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18 September 2019 1,099 views One Comment

Coda John Bonham Celebration Redditch gig this Saturday :

Here’s all the info for this Saturday’s Coda gig at the Queens Head Redditch:

Coda had been booked to headline the John Bonham Celebration on Saturday, September 21.

However after that event was cancelled Coda managed to secure a gig at the Queen’s Head pub – close to where the Celebration was due to take place – so their own tribute could go ahead as planned on the same night.

Not only will it be a celebration of the life and works of what many regard as the greatest ever rock drummer ever but it will also mark 50 years since the release of the groundbreaking Led Zeppelin II album.

Not only that but the gig will also raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, the charity which was to benefit from the John Bonham Celebration.

“The first set of our show will consist of the whole album, including such classics as Whole Lotta Love and Ramble On, as well some great but lesser-played tracks such as Living Loving Maid and Lemon Song, and of course not forgetting Moby Dick,” said Simon Wicker of Coda.

“The second half of the show will feature a fantastic selection of showstoppers and rockers from across Led Zeppelin’s albums, with the band performing many live versions of tracks such as Kashmir, the Rain Song, Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog and much more.”

 Tickets are £10 plus booking fee in advance, or £12 on the door, Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm

I am aiming to be there and look forward to seeing all that can make it along

Ticket details here:

There’s more activity on the day…

Show your support for Drummer of the Year
Young Drummer Comp FB Event

The finalists have been chosen, the judges are getting ready, the awards have been polished and now all that is needed is the audience!

Next weekend, drumming enthusiasts and community minded residents alike are invited to attend the final of the first ever PDC Young Drummer Competition where a rising star will be crowned.

Young people from Redditch, Worcestershire and beyond applied to be crowned the next drumming legend, battling it out throughout the summer, entering the competition organised by The Palace Drum Clinic.

Now six finalists, aged between 11 and 21, have been picked to perform at a special event at the Town Hall on Saturday 21st September where an overall winner will be chosen.

The competition will be judged by good friend of John Bonham and pro drummer Garry Allcock, Palace Drum Clinic founder Matt Green, Ros Sidaway on behalf of John Bonham A Celebration II and a special guest judge to be announced. The event will also be compared by world renowned drummer Ian Palmer.

The winner of the competition will also get the chance to perform to a large crowd at next year’s John Bonham A Celebration II event.

Matt Green, founder of the Palace Drum Clinic, said: “Thank you to everyone who auditioned for our competition. It was a really tough decision as there was so much talent to choose from. I know guests at the final are in for a treat with our final six.
“All profits from the event will be going to charity so please do come and support these talented youngsters.”

Cllr Mike Rouse, Leisure Portfolio Holder, said: “Thanks to the inspiration of people like John Bonham, Redditch is fast becoming a growing centre of excellence in the region for drumming talent. Competitions like this one are drumming up support for Redditch as a great place for cultural events for people of all ages.”

The show will start at 1pm and run until 5pm with a half an hour interval. Tickets can be bought on the door and cost £5. All proceeds will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Palace Drum Clinic run monthly events with internationally renowned artists.

The competition is being supported by John Bonham A Celebration II, Redditch Borough Council, UK National Drum Fair and Rubicon Leisure.

Update above via:

For more info see the Palace Drum Clinic website.


Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook

 Upcoming events:

September 20 – Robert Plant will perform at the Outlaw Music Festival in Indianapolis.
September 21 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Clear Lake, Iowa.
September 25 – Robert Plant will perform in Moorhead, Minnesota.
September 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Missoula, Montana.
September 29 – Robert Plant will perform in Spokane, Washington.
October 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Salt Lake City, Utah.
October 3 – Robert Plant will perform in Bend, Oregon.
November – The “Play It Loud: Instruments Of Rock And Roll” exhibition will move to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
December – Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page: The Anthology,” will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


Hossam Ramzy RIP:

I was very sad to hear the passing of Hossam Ramzy who worked extensively with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant during their Unledded TV recording album and 1995/6 tour. He brought a colour and vibrancy to their music – leading them into a direction that so many of us reading this hugely enjoyed…RIP.

See Peter Gabriel’s comments here:


Ric Ocasek RIP:

It was also very to hear the news of the passing of Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars, aged 75 – The Cars made some great records which still sound very contemporary. RIP Ric.


