Saturday, 4 August 2012

MICHAEL DES BARRES: Israeli review

When I was a young hippy anarchist all those years ago, a lot was talked about the concept of the 'Global Village'. I always loved the idea that all the peoples of the world would be united through the mystick power of rock and roll, and although I never really thought it through it was a concept that stuck itself deep in my psyche. Now I am a middle-aged and fairly battered hippy anarchist I am particularly impressed by the way that Gonzo artists are loved and appreciated across the globe. I take a childlike delight in reposting all the foreign reviews I can find, like this one from Israel...

Carnaby Street
Gonzo 2012

The rocking nobleman revisits the place of the best threads in town to stitch a new gown for wearin' 'n' tearin'.

There are several sorts of aristocrats on the scene: there are new knights like Paul McCartney and faux peers such as Lord Sutch, and then there's Michael Des Barres, a genuine marquis. With glam outfit SILVERHEAD in the early '70s and more intelligent DETECTIVE later in the decade, and the front position with POWER STATION when they played Live Aid, one might not see the wild man behind Des Barres' debonair facade, yet on stage, Michael has always been a fount of untamed energy. Those who heard him belt out "Good Rockin’ Tonight" have surely missed the singer since he changed the mike stand for acting career. But finally the "MacGyver" assassin is back with a vengeance - still rockin' good.

The vim is still there, so when this ten-tracker fizzles out with the booty-shaking "My Baby Saved My Ass" one feels like having drunk from that fount, and if there's a sign of the lord's 64 years Des Barres blurs the time with the slow-burning opener "You're My Pain Killer": the shimmering soulful blues with a pulled punch in the groove that grows its weight on the organ slide and finds resolution later on in the streamlined "From Cloud 9 To Heartache". Tripping down the memory lane, to "Granny Takes A Trip" and beyond, in the Mod mode yet with sharp modern edge, Michael delivers catchy "Hot And Sticky" and "Forgive Me" that Steve Marriott would have been proud of, and then comes, his voice richer in tone than ever before, with the title piece. "I was 19 in 1967, on the streets of London, I was in Heaven... Everything you've heard is everything I see", goes "Carnaby Street": here's swinging London, its myth clad in a kaftan embroidered with guitar-and-bass rocking patterns and infectious "ooh-ooh's", before the boogie of "Route 69" spins the globe forward and gospel-infused ballad "Please Stay" picks up where the evergreen "Stay With Me Baby" left off.

Class oozing out of every sonic pore, it's a high-spirited record. The marquis may have lost his locks but not his grit. Great to have his Lordship back on-stage.


Check him out at his Gonzo Artist Page

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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.