Monday, 20 February 2017

1995 SHARKS The Orange in West Ken

Hard to believe, but it looks like I didn't mention Sharks gig at The Orange in West Kensington 1995 - lineup: Spedding, Snips, Nick Judd, Jackie Badger (Parsons) and Blair Cunningham. As luck would have it December 6th is a freezing cold snowy night and public transport is being delayed or just plain cancelled.

We're all panicking cos it looks like drummer, Blair Cunningham isn't going to make it, but somehow he does. There's a rumour that Bill Wyman's coming, but he fails to materialize, however Mike Batt manages to struggle through the now very inclement weather as does my brother and many friends and acquaintances.

Essentially the gig is to promote the new album 'Like A Black Van Parked On A Dark Curve' originally released on Bubblehead Records and is still available (now from Talking Elephant who also have First Water and Jab It In Yore Eye).

The dressing room window is broken and tiny snowflakes settle on the inside - kind of festive, but it's so cold I can't stop shaking and am wearing fingerless mittens to stop my hands from icing up.

We go on to an introduction from Tim James (from the film Funny Man) The stage is tiny - not much space - Steve moves fast and takes no prisoners.

Steve Parsons, Chris Spedding, Jackie Badger + Nick Judd
01. Wake Me When It's Time To Dance
02. Gone To The Dogs
03. Jimmy Bell
04. Perfect Days
05. Die For Love
06. Sophistication
07. Blues Rags and Hollers
08. The First Things
09. Cry Like A Baby
10. Can't Stop Thinking About Me
11.White Man
12. Music Break Out
13. Snakes and Swallowtails

It's a good night and the audience seem to have fun - we'd rehearsed the set but had not even thought about an encore - we came back on and played Blue Suede Shoes!

We learned later (from Mojo magazine) that Busta died that night in Memphis. Although it was great to be part of the gig, I would have gladly have given it up to see him play with Sharks again.

From SHARKS Facebook site:

Sharks band · November 7, 2016
  When Steve was putting a band together in 1977 guitarist John Bentley (later of Squeeze) recommended Jackie Badger for the bass guitar slot. Jackie was just calling time on her all-girl band Mother Superior (appeared on the Cliff Richard BBC TV show and backed the ‘Tainted for Life’ star on a Chuck Berry song!) so was available to join the band and record the Video Kings album for Jet Records. 
When the band was laid to rest Steve and Jackie started dating and married shortly after. As Jackie Parsons she played on the Snips 9 0’ Clock single and the La Rocca album. This led to her playing with the Chris Spedding band on a Canadian/N American tour in the winter of 78/79. 
In 1994 she picked up Sharks duties, playing on the Dark Van album and the one-off 20th anniversary gig at the Orange. Nowadays, amongst other things, she is a crucial member of Team Sharks. Steve and Jackie’s daughter, Rosie P, is the drummer/vocalist in the Leeds based band Autobodies Rosie is also a member of Team Sharks

Chris Spedding: 
‘Andy Fraser, Busta Jones and Dave Cochrane raised the bar pretty high for our bass players. After playing with Video Kings, Jackie Badger came along and jumped over that bar effortlessly on Steve’s La Rocca album, which I produced, and she continued to play exemplary bass on the live promo tour we did in North America. She also contributed some fine work to the Dark Van album, so we are honoured to have her as a Sharks band member.’

Snips: ‘It’s obviously hard to ‘big up’ the missus but suffice to say that I hired her for her bass playing ability long before romance reared its silky head. Now that my daughter plays drums and has a lovely voice it is theoretically possible to form an all singing, all dancing Parsons Trio. The world holds its breath.’
Jackie Parsons Thanks guys. The pressure was all mine! That was some seriously good music to be part of.

Church Bone-Idol Go team Snips


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