Jimi Hendrix Remembered – 49 years gone… 

I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Jimi Hendrix death came through on September 18, 197 – 49 years ago today  Wednesday. I was listening to the Tommy Vance Friday What’s New programme as I did most Fridays back then eager to hear the latest single releases. Around 5pm the announcement was made on the BBC Radio One news and Tommy went on to provide a fitting tribute to the guitar legend noting the inconsistencies of his performances over the past year.

Across the water the next day Led Zeppelin were performing two shows at Madison Square Garden and Robert Plant paid his respects in the evening show.

”Before we go any further …yesterday a rather uncomfortable thing happened for everybody and a great loss for the music world…and we’d like to think that you as well as us are very sorry that Jimi Hendrix went. I spoke to a close friend of his about half an hour ago and he said probably he would have preferred everybody to get on and have a good time rather than talk about it. So we’d like to get on and try and make everybody happy”.

I’m just listening to that extract of that speech on the bootleg of the evening show I have titled Shout That Loud. They go on to do an absolute steller version of That’s The Way with Plant’s vocals sounding absolutely incredible.  ‘’I wonder how we’re gonna tell you’’ he sings slightly changing the lyrics. Behind him Jimmy strums away sweetly and JPJ adds mandolin totally complimenting the mood. That’s The Way performed by  Led Zeppelin one day after the death of Jimi Hendrix is an awesome performance. They were on fire during that sixth US tour – you can read Mike Tremaglio’s tour log of that exciting summer of ‘70 period in the forthcoming TBL.

I also know exactly where I was on the sixth anniversary of Jimi Hendrix  death in 1976. That was the day we were pitched up in Hyde Park ready to watch the free concert featuring Queen. One of the flags in the crowd that day proclaimed ‘’Jimi Hendrix lives.’’

His music certainly does. I had a real Hendrix fascination around 1972-3 and brought a fair few of his albums. I went to see the Joe Boyd documentary film in London and loved the soundtrack. Have to say haven’t really played much Hendrix for a good while but Ill be picking out a few choice Jimi faves,  including the excellent Hendrix In The West live album in tribute to this 47th anniversary of his passing

In a week of reflection – it’s a fitting soundtrack…

check it out here…

TBL Hendrix Archive:

Here’s my review of the Jimi Hendrix Both Sides of The Sky albnum from last March…

Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of The Sky:

What a joy it was to go into a record shop in Bedford last Friday and buy a new album on its release day –the last occasion I did that I was probably managing one of them. But that was the happy scenario at the excellent Slide Records in Bedford last Friday afternoon as I took receipt from Warren Alsop of the new Jimi Hendrix set Both Sides Of The Sky…I also picked up a copy of the new issue of NME – which will be the last printed edition – the end of an era …check out Slide Records Facebook page at

Here’s my thoughts on this new Jimi Hendrix album…

‘Scuse me while I diss the sky?

Some mixed cloud gatherings on Both Sides of The Sky but much to admire…

Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of The Sky (Experience Hendrix LLC)

Just three albums released in his lifetime and then a whole lot more since his premature passing in 1970.

As a fan from 1969, I’ve always been keen to hear more Jimi Hendrix – going back to the initial posthumous release of Cry Of Love in 1971..

The early subsequent efforts to scour the studio archives such as Rainbow Bridge and War Heroes, gathered some worthwhile leftovers but when producer Alan Douglas started adding fresh bass and guitar parts to the albums like Crash Landing and Midnight Lightening – I opted out and made do with the slew of dynamic live albums that surfaced such as Hendrix In The West and Live At Berkeley.

In recent years, there has been an admirable overhauling of the Hendrix archive overseen by his sister Janie and the Experience Hendrix LLC team of John McDermott and original engineer Eddie Kramer.

Both Sides Of The Sky is the final part of a trilogy that commenced with Valley of Neptune and continued with People, Hell And Angels. This is clearly no mere barrel scraping exercise – but more a genuine effort to bring as much Hendrix material to the surface – with his reputation intact.

Like its predecessors, it offers up a mixed bag of goodies, or in this case a mixed gathering of clouds amongst the thirteen tracks (ten previously unreleased and three for the first time in this format)  –mostly recorded at the Record Plant in New York .

The darker clouds revolve around some rather slight instrumentals.

Cherokee Mist from a May 1968 session has just Jimi and drummer Mitch Mitchell doodling around on a theme that may have led somewhere. There are some some subtle sounds of the sitar in there too.

Jungle from November 1969 opens with guitar reverb and then picks up a funky pace with Buddy Miles on drums –another idea that may have blossomed with further work.

