Hatfield & The North – Match report.
One of those marvellous evenings where the audience was so rapt, quiet and attentive, I swear I could occasionally hear Jinx, passing wind, mid-song.
For some reason these guys seem to have have aged more than others from the same era. Sinclair resembles some scatter brained chemistry teacher from a Carry On film with a hair style that Gollum would be proud of, Phil Miller pulled faces the likes of which I haven’t seen outside the World Gurning Championships and drummer Pip is quite definitely a ‘geezer’, with the darts player physique, shirt and mullet that we’ve come to expect from perhaps Jim Davidson or Greg Lake. They all actually resembled minicab drivers at the end of a very long shift. However, as they were all reading charts, the absence of the Egg Man wasn’t nearly as pronounced as I’d expected.
My favourite, ‘The Yes/No Interlude’ ,which closed the first set was certainly as good a performance as I’ve heard this year. Short break to allow everyone to visit what must be the best stocked ‘merch’ stand I’ve seen in a long time, I bought the ‘Hatwise Choice’ CD; Jinx a dapper polo shirt with the ‘anticlockwise’ logo.
Friendly neighbourhood bootlegger, Missing Ian, used our table to house his covert minidisc action, during the second half (which started with a jaw dropping 35 minute long medley featuring, among another five or six tunes, the wonderful God Song) so I hope to see/hear what was recorded soon.
My only concern was that they weren’t in any way loud to begin with and kept getting told to turn it down due to noise restrictions involving the venue’s new berth. Quite how the Wishbone Ash chaps will fare later this week, is anyone’s guess. I think the Ferry could have a serious problem on their hands if this is a typical night.
Two and a half hours of a music that was quite unusual in it’s day and is perhaps even more so now.
Labelling this as prog-rock is, and was, probably unfare. It’s jazz, ma’an, hmmm naice!!!
The performance was sublime and level of musicianship took me by surprise (despite the fact that, as I took great delight in telling everyone in earshot, this was not the first time I’d seen them)
Icing on the cake was provided by Matching Mole’s ‘Nan’s True Hole’ (whose title I once knew the significance of but have since forgotten# ) as one of the encores.
Bring on Henry Cow, and then The National Health!!!
The Thinking Man’s Billy Sloan
# Severe Trivia Note: Peel & Walters office at Radio 1 also bore this name but I don’t know which came first and I can’t be arsed running anagram software on it.
Pip Pyle died shortly after.This is his last gig