Category Archives: Dom Brown

Duran Duran in Vegas: Show Commentary!

It is time for another v-log from yours truly and my partner-in-crime about yesterday’s Duran Duran show in Las Vegas.  We figured that it would go faster to do a video blog on than a written one.  It may even be more entertaining!

This v-log ended up being two videos due to unforeseen technical difficulties or really because Rhonda’s computer went into sleep mode.  During these two little (don’t know why I said little…they are lengthy), we discuss Dom Brown’s stage presence, John Taylor’s fashion choices (go figure!), the good and bad with the Mandalay Bay  Events Center as a venue, the awesomeness of our meet-up, why Duran Duran should never be done and more!

You might note that these two videos were completed last night or early this morning depending on how you look at it.  We apologize for the sucky quality.  On that note, we are off to back to California to hit the Irvine show!  It’s a show day!  (That said, I really wish I had a few more hours of sleep!)

-A

Happy 11th Anniversary, Dom!

Today is a very special day, and I am thrilled that it fell on one of my blogging days.  On this date, eleven years ago – Dom Brown played his first gig with Duran Duran!

Has it really been that long?!? I don’t know where the time goes, but I’m glad that in this past year I’ve been able to see Dom play four times – not too bad for someone who lives across the Atlantic from him.

Normally, we don’t take time to celebrate anniversaries for each of the band members because we might not know the exact dates that each of them entered the band, but Dom is special because although to many of us he’s a permanent fixture, he was a gift that was discovered along the way. I’m thankful the band found and had the good sense to hire him because I can’t imagine a show or an album without his presence.

I was recently asked who my favorite band member was – the scenario given was that the band was in front of me, who would I go up to speak with first. At first, without thinking – I said Dom.  After admonishing that while Dom is a lovely guy, he’s not really a member  she asked me to choose again. I really couldn’t. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to speak to any of them (are you kidding me?!?) it’s just that I couldn’t decide which one. I love them all, but they’re all part of the group I’ve loved since I was ten! Dom is a little different since I met him some thirty years into my “tenure” as a Duran Duran fan, yet I’ve embraced him from nearly day one (I say nearly because I wasn’t at his first show!). To me, he is as much a part of the group as any of them, whether that’s right or wrong.

There are at least a few fans out there who like to remind me that he’s “just” the hired player (a hired guitarist who has co-written a good many of their songs off of recent albums, I might add), but to me, there’s no “just” about it. Dom stepped in after Andy left, filling some incredibly large shoes. He’s had to take an awful lot of ribbing and complaining from long-time fans about how he plays some songs, and in a lot of ways, he’s in an impossible position. The Andy fans are convinced no one can play better than Andy, and the Warren fans are 100% convinced Warren needs to be back in this band. He’s not Andy, and no, he’s not Warren. Personally, I think being Dom should be more than enough.

 It’s been eleven years. I say it every year to Duran Duran, but it’s time to make sure Dom doesn’t get away and make this guy part of the band. Officially. Give him some credit and reward him for sticking with you through so much and for so long. It’s way past time.

Regardless, I couldn’t let this day go without sending best wishes and plenty of thanks to him. He’s a good guy, a very talented guitar player, and loved by many, including me.

I’m glad you’re a part of this band, Dom and I’d miss it if you weren’t the one on stage playing Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer, White Lines (and all of the rest) during the gigs.  😀 You’re still the best!

-R

Happy Birthday, Mr. Brown!!!

June is a VERY special month for Duran Duran and for Duranies!  Why?  Simple.  We all celebrate 3 birthdays!  Yes, THREE!!!  First, we  celebrated Nick’s on the 8th.  Later, we will celebrate John’s on the 20th but today, we get to celebrate Dom Brown’s birthday!!!

This morning, Duran Duran’s official social media sites posted the following:  “Happy, happy birthday to the very talented Duran Duran guitarist Dom Brown Music ! He’s in tour rehearsals, hope he has time for cake!”  This message is music to my ears!  Of course, I hope he has time for cake but I love, love, love hearing that he is busy in tour rehearsals.  If you know this blog at all, then you know that we are fans of Dom.  We like Dom.  We are VERY glad that he is in the band.  Yes, I did say in the band.  He is to us.  Absolutely.  Always.  Therefore, we are super glad that we will be able to see him around during this upcoming tour!

