Flying High Helsinki 1971 (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 51)
Turku, Finland, – August 22, 1971
New Ways Train Train, I Got To Have A Song, I’ve Been Used, Situation, Jody
After losing Ron Wood and Rod Stewart to The Faces, Jeff Beck assembled a new incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group in 1971 which included Max Middleton on keys, Cozy Powell on drums, Clive Chaman on bass, and Bob Tench on vocals. This new line up featured more of a jazz and R&B sound than the first incarnation and can be attributed to Middleton’s keyboard style and Tench’s soulful vocals.
The recording claims to come from a pre-FM source and while you can never really be sure; this show was definitely professionally recorded and is in stereo. It’s a very compact, being only 40 minutes, high energy “balls to the wall” performance. The guitars and bass are very heavy sounding and the bands performance is aggressive.
All tracks come from the only two albums this line up recorded, neither of which had been released at this point. Rough And Ready would be released in October 1971 and Jeff Beck Group in April 1972.
Right from the start the band is on fire with “New Ways Train Train” and the bass is low in the mix for the first 30 seconds. “I Got To Have A Song” starts with a great funky jam between Beck and Middleton before the others join in. Things slow down only slightly for “I’ve Been Used” but quickly pick up again for “Situation”.
“Jody” is 14 minutes with a short drum break and includes “Ice Cream Cakes” not listed on the back cover. The band is heard tuning up as the tape cuts out so we can assume maybe more was played. Flying High is an older Empress Valley title and is packaged in a heavy cardboard sleeve with a great aerial shot of the band on stage. This is a must have for Jeff Beck collectors. The playing is outstanding with sound quality to match and the only downfall is that the tape is so short.