So Tuesday night and it was off the The Manchester Apollo or O2 Apollo in its current sponsorship and me and Mrs Fay were off to see Sheryl Crow. We had seen her on two previous occasions in Dublin in 2004, where I first felt Elizabeth kick in Claire’s tummy , awwwwww and a few years back in London. So we got to the Apollo in good time and enough to sink a few ciders before the concert, well a speedily necked 6 cans of Gaymers. First up was the support and a fella called James Walsh who was in Starsailor who had a few hits in the early 2000’s. He had a very good voice and performed the Starsailor song “alcoholic” in his set and thankfully didnt dedicate it to me. So onto the main show and Sheryl cam on looking mighty good for her age (48) and a bit on the skinny side. The tour was to promote her 7th studio album “100 miles to Memphis” The album has a soul influence and that rubbed of on a great performance by her and her band and backing singers. So what were the highlights for me we a great cover version of Terence Trent Darby’s “Sign your name”, a superb acoustic version of “Redemption Day’ which was covered by Johnny Cash on his last American recordings album (See video below) and the last song of the night was a beautiful gospel soul tinged version of “I Shall Believe.” I must say an excellent concert and 8/10 and I look forward to the next time Sheryl tours.
So we got home just before midnight and a quick check on Sky News and I was met by a counter on the top left of the screen. Miners rescued 0 of 33. Yes it was time for Sky to hit hyper news mode with wall to wall coverage of the rescue of them miners from Chile. As somebody posted on twitter “The media gathered at the mine seem in really good spirits. Its like summer on Rothbury all over again.” I posed the question which of the 33 miners was the bitch ? He should come up first as his arse will be sore ! Thankfully all is going well so far in the rescue attempt and with Liverpool’s victory in court today I do love the irony, it’s Thatcher’s birthday and the whole world is focused on a mine not to mention happy scousers. So the mine count is at number 18 as I type this and the tension builds for miner 21 who now has a wife waiting and also his bit on the side has revealed herself. Who will be at the pod when he come out. He might decide to stay down there for some peace and quiet. Imagine being trapped underground for two months only to come up to your missus finding out about your bit of totty on the side ? Im sure sky will there with full coverage of any fireworks that occur. On his was up is number n-n-n-n-n-n nineteen for those of you who can remember the 80’s number one single of the same name. So just another 14 after him and I will nearly have the full collection for my panini Chilean Sticker album. Just waiting for the double sticker of the bit they were trapped in and the foil badges of the mining company and the flag of Chile and last but not least the famous rescue pod. I think for an extra blog I might pick 33 replacements to stay in the mine, the mind boggles at who I can put in !!
Cant go without a final mention of a musical hero of mine who died on Sunday. I noticed Solomon Burke after he performed on Jools Holland one new year and then went on to discover his records and his influence on modern music. This is from the wall street journal “Solomon Burke, the American soul singer and songwriter who enjoyed two distinct periods of musical creativity and audience approval, died Sunday in the Netherlands. He was 70 years old. Burke was on his way from Los Angeles to a concert performance when he was found dead at Schiphol Airport outside Amsterdam. The cause of death has yet to be determined. A bear of a man whose weight easily exceeded 400 pounds, Burke was a soul giant whose career spanned five decades. He won a Grammy in 2003 for a comeback album; two years earlier, he was elected to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Jerry Wexler, who produced Mr. Burke’s tracks for Atlantic Records, declared him “the best soul singer of all time,” and he was known to fans as “The King of Rock and Soul.” Among those fans were the Rolling Stones, who recorded his composition “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and shared a stage with him in Los Angeles during their 2002-03 world tour.
Burke was born in Philadelphia. With his grandmother’s encouragement, he began to sing professionally and was recording gospel albums by his early teen years. In 1960, he signed with Atlantic. His first hit, “Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms),” had been a success for country singer Patsy Cline. Burke’s smoky, expressive baritone cut through a saccharine, string-laden arrangement to blend country and soul, two influences he would revisit throughout his 50-year career. In 1962, he scored another hit with “Cry to Me,” a punchy bit of sweet soul that was a hit again 25 years later when the Burke version appeared in the film “Dirty Dancing.”
Burke receded from the spotlight in the early 1970s and worked as an undertaker and mortician in Los Angeles, his adopted home. He continued to preach the gospel and was recognized by the Catholic Church; the Vatican invited him to perform at its Jubilee of the Family in 2000. It’s said that Pope John Paul II was a fan.
In 2002, Burke enjoyed a well-deserved revival when producer Joe Henry recruited Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, Van Morrison, Tom Waits (who once called Burke “one of the architects of American music”), Brian Wilson and others to contribute new songs for Burke to record. The resulting album, “Don’t Give Up on Me,” won a Grammy Award as Best Contemporary Blues Album. With Burke’s deep, powerful voice as its centerpiece, the album burst with old-school soul and R&B, underscored by contemporary arrangements. Burke was among the contributing musicians, also playing guitar and piano. Several tracks from the album were used to enhance dramatic moments on TV shows like “The Wire,” “House” and “The O.C.”
Back in the spotlight, in 2006 Burke issued “Nashville,” a country album produced by Buddy Miller that featured Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and others as duet partners. A year later, Burke was among the featured performers honoring Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun: Along with contemporaries Ben E. King, Sam Moore and Percy Sledge, he performed at a private party in London following the Ertegun tribute concert at the O2. Seeking yet another generation of fans, in 2008 Burke entertained audiences at the Bonnaroo and Glastonbury festivals. That same year, he toured throughout Europe, as he did earlier this year.
Burke was traveling to the Netherlands to perform with De Dijk, a Dutch rock band with whom he recorded recently. “Hold on Tight,” the album they cut together, is available online as a free download, and videos of Burke working with the band are posted on YouTube.
Burke is the father of 21; he has 90 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, according to reports. His family posted the following on his website: “This is a time of great sorrow for our entire family. We truly appreciate all of the support and well wishes from his friends and fans. Although our hearts and lives will never be the same, his love, life and music will continue to live within us forever.” I was lucky enough to see him live twice once at Manchester Academy and then at the Barbican Centre in London. A great voice and im gutted I never got to take the father in law to see him or see him perform at Glasto. Here is the performance on Jools Holland that caught my attention.
Peace and RIP Solomon and good luck with the wife miner 21.
Fay x x