So, how should we celebrate him?  Simple.  Let’s celebrate his work and the good times surrounding him!

Rhonda and I first saw Dom play in Chicago in March of 2005 when he will filling in for Andy.  Frankly, I don’t think I thought too much about him that night.  I was in front of John and was just super relieved that the show was still happening!  By the next year, however, we were open-minded enough to give him a shot when Andy left.  Despite still being on John’s side for that October 2006 show at the Sears Center in Chicago, both Rhonda and I took note of him and were impressed.  He just seemed to fit.  It wasn’t like pushing a square peg in a round hole.  No.  He just fit easily into the band and their live performance.  Thus, by the time I saw him singing backing vocals in Sunrise, I welcomed him to the band.  True story.

In fact, we welcomed him to the band in true Duranie fashion by holding up a sign for him at the next show in New Orleans at the Voodoo Music Festival.

oops...wrong sign. Well, we held this one up too!

What was particularly cute about this sign?  The fact that Simon and John saw it but Dom didn’t!  Yes, we are AWESOME!

By 2007, my status as a fan for Dom not only maintained but increased when I happened to see the DoJo.  As a John fan, I have always appreciated the JoSi (the times that John and Simon “interact” on stage).  By the Broadway shows, I not only had the JoSi to appreciate but the DoJo, too!!

Of course, we discovered that the DoJo could do magical things like not only making Rhonda tolerate Hungry Like the Wolf but even sort of…kind of…look forward to it live!  Imagine that!

Of course, Mr. Brown’s talents go beyond his musical experiences with Duran as he is just a great musician as seen by these solo live clips!

Of course, Dom is just a really great guy as well based on the fact that he was willing to sign cd inserts for us or wear a certain blog’s wristband as seen here!

 

 

 

 

Dom wristband

On that note, we wish Dom the very happiest of birthdays!!!  We cannot wait to see you on the road, Mr. Brown!!!

-A

 

Happy Anniversary Between The Lines!

So today’s Duran Duran history is all about Ordinary World, but something else occurred on this date that is worth mention. Also on this date, but in the year 2008, Dom Brown released Between the Lines. Happy Anniversary!

I know you, fellow fans. I see you sitting there, squinting at your screen as though you have no idea to whom (or what) I may be referring.  That’s fine. Consider this your primer for Between the Lines…and if you really need catching up, check out the interview we did with Dom back in 2012 (yes, it’s really been that long).

A few things you must know up front:

  1. John and Roger guested on the album. They played on two tracks: Amazing and Crocodile Tears.  If that doesn’t grab your attention as Duran fans, I don’t know what will.

  2. This is not a Duran Duran record. Dom’s own style is a little more rock, a lot less pop, and a little blues. This is also not Blue to Brown, which is a true blues band/album. I would put Between the Lines more in the vein of classic rock, but it has modern feel.

  3. He dedicated the album to his son Floyd. How cute is that?

  4. This album, like his others, are a family affair. His wife Martha, a very talented musician in her own right, also guests on the album.

We really haven’t reviewed Between the Lines yet, but for me, the standout tracks are Amazing (which has a much different production feel than the rest of the album) – and Day Turned Black. Amazing is the closest to pop you’ll hear Dom play aside from his work in Duran Duran, with it’s catchy staccato opening. This song has a true hook and could really stand on it’s own to be a single in the right market. Day Turned Black; however, is more of a ballad, and it is the type of writing that you might find on a B-side. It’s a deeper track, both in musicianship as well as in subject, and if the lyrics don’t grab you – Dom’s soaring guitar solo certainly will. If you haven’t given his work a chance and assume that what he brings to stage with Duran Duran is all there is – you’re missing out.

Overall, Between the Lines was Dom’s second – the first being “Touch the Flames”. One thing I really appreciate is that I’m able to hear the improvements in his recording and production between the two albums. Just as Duran Duran’s second album sounded far slicker and less raw – Between the Lines is the same. To be fair to Dom, there is still enough of a hard edge to give Between the Lines grit. After all, this is rock.

If you’re looking for some new music (it’d be new to you!), I highly recommend checking Between the Lines out…and I know Dom would appreciate the support from Duran fans!

-R

Happy 10th Anniversary Dom!

