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David Sinclair Billy F Gibbons 002

David Sinclair (left) with Billy Gibbons. David's band the DS4 would have been playing at St Harmonica's on Friday night if you know what hadn't happened.

Missing Friday nights at the Southgate Club listening to the great bands playing at St Harmonica's? Well, we can't do anything about the lockdown, but we can do our best to recreate St Harmonica's in the comfort of your own home. So pour yourself a glass of beer, move the furniture aside to make yourself a dance floor, click on the first of the music videos below and start a text conversation with some of the people you usually meet up with at the club.

Friday 22 May

This week’s playlist was compiled by David Sinclair: singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader of the David Sinclair Four (DS4) and a sometime music journalist. He says:

"I was looking forward to bringing the DS4 to St Harmonica’s on Friday May 22. We have had to put the gig on hold, but we’ll be there as soon as we can. Meanwhile, here are some of my favourite performances by great musicians I’ve met over the years."

Enjoy. www.davidsinclairfour.com

Click on the videos to watch and listen, or visit www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLI0n6wR3Vz8xEoZcKZxD3-Suh0mmBHt-f


Billy F Gibbons: "Missin' Yo' Kissin'" from The Big Bad Blues

I first ran into Billy Gibbons backstage at a ZZ Top show in Staffordshire, in 1983. He was virtually unchanged when we hooked up again in 2018 at the Iridium, New York, when he was touring to promote his second solo album The Big Bad Blues. His piercing intelligence is masked by a droll sense of humour and a comic-book persona that has become internalised to the core. This video neatly compresses a whole show into one song. Have mercy.

 


Mick Jagger & Keith Richards – Country Honk

Whenever I’ve met the Stones, I’ve always been surprised at how much of the original spirit of the band still shines through all the stadium-rock hoopla. The set-list from their first gig at the Marquee Club on July 12, 1962 is said to have included songs by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and no less than six titles by Jimmy Reed. In this clip, filmed backstage in 2016, Mick and Keith have morphed into the back-porch legends they so admired. Kind of…

 


Paul Jones: You Gotta Move

Paul Jones may have turned down a gig with the Stones. But he played harmonica, brilliantly, on two of my albums. His knowledge of the blues is encyclopedic. He is also a man of faith. Here he takes the old gospel hillbilly blues of Mississippi Fred McDowell back to church.

 


Robin Trower - Bridge of Sighs

Robin Trower produced my song Living Like a Yo-Yo, which is currently sitting at No.1 on the streaming chart on my Spotify page (check it out at https://sptfy.com/1asT). Working with Robin was a gamechanger for me. He has so much knowledge and authority. Here is a cool version of his best-known song, Bridge of Sighs, featuring the wondrous, blues-drenched vocals of the late James Dewar.

 


Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - Pride And Joy

I saw him at Hammersmith Palais in 1986. Not his finest hour but, man, what a commanding presence. When the moon is full, we turn loose the DS4’s bass player Jos Mendosa - aka the Wolfman – to howl out a high-voltage version of Pride and Joy. Here’s the original.

 


BB King – How Blue Can You Get?

I sat with BB King at the front of his tour bus as he and his entourage drove from London to Manchester in 1986. The rules on board were strict. No talk of religion or politics was permitted. King and his eight-piece band all wore suits. Jeans were for when he used to work in the fields, BB told me, as he gazed wistfully out of the window at the English countryside.

 


Chuck Berry – Roll Over Beethoven

I played in a band that supported Chuck Berry in the 1980s, and all the backstage stories you’ve heard about him seemed to ring true. But what an invincible character he was. Singer, songwriter, lead and rhythm guitarist, showman, bluesman and pop star; only Hendrix and Prince have subsequently matched that skill set. The DS4 usually play at least one of Berry’s songs at our gigs – as, of course, did the early Beatles and the Stones.

 


John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton - Call it Stormy Monday

Eric Clapton was promoting some Greatest Hits compilation or other when I met him, and didn’t want to talk about the blues. John Mayall never wants to talk about anything else. Here is a rare live recording of the two of them at he Flamingo in 1966 with Jack Bruce (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums). Clapton’s guitar tone, along with the outrageous timing and aggressive phrasing of this solo is little short of supernatural.

 


Jeff Beck - Stratus

I interviewed Beck, a few times in the 1980s and 1990s. A moody bastard. But such a sublime player. I saw him at Ronnie Scott’s in 2007 when this was filmed. I was sitting side on, about five metres away from Vinnie Colaiuta’s kit. When they went into the playout section at the end of this track, written by Billy Cobham, it was like being caught in a dugout with shells exploding overhead. Insane energy allied to supremely sophisticated musicianship.

 


Jimi Hendrix Experience – Like a Rolling Stone

I saw Hendrix three times; at Green’s Playhouse, Glasgow, the Albert Hall and the Isle of Wight. Those are hallowed memories. He was an amazing guitarist and songwriter. But what I really loved was the sound of his voice and the distinctive way that he sang. This off-the-cuff interpretation of Like a Rolling Stone was so playful and poignant. The way he fools around with Dylan’s lyric, as if he’s having the time of his life being able to inhabit the song. I always love hearing it.

 


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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #5350 20 May 2020 22:15
If David and his band had been able to play at St Harmonica's on Friday, what would they have sounded like? Here's a chance to find out.