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Here and Now - September 28th, 1980

 

Articles in the Here and Now column of the Eastern Evening News on Monday September 28th, 1980 included an article by Colin Cross on the local JBs Band with JB standing for the Jolly Butchers public house in memory of Black Anna who was a legendary Norwich pub entertainer. The band included such local music luminaries as  Mike Parle and Alex Atterson.

The column included the usual list of coming concerts which included Bad Manners at Tiffanys of Great Yarmouth a Nashville Cavalcade show at Norwich Theatre Royal. A new venue had been set up at the Globe Inn, Wells, with artists lined-up including the Stingrays, Peter Bellamy, Zorro and the Cosmo Jazztet. The Jubilee Jazzband were also appearing at Norwich Festival House and Camel, Split Enz and Hazel O'Connor had been lined-up for the University of East Anglia.

An advert showed some famous rock names due to appear at West Runton Pavilion including Tygers of Pang Tang, the Dead Kennedys (admission 1.80), Slade (only 2), The Real Thing and The Four Tops. Nine Below Zero had appeared at Norwich nightspot Cromwells.

The growth of jazz in the area was also highlighted, along with a new series of talent shows about to start at the Talk of East Anglia.

The two main pieces was the announcement of a new series of gigs organised by the UEA at a variety of venues which were designed to beat those "back to studies blues."

Attractions included Q Tips, Weapons of Peace,  Gino Washington, Fischer Z, the Stiff Records tour (including Any Trouble, Tenpole Tudor and  Dirty Looks). The column seemed to highlight so many music venues that either no longer exist or have long stopped live music.

My main article in this column was a piece on traditional Norfolk folk singer Peter Bellamy who had just returned from Australia. The article was headed "Folk star Peter gens up on old Henry" and is reproduced below.

 

Norwich's traditional folk star Peter Bellamy has just returned from a gruelling 31 dates in 35 days tour of Australia.

Despite spending most of his time either travelling or singing, Peter also had time to do some research into the history of Henry Cabell, a convict who was shipped  down under in the 18th century and became a rich landowner and the inspiration for a folk opera "The Transports" written by Peter a few years back.

Touring round the country, Peter found numerous descendants of old Henry.

During the tour Peter featured a variety of folk material from songs from The Transports to his own settings of Rudyard Kipling works and historical Norfolk folk songs.

Peter is sad at the decline of the folk scene in this country: "I just hope we can get something started again although I make no predictions on that point," he said adding that he hoped to make further tours of Australia and the United States in the future.

"It was my second trip this year and it was fascinating to meet the descendants of Henry Cabell. On top of that the traditional Norfolk folk songs went down very well.

"The Australian folk scene is rather like that of England 10 years ago. It is vibrant and alive. They are full of enthusiasm and that makes up for any lack in technique they may have," Peter said.

"While in Australia I met June Whittaker who is writing a trilogy of novels about Henry and the first of these will be published in March. I have been invited to go out and sing my Transport songs and I hope I shall be able to fit that in with my other commitments," he said.

Meanwhile Peter has lined-up three appearances locally. He will be at the Globe, Wells on October 10th, Yarmouth Folk Club on October 15th and Lowestoft Folk Club on October 24th.

As a footnote Peter told me that three of Henry Cabell's fellow convicts shipped with him to Australia had the surname Bellamy!

Album reviews in the column included One Trick Pony by Paul Simon, A Case of the Shakes by Dr Feelgood), Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables from the Dead Kennedys and Purity of Essence by the Rumour.

Below are the albums reviewed by myself in this column:

 

One Trick Pony - Paul Simon (***)

One of those difficult albums to review that produces a mixture of emotions. Sometimes you love it, sometimes it's infuriating, but always it's interesting. Simon's first album for many a season is a mixed bag. Of course, there are no classic melodies similar to those that liberally littered Simon's association with Art Garfunkel. Here the songs are sharper, coarser and influenced more by jazz overtones than folk. "Late in the Evening" makes a worthy single. It's one of those songs that grows with the rampant horn section particularly impressive.  In comparison "That's Why God Made the Movies" is a slower more thoughtful number. "One Trick Pony" and "Ace in the Hole" are up-tempo numbers. Some of the other offerings are rather lightweight but the overall effect is an acceptable album that perhaps is a little disappointing when set beside Simon's previous achievements.

Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys (***)

The ultimate in bad taste. Dead Kennedys are the antiChrist of music and so blatent is the sickness of this album that it doesn't have the repellent effect that it is meant to have. In fact without the lyric sheet you would be immune from shock simply because singer Jello Biafra's vocals are largely incomprehensible. The DKs hail from California and have already enjoyed success in the alternative sharts with "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday in Cambodia, both of which are on this album. The fist of these is a savage attack on Governor Jerry Brown. Other tracks are equally tasteless with such titles as "Kill the Poor," "Forward to Death," "When Ya Get Drafted" "Drug Me, "Chemical Warfare," Stealing People's Mail" and "Ill in the Head." The DKs set out to insult our musical intelligence ... They succeed and make the Sex Pistols sound like Abba. The music seems irrelevant, suffice it to say that it's lousy but I would like to add that the record still fascinates me

Purity of Essence - The Rumour (**)

When the Rumour make an album without Graham Parker it loses its bite. Without Parker's guttural voice all that really is left is a collection of farily chirpy and harmonious pop songs. Purity of Essence has a lack of purpose and character, although the songs are pleasant. "Little Red Book," the single, is as good as anything else on the album. Throughout the guitar work is competent and the vocals give a 60s feel, particularly on tracks like "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" and "Houston." Overall the LP is unfortunately slightly lacking in ideas, slightly out-dated and somewhat directionless.

Finally the column included the top 10 singles supplied by Top Deck Records of Norwich, the alternative top 10 supplied by Backs Records of Norwich and the top 10 albums supplied by Robins Records of Norwich.

Top spots went to Masterblaster by Stevie Wonder (singles), Requiem 12 inch by Killing Joke (alternative) and Scary Monsters by David Bowie (albums).

Notes: Peter Bellamy died in 1991 at the age of 47