I know that at least some of you have noticed that the site has been down for the past couple of days.  I’ll save you from the stupid details, but it comes down to two things:

  1. I am not a webmaster, tech-geek, web-designer…etc.

  2. I am NEVER MOVING THIS BLOG AGAIN.

Regardless, we’re here…we’re working…I think most people should be able to see the blog now, and for that I’m thankful, even though I’m still ironing out the details of how to get things to look the way they once did. That will happen over the next couple of weeks, but for now, as I’m about to take off for a trip to Wisconsin tomorrow (of all places)…I’m hoping everyone can read this post. In all of the excitement (read: behind the scenes at my house stress), I nearly forgot an important date.

DBF

Ten very short years ago on this very date, Dom Brown played his very first gig with Duran Duran. I wasn’t there for it – I didn’t see him play until March of 2005, but I know many of our readers must have been there.

Dom wrote (!!!!) a very nice post for duranduran.com that you should check out. It is filled with nice memories and definitely chuckled over the fact that his wife Martha knew all the words to the Duran Duran songs – love that!

I write about Dom a lot on the blog, so if he really needs to see how much I appreciate his being on that stage – he probably doesn’t need to look very far. He is incredibly talented, but he also stepped into very large shoes. It could not have been very easy to not only be “the new guy” and learn all of the music, but also be the “sub”.  Yet he handles all of that, plus all of the criticism that comes his way as a result of not being Andy OR Warren with an enormous amount of grace. I have nothing but respect for him.

So Dom, if you’re reading – happy anniversary!  We’re glad you’re here, and thank you to your family for sharing you with us. I’m sure that part isn’t easy either.

-R

 

 

Blue to Brown Under the Bridge

In case you missed it, Duran Duran’s very own Dom Brown posted a video yesterday from a gig in London. His band, Blue to Brown, supported Austin Blues legend, Jimmy Vaughn at Under the Bridge.

For those who are unaware, Dom is a well-versed guitarist who plays a wide-variety of music, particularly when he’s not onstage for Duran Duran. His band Blue To Brown, fronted by none other than his father Rob, concentrates on blues. So, the music you’ll hear Dom play for Blue to Brown or even his own solo work is a lot different than what we hear him do for Duran, but in our opinion – it also shows just how talented and versatile he is (and how lucky Duran is to have him as a guitarist!).

Check it out and feel free to leave FRIENDLY comments on YouTube.   Share the video on Facebook and Twitter, and spread the word. If you haven’t already followed Dom on Twitter, liked his page on Facebook, or done the same with Blue to Brown on FB…we’ve got links for you!

Dom Brown on Facebook

Dom Brown on Twitter

Blue to Brown on Facebook

-R

 

 

 

John Frusciante and Duran Duran – a Red Hot Match up??

As many now know, it was announced last night that John Frusciante will be making a guest appearance on the next Duran Duran album.  News had initially been leaked early Monday morning (US time) through Guitar Magazine.  At that time, the news was largely dismissed as rumor, given that Duran Duran management (or as we lovingly refer to them – DDHQ) had not confirmed.

Let me kindly repost the statement, copied directly from Duranduran.com:

April 23rd, 2014

We were holding this exciting news because we were hoping to give you full details when we announced, but as word has leaked out, catching us rather off guard, we wanted to confirm… yes it’s true, the extraordinarily talented John Frusciante has indeed been doing some work from his home base in California on our new album. The tracks have been going back and forth via the internet, and we are thrilled with the results. We are all such big fans of John’s work and are honoured to have him adding his magic to the record! There are no current plans for John to tour with us, but his guitars sound incredible on the tracks.

Hoping to have more news for you soon.

– Simon, John, Nick & Roger”

Naturally, that news took many of us…many of us who are fans and supporters of Dom Brown, by surprise.  Would he appear on the album at all?  Would Dom tour with the band?  Thankfully, while I was in the midst of a book signing in LA (another blog, another time), @durantigger dared to ask the question to DDHQ and they responded quickly saying that Dom would appear on the album…and from what I know, he will also be touring.  

When news of John Frusciante guesting on the album first broke, I took to Spotify to really listen to his work.  I know the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers , but had I really listened to the guitar enough to draw any sort of conclusion?  Probably not. Then I listened to John’s solo work from Enclosure, a very recently released album.  It is incredibly different from his work in Red Hot Chili Peppers. Truly, the styling could not be more different.  Clearly he is a very talented and versatile guitarist, but whether or not his work will properly mesh with that of the band is yet to be heard (by fans). It is clear that most fans are thrilled with the news, with very few dissenting opinions.  

