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King Biscuit Flower Hour: In Concert

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  • A Month after Humble Pie’s breakthrough album the Seventies seminal double live album, ‘Performance. Rockin’ The Fillmore’. Peter Frampton found life in ‘The Pie ‘ all just a bit much ,and upped sticks for a solo career. This left a great big hole in the pie so to speak.
    Lead singer and original small face Steve Marriott took a quick look round and found his old guitar slinging mate Dave ‘ Clem’ Clempson without a billet,Clem had been suppressing his hard rock urges within the Jazz/Rock confines of Colosseum,who had just disbanded in disarray, so was ready and eager to get it on in the Pie.
    The combination was unstoppable,and the Pie went onto even greater heights ,all the albums went Top Ten internationally, and the Pie found themselves at the very top of the Rock’n’ Roll tree.
    At the prime of their powers,they performed a concert for America’s famous music radio show, King Biscuit Flower Hour at the Winterland theater in San Francisco,6 May 1973 which has now been released on CD.
    The band were promoting their ‘Eat It’ album and for the tour had added three sultry American Lady back up singers none collectively as The Blackberries , who gave the music a whole new dimension without taking away any of the Pie clout.
    After the opening salvo of the perfect opener ” Up Our Sleeves ‘ and Ida Cox’s ‘Four Day Creep’. Clempson and Marriott’s guitars get down and dirty on Eddie Cochran’s ‘C’mon Everybody’ with Marriott’s chunky guitar riffs ,being overlaid by Clempson’s sharp like guitar licks, all backed up by Greg Ridley’s thunderous bass, the powerhouse drumming of Jerry Shirley, and of course the Blackberries . Clempson gets to do his Keef Richards thing all over Honky Tonk Woman, Steve Marriot does his very best Ray Charles impressions on ‘ Blues I Believe To My Soul’. A nod is given to past debts with a rockin’ version of Peter Frampton’s ‘Stone Cold Fever’ ‘Thirty Days In The Hole ‘ and ‘Roadrunner ‘ are stretched out by the gospel according to Steve Marriott. Greg Ridley gets a chance to show off his vocal chops during a complete re-vamping of ‘Hallelujah, I Love Her So’. The set proper is brought to a rousing conclusion by a twelve minute barnstorming ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ Humbles Pie’s anthem.
    The audience of course demand the band come back for an encore, the band duly obliged serving up a hefty slice of ‘Hot ‘n’ Nasty’ before leaving the crowd still wanting more.
    In between songs you are treated to Steve Marriott’s spontaneous cockney raps, where he demonstrates, why he was regarded as one of the finest singers to ever come from the British Isles, although I do suggest you put your ears over the children’s ears , I wonder if these little bits of Marriott wisdom went out live over the air waves or were bleeped out?
    I admit that later it all went a bit stale for the Pie ,but for those of you who know Pies famous Live album ‘ Performance ‘ ,trust me this is even better.
    Sliced by Mott The Dog.
    Served by Ella Crew.

    Posted on November 15, 2009