A far better bet in the instrumental stakes here, is Sweet Angel. Essentially an early try out of  what would become the wondrous Angel, from an Olympic Studios session in early 1968 This has opening chords to die for and is a vivid example of the melodic qualities of Jimi frequently brought to his playing. It’s a sparse arrangement with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Jimi on guitar bass and vibraphone.

There’s a fair few representations of the late ’69 early ’70 Band of Gypsies line up with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums. The main trio he was deploying to record what would have been his fourth proper studio album. Stepping Stone is perhaps a little overbusy and nonscript but is a good example of how Hendrix played so well off Buddy Miles elaborate drumming.

Lover Man dates back to 1967. I know this track best in the live interpretation on Hendrix In The West. Jimi returned to it in December 1969 with Cox and Miles. It crackles along at a frantic pace with urgent singular guitar spats from the master. Note the Batman theme interlude amongst the fun. It strikes me this would have made a great single at the time.

The Band of Gypsies line up are also captured on an uptempo version of Muddy Waters ‘ Mannish Boy. Again, there’s some fine interplay between Jimi and the jazzier feel of Buddy Miles percussion.

Also impressive is a January 1970 take of Power To Soul. All slashing wah wah and funk soul brother fluency. It works a treat and is a perfect example of the increasingly funkier element that Jimi was favouring at that time. Backing vocals from Cox and Miles lighten the mood.

Another January 1970 session produced Send My Love To Linda. This opens  with a Spanish guitar motiv and then gets into its stride. However it has an unfinished feel about it and it fades all too soon.

I best remember Hear My Train a Comin’ in that sparse acoustic rendition as featured on the 1973 Jimi Hendrix film documentary. The version here is an all-electric outing cut with the Experience line up of Noel Redding on bass and Mitch Mitchell drums – their penultimate studio session. It’s something of a Voodoo Chile mash up with a long drawn out solo – a splendid remainder of the man’s fretwork genius –and of the original expertise of the Experience rhythm section –Mitchell’s flamboyant drumming is always a delight.

Time for some guests: Georgia Blues features Lonnie Youngblood on vocals – the lead singer of one of Jimi’s early  groups  Curtis Knight & the Squires. A slow rather over played blues aided by a neat Lonnie sax solo.

The real surprise and highlight of this album is a pair of contributions from a September 30, 1969 session with Stephen Stills. Equally surprising is that they attempted a version of Joni Mitchell’s recently penned Woodstock. It’s in the urgent up-tempo arrangement that Stills would later offer to his band mates Crosby,Nash & Young for the Déjà Vu album. This is clearly Stills show with Hendrix in a supporting role on bass –Stills excels with a dominant vocal and powerful organ accompaniment. As impressive as this is – and the subsequent version on Déjà vu, it took Mathews Southern Comfort to slow the song down and apply the wistful approach that best suited Joni’s festival lament – scoring a UK number one in late 1970 in the process.

The previously unheard Stills composition $20 Fine from the same days session has Hendrix back on guitar. It has a delightful riding on the freeway groove and would certainly not have been out of place on Déjà Vu.

There’s one final guest to add to the proceedings and it’s a big hello to John Dawson Winter III. He applies some riveting trademark slide guitar to a version of Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones Things I Used To Do cut at the Record Plant, New York in May 1969 – a right old 12 bar romp with Dallas Taylor from the C,S,N &Y stable on drums. This is full of the type of blues swagger that lit up those Bloomfield, Stills & Cooper Super Session album – and Jimi cooks up a storm as does Winter/Stills

In summary:

As with previous Hendrix albums of this nature, it’s often a case of being prepared to wade through some slightly uninspired material to get to the real deals. Overall though, the Experience Hendrix team have unearthed some very worthy unreleased material.

Like a lot of his work, I have a feeling there’s more to be uncovered with subsequent plays of this album – and one thing it has done is prompted me to go back to some of the earlier Experience Hendrix releases such as First Rays Of The New Rising Sun and People, Hell and Angels.

In effect, Both Sides Of The Sky has thoroughly rebooted my fascination for the unsurpassed genius of one James Marshall Hendrix. You can expect it to be doing the same if you similarly invest…

Dave Lewis – March 11, 2018

Marc Bolan remembered – 42 years gone…

Bolan 2

Monday marked the 42nd anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan. Another of my all time heroes and one of the naturally great looking rock stars. Every Marc/T.Rex  single of the early 70s was an event and they still sound so fresh. Here’s a pic of Marc with Robert Plant circa 1976. I think this was taken backstage at the Cardiff Rock Festival.