As I type this, I know what many of our readers are waiting to read. They’re hoping for some drama, some reaction from me on a personal level.  The fact is, I can’t comment or react to something I haven’t heard.  I won’t comment on their choice to work with someone in addition to Dom Brown, because truthfully, it is not my band. I’m just a listener.  I don’t have any idea what the band is thinking.  I never do. I know that I’m ready for some new music, and I’m hoping that at some point before I lose my hearing to old age, we’ll get some. I know that the band threw out a years worth of material to start anew here, and that it’s all part of the creative process. I also know that before this process ends for them, it is entirely possible that they change their minds again and start over. You never know, and I’m just not going to react to something until I’ve heard it.  And then…you’ll get my opinion on whether or not this worked.

-R

 

Today in Duran History

Alright all of you 2005 Astronaut tour-goers, this one is for you!!

On this date in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA!  Who was there??

On another fun, yet entirely random note, I had a dream last night. It is very rare that I’ll dream about Duran Duran (because let’s face it – that’s a sign that it’s time for a vacation.), but last night it happened. I don’t know where I was or why I was there, but I was speaking with a woman who had short blonde hair.  She was thin, a little older than me, and spoke with a friendly, but clipped English accent (very similar to that of my mother-in-law, oddly enough).  I didn’t recognize this person, but in my dream I knew who she was and that she was to be trusted.  (dreams are so bizarre sometimes) For some reason I was telling her that we still (I’m assuming I must have been talking about Daily Duranie) get questions all the time about Dom and whether or not he’s touring with the band. For some reason it must have been quite a while since any of us had seen him with the band.  (Probably because it HAS BEEN…) The lady turned towards me and I noticed she was stacking Dom’s CDs on a folding table in front of us, and she said “Yes, but he won’t be touring with the band. He’s going north…and then on to Italy.”  Italy?!? Admittedly geography is not my best subject, but Italy is definitely not north of the UK on the world maps I’ve seen lately! I must have given her an odd look because she followed that sentence up with “You know he’s going to start playing oboe, right?”  <insert completely blank look here>

I remember going through the seven stages of grief right then in my dream, as I thought about how I was going to handle this information going forward, and then I woke up very confused.  What was that about?!

Oboe???  Interesting choice.

I need a vacation.  😀

-R

 

 

 

Today’s Date in Duran History – Simon, Simon, Simon…and Dom

Some bands have large fan bases that are happy to get new music. They pay to go to shows, they have fun, and that’s about the size of the fan/band relationship. Then there’s Duran Duran. They have people like me…who are intense (let’s not call it an obsession), long-time fans.  Some of us even blog.

Aren’t they lucky?!?

Originally, I had a “Date in Duran history” all planned out for today, but during some research, I realized we had the date wrong on our calendar. There is a method to what might seem like madness here at Daily Duranie, and so rather than re-run a historical point that we did for this date last year, I came up with my own! The trouble is, it isn’t quite history yet. However, I break rules all the time, and today will be no exception.

Just a day or two ago, I may have casually mentioned that I was nearing the point of resorting to posting videos of Simon’s more “signature” dance moves over the years, using them of course as points of discussion…along with maybe some voting and judgment. (I call it “commentary”) Today I stumbled upon the following video link (linked because of these called “copyrights” that YouTube, and probably the band…insists we follow…imagine that!):

Simon’s short and sweet DD14 update!

So they’re in the “refinement” stage. You know what *I’d* like to know…if I were well, able to ask?? What do they ultimately end up doing with all of the material they scrap? Do they keep it in case they want to return to it at a later point, perhaps for another album or something? I can see a case being made either way. Maybe they want fresh material for each album, and maybe they figure that going back to look at earlier work isn’t exactly the same as starting fresh. But on the other hand, that’s so much creativity. Maybe keeping it all for future reference gets the juices flowing when they need ideas? If “someone” knows, I’d love to hear the answer and reasoning!

Can you imagine the amount of material they’ve scrapped over the years? I’d love to be let loose in that vault (of course that’s assuming they actually keep all of that somewhere)!

