The Band Du Lac (ARMS-49/50PR)
Wintershall Estate, Bramley, Surrey, England – July 2nd, 1988
Disc 1: Celebration, Yes Indeed, Behind The Mask, Celebrate Our Love, I Missed Again, Stop, Conquistador, Throwing It All Away, Limelight, All I Need, Gin House, It’s In The Way You Use It, No One Is To Blame, Echoes In The Night
Disc 2: Wide-eyed And Legless, You Can’t Hurry Love, You Know I Love You, A Salty Dog, Inside Out, Hold On I’m Coming / Soothe Me/ You Don’t Know Like I Know, I Want To Know What Love Is, Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Night Time Is The Right Time, Cocaine, medley: Turn It On Again / Everybody Needs Somebody / Satisfaction / Midnight Hour / Turn It On Again, I Wish, fireworks
The Band Du Lac was initiated in the late eighties by Gary Brooker to be an occasional assembly of talent used for charity gigs in England. The latest appearance was last year in aid of HASTE (Heart And Stroke Trust Endeavour) and released on DVD as One Night Only. The first concert by this band was on July 2nd, 1988 at a lakeside stage at Wintershall Estate in Bramley, Surrey in 1988 in support of the King Edward VII Hospital. These shows are formal, black-tie, invitation only affairs and it’s a marvel that someone brought a tape recorder. The DAT stereo recording is very good bordering on excellent with an overall dull timbre to the entire recording. Some sections of the tape like during “You Can’t Hurry Love” are more distorted than others. ARMS is the first label to release this tape on silver disc and assign it to the Eric Clapton catalogue which is rather strange. He participates and is perhaps the most well known artist, but he didn’t organize the band.
The core of the band on this recording includes Gary Brooker, Phil Collins, Howard Jones, Mike Rutherford, Henry Spinetti, Sam Brown, Andy Fairweather Low, and Mel Collins. The set list is drawn from from their respective bands, solo material and concert standards. The tape begins as an announcer is speaking about the two hour show and an introduction of the band members to the opening strains of Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” followed by the Ray Charles tune “Yes Indeed”. Clapton plays “Behind The Mask” from his latest LP and Brooker sings “Conquistador”, the first of three Procol Harum tunes in the set. He introduces Phil Collins, who “will come and sing a Genesis song” before “Throwing It All Away”. Mel Collins adds beautiful flute accompaniment giving the song an added Selling England dimension. The people by the recorder start shouting out to Brooker before he sings “Limelight”, the song he sang on the Alan Parsons Project 1985 release Stereotomy. Mike Rutherford leads the band through the Mike And The Mechanics tune “All I Need” before the band play “Gin House Blues” with great Clapton solo.
In the second half Collins adds some fun with “You Can’t Hurry Love” and Brooker leads the band through “A Salty Dog”, a song which I’m sure Giorgio Moroder plagiarized for “Tony’s Theme” from the Scarface soundtrack. The band play two medlies in the latter part of the show. The first is with “Hold On I’m Coming”, “Soothe Me”, and the Peter Frampton song “You Don’t Know Like I Know”. The second is in “Turn It On Again” with “Everybody Needs Somebody” (credited to both Solomon Burke and The Blues Brothers), “Satisfaction” and “Midnight Hour”. Genesis began this on the 1983 tour augmented with hits of the day like “Karma Chameleon” but is truncated in this show. After the final song “I Wish” the taper recorded the fireworks display to celebrate the end of a successful concert. ARMS use several pictures of the event and the soundcheck in the afternoon on the back cover and produced a very nice title that is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)