Willard Grant Conspiracy and Steve Wynn Live at Dingwalls 9.5.06.

Willard Grant Conspiracy and Steve Wynn 9.5.6.

 

Originally Posted             5/15/2006

Willard Grant Conspiracy and Steve Wynn Live

At Dingwalls Camden Lock 9.5.6.

 

It’s always a trip down memory lane going to

Dingwalls, I spent so much time there in the

80’s it was practically my second home, even

more so when it’s 18 years since I saw Steve

Wynn last play there with the Dream Syndicate on

the Ghost Stories tour in 1988, back then they

we’re giving out fliers with a competition to

write sleeve notes for a forthcoming single!!

But nothing like that tonight.

Instead after getting in there I ran into Jason

Victor who was playing in both bands tonight and

he introduced me to his father the legendary

Jack Victor, which was way cool. (Don’t know who

he is got to http://www.imdb.com and search his name.)

Also ran into loads of other Wynn nuts I know,

his shows have more and more of a family

atmosphere these days, which is kind of strange.

Still Steve was on first and played a mainly

acoustic set with his Ever Expanding Mellow

Fellows, Steve opened the set solo on his

acoustic guitar singing Days Of Wine And Roses

after explaining that he had played the song

here on his first European show ever back

in ’84, this was a powerfully percussive guitar

sound he got as he strummed for all he was

worth, for the second song of the set the band

started to expand as Jason Victor picked up his

acoustic guitar and they duelled there way

through Merritville in the mellowest version of

It I can remember. Then with the addition of the

next mellow Fellow Erik Van Loo on double Bass

it was time for a radical reworking of Wild

Mercury from Tick tick tick, then up stepped

Yuko Murata to the keyboards in time for the

deep end and Carolyn that worked brilliantly in

this quieter format, all that was missing from

the band at this point was a drummer, but who

needs a drummer when you can have Josh Hillman

on violin and then Viola instead!! So now we had

some real California style and a great rush to

go down to the Medicine Show through to

Amphetamine that had misplaced the buzzsaw

guitar heroics for some good scratching Viola

and Bowed Double bass duel and a  great Keyboard

sound swirling underneath it all. Damn it was a

great understated opening set by Steve and the

band.

Next on was the Willard Grant Conspiracy whose

Line-up was the same as the Mellow Fellows but

without Steve Wynn and with the addition of

Robert Fisher as singer and sometime guitarist

and Tom King on drums, I had serious

reservations about seeing the Willard Grant

Conspiracy as the last time I saw them on there

first tour here some years ago I hated them,

this time with the new line-up featuring Jason

Victor and Erik Van Loos they were a whole lot

better. I don’t know many of the song titles,

but now rather than being all slow morbid

depressing anti-folk songs they have a mixture

of those and cracking garage rock numbers that

blew the joint apart, of course once Jason

straps on his Fender you know it’s going to be

great he is the star in the bands current

incarnation, While Robert Fisher writes the

songs and sings them he is overshadowed by just

how powerful his band is, the songs from the new

album “Let It Roll” peppered the set and

included a great version of Mary Of Angels and

Dance With Me, we got almost sea shanties next

to storming Garage classics it was a good mix

and only helped when Steve Wynn joined them

onstage for Flying Low a song Robert and Steve

had written together. A real highpoint, but not

quite the best song in the set that was left to

the closer of Let It Roll, which is a new song

and not a cover but it came across as perfect

for a drunken dancehall to get down to, by the

end I enjoyed the Willard Grant Conspiracy

enough to buy the new album and that shows they

have come a very long way since I last saw them

as back then there was no way I would have given

them house room!!

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About simonovitch

Writer poet music freak etc etc based in London you'll find out more by reading my blogs.
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