But of course, Simon was VERY quick to say he won’t give titles or any information and that we’re going to have to wait. Here’s the thing: I can understand the “No Spoiler” rule. There is something special about hearing a finished song or album for the first time without preconceived notion. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since that last happened for me. Like since hearing some of All You Need is Now. I am very much looking forward to the feeling that comes with hearing brand new music for the first time. Anticipation can be a wonderful thing. That said, hearing absolutely nothing from the band for months on end – or only hearing the things none of us really want to hear, such as: “We’re not going to tour anytime soon – we don’t NEED to tour” or “We’re not sure when the album is coming out, but it probably won’t be until at least 2015.” can be pretty disheartening. So Simon, it’s OK that you won’t share titles or information. I respect that (and I might not necessarily start posting those dance videos. Yet.) But sending us little clips now and again to let those of us who are not in the UK know that yes, you’re still alive and working, and maybe just telling us where you’re at in the whole process, isn’t so bad. It keeps that connection established from the last album going. Many of us have never even been in a studio, and  hearing about the actual process is interesting. It’s funny when you think about it – a lot of fans have been around for over thirty years now and yet there really aren’t many who know much about recording an album or all of the tedious work that goes into the effort. I know it’s commonplace to the band, but for us – the people who care – it’s kind of an intriguing mystery.

If Simon’s little video weren’t enough, I was pretty surprised yesterday afternoon as I checked into Facebook and Twitter between naps (I’m getting over a bad cold and the couch has been my friend this week) to see that Dom Brown is actually alive, and not just an enigma that briefly appears to announce his next gig date on Twitter or Facebook. No, no. Dom showed up yesterday to mention that his wife (I applaud Martha!) has been getting on his case lately (I believe the words “kicking my butt” were used – which makes me like her even more!) to engage on Facebook and Twitter more regularly.

Men are funny. I think they can be far more utilitarian in nature than women. We women tend to be (just a weensy bit) more emotional. We talk. For example, some of the shortest emails I EVER get are from my husband. I will send long, flowing emails to him and I’ll typically get a one or two word reply. (My reply: Really?? You were somehow able to extrapolate ONE thing out of that long email that needed a comment – and a one word comment at that?!) I think that many males, and celebrities are not entirely immune to this and  think that Twitter and Facebook are utilitarian devices only. They are to announce whatever important “thing” is going on – and briefly so. The idea of getting on there to actually chat and get to know people is probably mind boggling. “Why waste that kind of time” That’s why so many resort to only posting their latest sales pitch, their latest gig…and then they run. Fast.

Admittedly, it could be that female fans might be intimidating, downright scary at times…maybe we even “threaten” relationships in that if a wife/girlfriend/significant other sees tweeting or communicating with one specific person going on, she’s undoubtedly going to be concerned. Fair enough. I’m also married. I know how that can be, and I can’t promise that every female fan out there is going to be respectful. For that matter, even I can be cheeky – because it’s fun, and because I don’t actually take it seriously.  Others might, I suppose. But for the most part, I don’t think many of us are out to ruin someone’s life. My point is that we’re not that scary. While yes, there’s always a risk of running into a crazy person here or there, we as fans run that exact same risk, whether it’s with a band member or it’s other fans. You learn rather quickly how to deflect, avoid, and block. My question is how can Twitter be any more frightening than running into the same fans over and over on tour, at the studio, or anywhere else?? At least on Twitter and Facebook you can essentially block the people that scare you. In person, you really can’t.

I guess I’m in the camp that believes it’s important to engage with fans however you can and are comfortable. That last part is key – and I want to make sure that the people who are bound to reply to this post read that last part again. I’m not accusing anyone of misusing Twitter – because I think that everyone has to decide for themselves how to handle social media of any kind. Maybe that’s a departure from how I’ve felt in the past, and I’m OK admitting that.  So what do I mean by “comfortable”? If you’re only comfortable announcing your gigs – then hey, that’s fine. If you’re only comfortable keeping Twitter as a sales tool, then that’s what you have to do. If you’re the type that only uses Twitter to make statements and isn’t entirely interested in the back and forth type of communication that can happen – then that’s how you’ve got to keep it. That might not be ideal, but as I said, we all have our own areas of comfort.

