Friday, October 24, 2008

Davy H Is Unwell

My mate Carlos and I went to see Billy Franks at The Troubadour Club on the Old Brompton Road last night. If you've been lurking round here for a while you'll know all about my affection for the late, lamented Faith Brothers and it was terrific to see their prime mover (with right hand man and bassist Lee Hirons) on homeground. Terrific too to be at The Troubadour for the first time - it was one of the great music venues of the 1950s and 60s (Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Sandy Denny and Jimi Hendrix all played there) and is everything you'd imagine such a place to be - warm, friendly, intimate; checked tablecloths in the restaurant.

Unfortunately, the draught beer was off last night and Carlos and I resorted to the wine - er, quite a lot of it....and I am not, to put it mildly, in the best of form today. I think I'll be OK if I don't move my head for another six hours.

Billy was fabulous. He played two sets - an opener of Faith Brothers/originals, a closer of covers and requests. With only this rather splendid keyboardist filling the spaces that the Faith Brothers used to wash with horns, the spirit of early Springsteen was even more obviously evoked than usual, so I couldn't resist in that second set asking slightly cheekily for 'Born To Run' which the band performed quite, quite brilliantly.

Franks clutches his light blue Strat and works the crowd like he's headlining Wembley, but thankfully for us, if perhaps unfairly for him, he's just two feet away in a tiny basement bar.

Go see if you can; he's 'in residency' there every Thursday. Entry is a fiver!

The Faith Brothers - 'Fulham Court' (1984)

The story behind this song told far more eloquently than I can here (scroll down) - thought of you when he played this Lee.

Back with Friday night mallarkey later. If the drugs work.


  1. Bacon butties if you eat meat, big mushroom and egg rolls if you don't. Works a treat washed down with a bottle of fizzy vimto.

    I loved the Faith Brothers. The man should be as big as Weller, if not bigger. Damn shame.

  2. I forgot Lee Hirons was in the band, I think him and his brother Jamie went to my school. At least I knew who the Hirons were, must ask my sister about that I think she knew them.

  3. Aaah Davy, Davy, Davy. I can't tell you how much I envy your adventures last Eventide; if not this morning! (When you're hot 'n' thirsty, wine aint a good move m boy).

    I've trumpeted The Faith Bros for many a year. (Twas nice to read some of Lee's archives too; if not my rambling comments). Funnily, am listening to 'Country Of The Blind' just now.

    I think I told you of how Billy Franks kindly sent me CDs of the old n newer stuff when I politely asked him. And it was free - though I did send a donation. It's not too often I get excited about anything these days, but to have the 2 old FB albums again was just great; a different kind of wonderful perhaps!

    His solo albums 'Genius and Grace' and 'Sex, Laughter and Meditation' albums are well worth a listen.

    Asking for 'Born To Run' Davy?!

    Did he do 'Easter Parade'? I may have cried at that point.

    Anyway, the only cure for a hangover I've found ... is time!

  4. Aaah Dickie, Dickie, dearest Dickie, we would have loved to have you there. He didn't do 'Easter Parade', sadly - but a blistering 'Stranger On Homeground' second song in was rather splendid.

    I shouted for 'Born To Run' because it seemed to fit the general party mood and my earlier request for 'The Tradesman's Entrance' (which clearly didn't) was met with a Franks grimace and a 'Er, maybe later'.

    I am starting to feel vaguely human again thanks - time the healer, time the revealer, time the destroyer, etc.

  5. Aw, get well soon, mate, once I hit my thirties the hangovers became so unbearable I had to quite drinking for good. It was either that or become a complete alcoholic, and I would have been a crap alcoholic. Oh, and whilst you need water, not really icey cold water, it seems to be worse for a hangover.

  6. It's got to be a bottle of IRN BRU (glass bottle only, and chilling in the fridge for at least 8 hrs, we Scots prepare for our hangovers), rolls and lorne (square) sausage and the healing power of soul music, after which you will be alright.

  7. Actually, I think I might be ready for a pint of Guinness...

  8. davy H,
    You are a fuckin' legend.
    Due to this post I have found a song that I have been trying to find for over 20 years.
    In about 1986 on holiday in Polperro I met a girl who gave me a mixtape which was full of northern soul and various indie stuff but no tracklisting, a few months later the tape snapped not long after the girl and i lost touch.There was one song i particularly loved but never found out who it was by until now.
    After downloading the tune on this post, I decided that the Faith Brothers warranted further investigation so went to Billy Franks website downloaded the live and b-sides and lo and behold "The Easter Parade".
    I could kiss you!!
    It's not quite as momentous as i remember but still a great song and an old mystery solved. Now if I could only find that girl's number, she came from Ashington if I rember correctly.
    I am now raising a gin and tonic to you.

  9. Ah, I love stories like that Drew.

    Maybe the version of 'Easter Parade' you have is 'not quite so momentous' because it is the 'alternative' one which was a B-side, rather than the one from the 'Eventide' album? They are quite different. Let me know if so and I'll upload the other.

    Oh, and Ashington girl - please contact us.

  10. I don't know how more grateful i can be but if you upload the other version i will be forever in your debt.
    This has made my weekend and it's only friday night.

  11. OK Drew, as we're not absolutely certain which one you've already got, here are both!

    Faith Brothers - 'Easter Parade'(Eventide version)

    Faith Brothers - 'Easter Parade' (earlier version)

  12. It was the Eventide version and it is as momentous as I thought it was. Covered in goosebumps and a tear in my eye, that may just be the gin.
    Thank you


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