with Arthur Lee - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
ever you feel disillusioned and lost in the mire of wondering whether
new music will inspire you then perhaps it's time to revisit the old masters.
Tonight I'm reminded by the incomparable Arthur Lee and
his Love Orchestra. 'Forever Changes' Love's definative
album of 1967 is given a faithful rendition, complete with string quintet
and mariachi horn players.
Arthur whose age isn't certified but who may be 62 (though it doesn't
show) is elegant and marshalls his band superbly. Dressed from bottom
to top in glittered cowboy boots, faded black jeans, buffalo herder shirt,
stars and strips bandana and a black stetsun hat (with leopard skin wrap
around), picks out the notes on his Fender Squire electric of "Alone
Again Or", it's funny how strange rumours surround legends...he's
supposed to be eccentric and arrogant and yet almost 40 years on his music
is alive (I bought a t-shirt to prove it!).
They say the distinction between genious and a madman is measured only
by success. He's every right to be slightly jaded, 'Forever Changes' in
my mind is easily as good as 'Pet Sounds' or 'Sergeant Peppers'. Lyrics
like, "I feel so funny when my name is .......Phil." and "The
snot has caked against my pants, it's turned into crystal" prove
this conclusively. His voice has been ignored by the ravages of Father
time and we are blessed by a superb performance of almost two hours and
3 encores. Rounding off I wanted to say how I wished their were more bands
out there that had a magnificent and absurd vision and despite everything
that conspires against it, they see it through without compromising, but
you know, I won't bother because it's just been done before my eyes....Arthur
Lee and Love, we salute you.