Another issue I see: I don’t think that there’s anything necessarily wrong with replying directly to a fan, even a female fan, if you want; but I also know that not every musician or celebrity is comfortable doing so. I can’t decide if it’s because they’re worried about calling attention to a particular fan, or if it’s because they don’t want to see the “Please RT meeeeee!!!” tweets over and over. The same goes for following fans, I suppose. Once you’ve opened that door, it’s hard to explain why some are allowed through and others are not. I’m not sure that there’s a need to explain actions like that to anyone though. I certainly don’t substantiate the reasons why I’m friends with some people and not with others, but that’s just me. I can’t necessarily say where the line should be drawn – I only know how I handle it for myself. It’s tough thing to find fault with no matter what someone does, and each person has to find their own comfort zone. I have no way of knowing what it’s really like to be a well-known musician, rock star or celebrity because I’m just me: Rhonda from Southern California. I tend to treat people, my friends – whether they are male, female, rockstar or celebrity, pretty much the same. If I follow you on Twitter, I’m going to comment to you as though I think you’re reading, and I’m going to pal around with you as though we’re at least friendly if not actually friends. If that makes me odd, well…then I’m odd, and I embrace the description. I just figure that at the end of the day, we’re all just people anyway.

That’s the longest blog I’ve written in a long time.  Just imagine how it’ll be once the band actually DOES start announcing titles.  I’d better rest my fingers now while I can!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog (gig reviews!): It was the hottest day in July….

By Bryony Evens

Last month there were two live Duranie experiences for sweltering Londoners: Joanne Joanne, the all-female tribute band (strapline: ‘We don’t do Rio’) and Dom Brown’s Blue to Brown set with his dad, Rob, and their band. I went to both, and here’s my review of the gigs, plus a few pictures and videos.

The first gig – Joanne Joanne – was on a Saturday night, so with it being a weekend there was an opportunity for a few Duranie friends to travel to London to see the gig. It was lovely to see Sarah and Eileen, whose husband drove them up from Kent and joined us for the show, and George who lives in London anyway. We all had dinner at my place then headed off to Camden Town for the gig. The first people I bumped into were half the band getting dressed up in their stage gear in the loos (yep, it was a small venue!), so I wished them luck. I’d actually met the singer in the loos at a another gig couple of week’s previously – it must be a thing! There were quite a few people in the audience who I recognised, some from other Duran shows/events, and some from other gigs around London.

They started with most of the band on stage playing the opening of Planet Earth, with one joining in after the other, until ‘Simon’ came onstage to start singing. They’re all great musicians and play very well together. They don’t stand on stage in the same order as the boys, but I wasn’t sure if that’s just because it was a really small stage or because it’s what they prefer. There was an interesting mix of them talking about the songs as though they were the original band in a spoofy sort of way, and chatting about their own arrangements of them, which was fascinating. They don’t play Rio because Duran do, and someone has to play the other songs; however, I noted that they played the album version of My Own Way, rather than the single version which Duran relegated to the ‘must never be played again’ pile many years ago…

I don’t remember the exact setlist or order, but it was amazing to hear some of my absolute favourites live again, including Hold Back the Rain and Last Chance on the Stairway. I think I’ve only ever heard Duran play Last Chance as part of the electro-set on the RCM tour, so that was brilliant! I’m pretty sure this list will be all the songs they played, but if you were there and I’ve forgotten any, or I’ve accidentally added some they didn’t play, please comment below!

Planet Earth
Last Chance on the Stairway
Hold Back the Rain
Anyone Out There
Faster Than Light
Late Bar – they’re recording this as their first single
New Religion – this was perhaps the most energetic of the night and was very good indeed. The band said on Facebook afterwards that it’s their favourite to play live.
Careless Memories
Friends of Mine
The Chauffeur

Two videos I filmed so you can see what they’re like live – there are better videos on the band’s Facebook page and on YouTube though if you look for them!

In summary, it was fantastic to hear these beloved songs played in an upbeat and fairly rocky way, in a small venue, with a packed audience of music enthusiasts (except for the big pillock in front of me – ugh!) Sadly they’ve just announced their next gig on 23rd August – when I’ll be at a gig in Glasgow, but if you’re in London and have the chance to go, take it – they’re brilliant!

