Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Live at Lunar Festival review

In case you didn't know Arthur Brown  is a legend. He is the man who bridged the line between trippy 60's psychedelic and 1970's shock rock and is now cited as an inspiration for the likes of alice cooper, Marylin Manson Etc Etc. you should also know his Hit 'Fire'*. More on that later.
I saw him casully meeting fans while on the way to the stage, in gull psychedelic warpaint and long flowing red gowns. Arthur played with a band who, collectively are about the same age he is, including  an awesome girl playing on guitar a man in a black hooded gown playing organs that sounded just like something out of the 1960's. it's rather amazing just how talented this band is. throughout the set it showed that Arthur has a great relationship with his band. He teased the guy on keys by pulling his keyboard off him and playfully fighting over the keyboard with him.
What is also surprising is how well his voice has held up. For a man in his 70's his voice still holds a huge power.  Maybe not hitting the high notes so much but the has the kind of bellow that can fill a room.
Things were made all the more exciting by the exotic dancer.  In fact that could have been a show on it's own. The obvious problem is that Arthur Brown only ever had the one hit, it would be rather unfair to call him a one hit wonder, but if he is then he's the greatest one hit wonder of them all. His newer material from his most recent record made up for it. With Arthur making damning socio-political statements about technology and it's effect on the way we live. what was also surprising is that it was all a lot more laid back than you might expect. it was almost jazzy, organ lead music at times rather than the hard rock psych' I was thinking of.
Arthur made a highlight the show by casually walking off stage and walking around the field singing the songs  as people kept a distance but also all whipped out their cameras to get a shot of him with his audience. Arthur headed back to the stage to perform a little monologue, a very surreal yet hilarious story of his mother telling him that One day you will headline a festival in Birmingham .... and you will say in a deep and commanding voice I AM THE GOD OF HELL FIRE! AND I BRING YOU.... FIRE!

Which of course lead  to a terrific performance of one of the best songs ever written.

This great gig was not over however, as Arthur once again left the stage backed by a brass band, the whole lunar crew, the guys in animal masks to the tune of DUHH DAHH DUR DUR DUU DUR DURR DUR DUR...

He walked right into the centre of the campfire (Now cordoned off) and, in a rather pagan ceremony, lit the wooden effigy of a bird playing guitar alight.

Who better to light the fire than the God of Hellfire himself?

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