any dialog involved.
vocals are perfect, and his guitar work the same. In the vocal parts
that need something to back it up, Joe is right on the money between
I might mop the floor ..." and in between, Joe is hitting the
slashing power chords to pound home the point, that this man ain’t
"I may have to wash,
I may have to sew, I
may have to cook,
running the fret-board, bending strings, shaking the guitar, lift it up,
drop it down…with a chomp-chomp-chomp .Leo’s thundering / driving
bass line is providing the bottom for which Joe is bouncing off of –
with Ric’s bass drum holding the sides together and Chick’s filling
in the mid range registers and all points in between. You have heard
about a wall of sound, but have you ever witnessed it being performed
live!!! Then your missing something very special and magical. Simple
lyrics, driving blues beat, thundering bass line, screaming, crying,
slashing guitar work, sympathetic keyboards pulling at your heart
strings, and the vocals of passion, desire and warning.
off to Joe, Leo, Chick and Ric – splendid … you did old Sonny Boy
I'd Love To Change The World:
again a change-up in tempo and style. This 1971 Ten Years After hit,
brings the audience together in a crowd sing – a – long for a change
in the world condition, while Joe sings, “but I don’t know what to
do”…. “ so I will leave it up to you”.
lead guitar work is exceptional, fast furious and laced between anger at
the way things are and a ballad of sentimental hope for peace and
understanding. The world has changed very little since 1971.
Morning Little School Girl:
again Leo and Joe stretch out on this number, a great riff of course,
with the middle section a jam – with Leo and Joe standing face to face
and Ric and Chick in supporting roles to the front men,
to the right of Ric’s drum kit. Joe and Leo, going note for
note – measure for measure – with the audience standing / looking in
utter amazement – that such speed could be played on any musical
instrument, let alone Leo’s bass guitar / Joe’s guitar.
again Joe was all over the stage, facing Ric and standing next to Chick,
then back to Leo or centre stage. The
song reaches its hyper-sonic conclusion, and I could swear that I saw
heat vapours rising from the stage, from all the instruments!
is no one in attendance tonight that would blame the band for taking a
twenty minute break at this point. Right from the start of this concert,
all four members have given their all, through every song. As I sit here
looking over the entire set list, I am in awe of the energy that the
band has expelled in order to get to this point in the show. They
didn’t take a break, they only slowed down, as required, to set the
mood and get into the next song:
Can’t Keep From Cryin´ Sometimes, is a soulful blues tune written by
Al Kooper from his band “The Blues Project”.
– 2010 – and Ten Years After Now, will take this old simple classic
blues number, and turn it inside out for all to see. Stand it on its
head, spin it on its side and whip it into something completely unique.
The original TYA version lasted 5:34 in concert in the 1970’s it could
run fifteen to eighteen minutes depending. Tonight time doesn’t
matter, the question is, will the audience dig it – groove to it?
Where will Joe and band take it this trip?
starts off slowly, to a moderate beat, but very quickly rises to the
groove, and from there it’s in flight. It levels off and continues
with Joe leading the way. Now, the rest of the band knows where the
twist and turns are suppose to be, but with Joe, you just never know
what he may decide to do. Although Joe on stage will not pull any sudden
surprises, he always gives an indication to the others where he’s
this point, the band is in a free form flow, of jazzy riffs, rock licks
and soaring guitar work. Bass and drums in a tribal beat, with Chick’s
keyboards chomp – chomping right along at coasting speed.
the middle of the song, are some old standards that many people today
are unaware of.
as: Cat / Squirrel – Sunshine Of Your Love – which build up to more
classic hits, like Walk This Way and Smoke On The Water. At each turn
Joe is running through each rendition of the songs, not walking or
ploughing through them but running head on….not with anger, brute
force or vengeance, but with “a
delicate assault of the senses, combined with finesse, extreme talent
and love of playing and music itself”. That is the
Joe Gooch that we have come to know!
last part of the song is a band / jam. Joe runs the fret-board, Leo does
the same, Ric the most proficient time-keeper in the music business,
along with Chick’s hyper active keyboard work, pushes the song into a
screaming crescendo / right into a turbo-sonic dive-bomb finish /
polished off by Joe, pointing the neck of his guitar at the stage floor,
as the feedback howl is absorbed by the audience, and into a moment of
roar, thunderous applause and accolades from the audience is just as
overwhelming as the performance itself – where-by
Joe and band take a much deserved bow – with all the
professional humility that they can muster.
again a little history. The original version of this song was on the
“Undead” album and was 6:09 in duration. Over the years it has been
expanded / elongated / and grown into a ten to fifteen minute potpourri
giant, and very similar to the middle section of “I Can’t Keep From
Cryin´ Sometimes”. A rock / boogie / blues / oldies / fun song – to
let you know that the concert is soon coming to an end.
baffled, that the band and the audience still have enough physical and
emotional energy left, to still play and Boogie – On for another
band was outstandingly brilliant!!!
band rocks its way through this song, as rock should be played. All
members have sweat and smiles on their faces. The audience, is still
attentive, rocking, singing right along and lapping it all up – every
second of it.
– Choo – Mama
even faster than Reasons Why – and who can blame the band, as this
above and beyond the call of duty in anyone’s book!
It’s my impression that this 4:00 minute song was played in
2:50……. The End.
Friends, Anita, Reinhard, Erdme and Sarah