A very short snippet of Faster than Light
A very short snippet of Last Chance on the Stairway 

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The second experience was much stranger. The music was very straightforward the but the venue and clientele? Well…

George and I headed to the Voodoo Vault at the Embassy Club in Mayfair. All the tables were out on the street, leaving an empty restaurant inside. At the end of the empty room there was a door, leading into the dark. We followed a twisty-turny staircase down into the basement and as our eyes adjusted to the gloom, we realised Dom was standing at the bar right next to us. He’s quite small close-up, and was welcoming some friends. We beat a hasty retreat and tried to find the ladies – the place was  a bit of a rabbit warren but we eventually found them back up the stairs and down into another basement.

On our return to the venue, we queued up at the bar for a looooong time, eavesdropping Dom’s conversation with his friends (not really any way of avoiding it, we weren’t being rude, honest!) and eventually got served, for a vast price and including a service charge, despite having had to wait 5 minutes plus and having no table service! The menus were all photocopied and it looked like the venue had been kitted out really cheaply to look expensive. Some of the decor was pretty cool though, like the mirrored pillars with the strings of lights inside, but these did add to the general disorientation one felt in the room. It was also freezing with air conditioning, when the decor seemed to lend itself to being a hot-as-Hades dive bar…

We took our seats to one side in a sort of booth, so George had her back to the stage. We weren’t sure what to expect but it wasn’t too long before Dom, his dad and the rest of the band took to the stage. From where we were, the drummer was round a corner in an alcove so we couldn’t see him, but there was a bass player and keyboardist backing up Dom on guitar and Rob as singer and bongo player. The musicianship was faultless and Rob is a very entertaining frontman. He had a proper bluesman’s hat, and a stream of amusing patter, dealing with things like the sinking bongos and getting folk to sign up on the mailing list with wit and a gruff sense of humour. His voice is properly gravelly and suited the music perfectly . Sorry Rhonda, I’d never listened to Blue to Brown before going to the gig, so I can’t tell you what they played or if it was anything you particularly wanted to hear. However, great blues played live is the best way to hear it, I reckon! George and I both agreed that there was one track which particularly stood out for us – don’t know which one, I’m afraid, but it might have had a girl’s name in it?

By the time the band went into some cover versions (the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd), there were a few people dancing, including an older couple who obviously really loved the Stones. Dom’s rendition of Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix was a particular highlight for me. About half way through, some girls came to stand near us and one was doing really weird dancing right in front of the band, hitching up her skirt and not in time with music at all. In fact, the audience was quite a mixture of people who were obviously fans of the band and there for the music, and some who didn’t seem to know quite what was going on. The strange wavy girl was escorted away from the dance floor by friends towards the end of Blue to Brown’s set, though there were plenty of other people up and dancing and obviously having a great time.

I didn’t think I’d be able to face Rhonda if I didn’t take any pictures, so I did my best with my phone camera in the dodgy lighting. Sorry they’re not better!

In short, the music was great, though next time I’d like to be in a proper music venue with a good view of the stage to see what all the musicians were doing. My view of Dom’s guitar was blocked by something between our booth and the stage, which was slightly annoying. However, it was a free gig and the band obviously enjoyed the chance to play up a storm together live. I think I later discovered the reason for the strangeness – I mentioned it on Facebook and a friend told me that the venue is ‘a notorious coke den for the rich’. That would certainly explain it, so next time, I expect Dom to break into White Lines Don’t Do It!

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https://www.facebook.com/BluetoBrown
www.bluetobrown.com

Bryony Evens has been an unashamed pop music fan for the last 30-odd years. Here’s all you need to know in musical terms: first album: Super Trouper by ABBA; first single: Rio; all-time favourite song: Dr Mabuse by Propaganda; favourite band: you need to ask?!; favourite solo artist: Liverpool’s elusive Thomas Lang; all-time perfect non-DD album: ABC’s Lexicon of Love; guaranteed mood-lift song: the 12” of Walk Out to Winter by Aztec Camera; compulsory-to-dance-to song: OT Quartet – Hold That Sucker Down (Builds Like a Skyscraper mix); favourite classical music: Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Rach 3 and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances; first gig: The Sugarcubes; bands seen live most often: either Duran Duran or Misty’s Big Adventure; next gig: Glasgow’s A New International – truly a band to discover; best new album: Electric by the Pet Shop Boys. She loves to sing. She also plays the viola badly.