Jeff Beck – Here And Beck (Scarecrow 091/092)

Here And Beck (Scarecrow 091/092)

Kurashiki Shimin Kaikan, Okayama, Japan – December 9th, 1980

Disc 1 (43:05):  Star Cycle, El Becko, Too Much To Lose, The Pump, Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Space Boogie, The Final Peace, Led Boots

Disc 2 (59:18):  Freeway Jam, Diamond Dust, Scatterbrain, Blue Wind, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, You Never Know, Going Down, Outroduction

Jeff Beck’s Okayama show on December 9th is the four show of what would be his final appearance in Japan for six years.  Here And Beckon Scarecrow is the first and only silver pressing of this audience tape, which seems to be the only tape in circulation for this date.  It is a fair audience recording, taped a distance from the stage with not much detail in the mix.  Although one’s ears will adjust to the low fidelity, it is aimed a Beck collectors only.  It is complete except for cuts after “The Final Peace,” “Blue Wind,” “You Never Know” and a small one 1:56 in “Scatterbrain.”

Unlike the Budokan gigs, this is very low key in front of a smaller audience.  Beck seems genuinely touched by the applause, dropping his bitterness inherent in other performances during this tour.  The There And Back setlist was instrumental except for Beck’s minimal vocals on “Going Down.”  Beck retains Simon Phillips on drums and Tony Hymas on keyboards and adds Mo Foster on bass whose style is similar to Stanley Clarke’s who was with Beck on his previous trip to Japan.

The show begins with the busy keyboards in “Star Cycle,” Becks’ more recognizable numbers followed by the new song “El Becko.”  Foster gives the same kind of funk mentality as  Clarke did in “Too Much To Lose” while Beck gives a summary of the Yardbirds in the long jam session, quoting from “Over Under Sideways Down.”

A full version of “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” is a nice respite before the pure rush of “Space Boogie.”  This is followed by “The Final Peace,” which was added to the previous evening’s show in Fukuoka and would be played only a couple more times over the course of the tour.  The slow, stately theme sounds even more majestic in this recording, sounding like it giving order to chaos.  It stands in contrast to the following “Led Boots,” with its Steely Dan like interpretation of Led Zeppelin.  

Next is a the Blow By Blow interlude featuring elongated versions of three songs from that album.  “Freeway Jam” is pushed to almost ten minutes with incessant riffing.  “Diamond Dust” starts off with Hymas on electric piano playing a pretty and melodic piece before the song kicks in and segues, as it did on the previous tour, with “Scatterbrain.”  Philipps’ drum solo is expanded to thirteen minutes long.

The set ends with “Blue Wind” which contains many quotes from other songs including his cover of Steve Wonder’s “Superstition.”  The encores begin with a ninety second “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” serving as an introduction to “You Never Know.”  And the final song is his cover of “Going Down” in which Beck enthusiastically shouts the chorus and plays call and repsonse games with Foster on the bass and Hymas on honky tonk piano.

Here And Beck is packaged by Scarecrow in a double slimline jewel case with very basic artwork.  Overall, it is a good title for the committed Beck collector, but there are better sounding tapes from his 1980 tour of Japan out there.

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