Jake: We're putting the band back together
Mr Fabulous: Forget it, no way
Elwood: We're on a mission from God
Now whether, like The Blues Brothers, Steve Bolton received his inspiration
from a divine source or not I
can't say, but there may have been some
dazzling light when he thought "What a hoot to reform for a
weekend of gigs about the trio that he'd been an integral part of twenty
The guitar slinger's vision became a reality at 6FOOT3's opening gig at The
Duke, with others to be held in London.
This event was like listening to a conversation in music that was continuing
from the moment two decades previously when life with it's other plans had
interrupted it, and the band's pleasure in this enterprise
was infectious, as
they launched into their first number, I Spy
With Steve Bolton on guitar and singing his self written songs, Jim
Kimberley from the well respected band,
Bruise, drums and vocal, and his
brother Bob Kimberley on bass, this was a different form of music from that
which many of us had known and loved from Steve before, however a
crowd of Whitstable musos were rewarded for having trudged through
and wet night by an abundance of Steve's unleashed and
Meanwhile the thunderous rhythm section of the Kimberley brothers not
only played their instruments but also reverberated through the
floorboards, the furniture, and the audience's
internal organs ... sitting
close to this band was a mighty physical experience, as the 'dub' frequency
and intricately patterned rumblings from Bob Kimberley's bass combined
with Jim Kimberley's tour de force drumming to revelatory effect.
Upon seeing the tall (yes, really 6 foot 3 !) distinctive musicians on the
street all those years ago "a little old
lady" had asked "Are you from outer
space ?"... perhaps so, as they appeared this time around to be bringing Strange newsfrom another star, lyrically and musically warping time, as they
produced those special dynamics of sound that only a trio in such sympatico
mode as this can evoke.
This was music that defied
categorization, although it was interesting to
try ... 'Rockadub Acid 'n'Funk'?
... 'Raga delic Cascading Wave music' ...
no, can't do it, but no matter because something indefinable on a thursday
night is very welcome.
Steve's songs constitute nearly the entirety of their set, and their lyrics
inhabit a place of 'otherness'
describing Astral journeys where "Vibrations
knock me out" (The Weatherman), and being "kissed by souls unknown"
(Souls Unknown) and many other esoteric nuggets all contribute to an
... it'll be intriguing to
hear more episodes from his
There were echoes of George Harrison's 'Blue Jay Way' that I think George
would have approved of on Supernatural State with it's plaintive refrain
"Please be kind"; other intimations of The Beatles at their most
ran like cross currents beneath the swift flow of these hard rocking and yet
The affecting Souls Unknown was followed by an
outstanding version of Dr John's I Walk On Gilded
Splinters complete with
the 'voodoo vibe' that stunning song with its descriptions of potent magic
Steve found a deeper register and intonation for his vocal which was
entirely appropriate, palpably
rendering it's mysterious ceremony of
darkness ... as he'd said earlier, "You have to live it"
Another terrific original
song was Does She Know She's There from a set that only contained two
great 'covers', and by this time immense waves of sound
... vigorous, rocking and rhythmic, challenging and
cerebral, were rolling,
the ship was in full sail, so it was only sensible to tie ourselves to the
mast, secure in the
knowledge that the hands on the tiller (or more
specifically the Stratocaster) would steer the ship as it rode the
safely back to shore.
Shaken and stirred we were then suddenly in flight, soaring Over The Moon which was 6foot3's penultimate number before their powerhouse
interpretation of Scott Walker's Jackie,
and it was fitting indeed that a song
a fellow maverick of music should provide the night's finale.
That the substantial audience consisted of mainly local enthusiasts was
testimony that authentic Whitstable
music lovers remain keen to show up
for music which is more demanding than the bland and predictable,
is beginning to be increasingly dished out in some quarters.
It was also a timely reminder that we are more
than lucky to have Steve
Bolton in our midst ... a great showman, (or should that be shaman?) and
a consummate musician who is willing to take chances with diverse music
ventures in order to deliver this
degree of commitment and intensity ...
today sounds from another time were reprised to powerful effect, as my
music guru Derek said ... "Fantastic! ...
a real gig!"...
tomorrow, well who
knows? but expect the unexpected, and when it happens we'll all be there.
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