FL11 All pages - Page 126



Made in England
with Parmesan cheese.
Death is a cold lasagne, suspended
in deep freeze.’
“Waiter! More Parmesan!” n
Man, what a month! I left you
last month with the knowledge that I
was going to see Aynsley Lister again,
and then Lynyrd Skynyrd. Well, not
only did I see Aynsley at the Black
Horse Festival, near Hastings, but
then I found out that he was supporting Skynyrd, which was a huge added
bonus. The Black Horse gig was in a
big marquee with about 400 people,
and was hugely successful. Lister
played for about an hour, and ended
with stunning versions of Purple Rain
and Hush. But then, a week later, he
was opening in front of 3000 people,
and although he only had half an
hour, he certainly made a few thousand new friends.
Within a few notes of his opening
song, Big Sleep, Chilly had turned
round to me with his mouth open, and
as the last notes of Balls of Steel
brought the set to a close, Chilly was
out of the door and buying the CD,
getting it signed by the man himself.
Richard Stangroom and Rob Hughes
were there as well, and Stan had
taken my advice a few months ago
and had bought a few of Aynsley’s
albums, so he was blown away to see
him live. Chilly hasn’t stopped raving
about the album, Equilibrium, and by
the time you read this I have no doubt
he will have purchased the whole
back catalogue. I checked, later in the
week, where he was playing later in
the year, and, guess what, he’s playing Aldershot in December, about two
miles from Chilly’s place – could be
messy.
And then there was Skynyrd…
126 FREE LINE
I can’t begin to describe what happened in the following hour and a half.
Guitars, more guitars, screaming guitars - that was the gist of it, but there
was so much more. Singer Johnny
Van Zandt not only belted out every
song with gusto, but he played the
audience like a huge instrument, and
we weren’t allowed to rest for one
moment. When Simple Man was
introduced for ‘all of our brothers in
rock’n’roll heaven’, I thought that Rob
was going to burst either into flames
or tears. His favourite ever Skynyrd
song, and he was really hoping they’d
play it, and oh, they played it! Gimme
Three Steps, The Breeze, and Bullets
all followed before the crashing finale.
Sweet Home Alabama was greeted
like the National Anthem (which, of
course, it is), and every word was bellowed out, from on and off stage. Then
followed the mock ‘goodbye’ before
the encore to end all encores.
‘What song is it you want to hear?’
Pigeons asleep in Trafalgar Square
would have been startled from their
perches by the volume of ‘FREEBIRD!’ that was bellowed out. And
Freebird it was. When I last saw them,
at Wembley in 2003, I was lost in a
blur of air guitar heaven, so didn’t
actually see them perform the song,
just heard it. This time, however, I
watched every move, sucked in every
note, and couldn’t stop my hands
gripping my imaginary guitar a dozen
times. If there is a more incredible live
performance of a song I really can’t
wait to see it, because I haven’t yet.
All in all, an incredible evening that
will live long in the memory.
Trolling through the Aynsley Lister
website later that week, I saw that he
was playing a gig in Leamington Spa
with four or five English blues guitarists, and one of them I’d recently
read about in Classic Rock magazine.
She’s a girl of about 20, called Joanne
S h a w Ta y l o r, a n d t h e m a g a z i n e
review raved about her. So, I bought
her album, White Sugar, and now it’s
my turn to rave about her. Bloody hell!
I mean, Bloody Hell!! From the opening fuzzed-out blues-rock of Going
Home to the stunningly beautiful
slow blues of the eight-minute closing track, Blackest Day, you can’t take
your ears off her. Her voice sounds
like a combination of Janis Joplin and
Bonnie Raitt – no way would you say
she was merely 20, and her guitar
sounds incredible. I think I might just
have to pop up the M40 in November,
as I think this girl is definitely one to
watch.

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