Marc Bolan was the epitome of the word STAR – when I was a great coat wearing Zep head age 15, amongst all the teenyboppers Marc Bolan and T. Rex were still cool. His album Electric Warrior is amongst my all time favourites and his singles such as Telegram Sam, Metal Guru,Children Of The Revolution, 20th Century Boy etc always inspire great 1970s  memories.








Celebrating Marc Bolan…42 years gone…

Here’s some thoughts on the excellent T.Rextasy gig we attended last  Saturday night.

T Rextasy – 02 Academy London September 14, 2019 with special guest Marc Almond

The Marc Bolan Anniversary Concert

To the Islington 02 Academy for a night of T. Rextasy -this annual concert marks the passing of Marc and this year it’s the 42nd anniversary.

A truly great night at the 02 Islington at the T.Rextasy gig.

Our gang of the good lady Janet, Steve and Annand jenny last caught up with Danielz and co a couple of years back in Bedford. It was therefore high time for a Bolan live fix. The crowd was made up of many a seasoned Bolan fan with vintage T shirts on a parade plus a good proportion of new generation fans making for a great atmosphere. Looking down from our excellent vantage spot on the balcony, I got to wondering how many in attendance had seen Marc live back in the day – I would say a fair few.

The pacing of the set was superb – a sprinkling of lesser high profile numbers around the expected big hitters – Ride a White Swan, Children Of  The Revolution, Metal Guru, Telegram Sam, and Jeepster – what’s not to like. There was also a nod to the Tyrannosaurus Rex era with a rollicking One Inch Rock. Another unexpected bonus was a romp through Thunderwing the B side of Metal Guru.

Front man Danielz continues to amaze – his relentless passion and panache lights up the stage and in doing so, he brings a dignity and reverence to the role. He has all the Marc Bolan mannerisms down to perfection – he looks like him, he sings like him and he moves like him – and the fact he has been doing this for over 25 years is simply remarkable. The band were also right on it – JohnSkelton on drums, NeilCross rhythm Guitar and Rob Butterfield on bass- Rob ran the Esquires club here club a few years back.

Special guest Marc Almond proved to be a revelation – he displayed a genuine empathy for Marc’s music duetting sweetly with Danielz on Cosmic Dancer ( the name of our music quiz team) and Life’s a Gas and rocking it up on Whatever Happened To the Teenage Dream Get It On. A celebratory Hot Love sent us all home with more than little Marc in their hearts. For two hours we all felt like we were 18 … and that is the real skill of T. Rextasy – they make the music of Marc Bolan come alive again with total authenticity.

Long may they love to boogie…

Dave Lewis, September 16,2019.


DL Diary Blog Update:

There comes a time when us record collectors have to stop and take stock of what we have got…that day came last Thursday as I waded through the many rather splendid 45 RPM singles I have – and boy I have fair few – Swan Song and Led Zep singles,Beatles cover versions, Apple, Atlantic, Island and Immediate labels, TV and film themes, Bowie,Sinatra, Stones,Dave Clark Five, ELP, Elton, Who,Hendrix,Dusty, Dylan, many EPs demos and promos etc etc- they are now in some sort of order (ish)…pic by ace TBL photographer Steve Livesley.

As mentioned above, our quiz team the Cosmic Dancers had a night out watching the excellent T.Rextasy in Islington last Saturday -here’s the team consisting of Jenny, Anne Marie, Steve myself and the good lady Janet on Saturday.

Before the gig, Steve directed me to a London rock’n’roll landmark – the nearby Britannia Studios. This is where Pink Floyd recorded the Animals album amongst others and Joy Division cut the Closer album. See pic below.


Busy here on preparation for some TBL projects ahead -more on all that soon and getting ready for the weekend visit to Redditch -I look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

Dave Lewis  – September 18, 2019

Until next time –  have a great  weekend…

TBL Website updates compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy and James Cook

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One Comment »

  • VHP said:


    Great post as ever. “The Groover” by T-Rex was the first record I ever bought!

    Ric OcaseK, RIP. Loved so much of the Cars music, I remember buying there Heartbeat City LP when it was first released. There greatest hits record is well worth a listen.

    September is a sad month for music lovers, Jimi, Marc Bolan and John Bonham. All way to young when they went.

    I see Jimmy has another new book out in December. Back in January when he said that we would definitely be getting something new from him in 2019 I kind of hoped that it was something new that we could listen to! Ah well, I suppose its still only September!

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