“HUNDRED SEVENTY SPLIT” at Henry’s Blues Garage
October 2012 in Isernhagen-Hannover, Germany
Seventy Split”, are making their debut appearance tonight, and all
systems are getting a green light.
friend Anita from Berlin is with us, it’s her first time at Henry’s.
Anita arrives at 6:00 PM and not a soul in sight. We arrive at 6:30 and
things are starting to come to life. We start off at the food vender
wagon, two nice gentlemen are working there, and on the inside walls they
have posted photos of every band they’ve had the pleasure to meet. This
leads to a vigorous conversation in music and artists, while dining on
bratwurst, in the drizzling rain of a warm October evening.
move inside, buy our tickets, acquire our drinks as I find a chair. I sit
right in front of a Cadillac front-end, that part of the stage is resting
on. Soon after, I decide that planting myself on the overstuffed sofa, in
the corner was a far better and more comfortable option. With a table
included I drink my cola and observe the audience that is building in
Slow As Molasses On Frozen Tundra:
Everyone seems to be in slow motion. Hardly moving, and with no real
sense of direction. The
regulars head for the balcony upstairs, with their smokes and drinks in
hand. One by one they enter the main area, as if stunned, stoned or
simply indifferent to the overall situation. There are whispers, quiet
talking and so far no visible enthusiasm from anyone. The drizzle outside
continues, as folks dribble in, falling into position.
Leo’s son Tom is setting up the stage, checking equipment and doing the
fine tuning on the instruments. He has everything intact and ready to go.
Another hour and the room is starting to warm a little, the people too.
But nothing spectacular is apparent. Just a dull drone of sounds, and the
stereo blasting music mindlessly in the background. It’s a Tuesday night,
the second day of October, everyone is lackadaisical as if in a trance –
sleepwalking. The wait seems endless, I have no track of time, while
those around me keep checking their watches every few minutes, it must be
getting close. Joe comes out on stage, just to retrieve one of his
guitars, he returns to the security of the backstage area.
Brigitte and Anita roam around taking photos, and doing their usual
investigative work, snooping around as it were. They check the time and
move quickly to the front of the stage.
Rough Riders On An Oriental Carpet:
Henry introduces the band – short and sweet, and lets the bands music do
band members take their places, and launch right into “No Deal”, a nice
little rocker with excellent vocals by Joe, driving bass lines and
playing from Leo and kick ass drumming from Damon Sawyer. The audience
are attentive yet indifferent in general. Not to worry.
second third and fourth songs bring them to life. Leo’s brief chats from
the stage puts everyone at ease. The band plays on, their sound, energy
and passion are contagious, the audience starts moving their feet, their
hands and dancing in a slow moderate motion.
Loud and Proud:
Hundred Seventy Split perform brilliantly. Power, but not
blasting. Rockers and Ballads create the needed mixture and balance. A
three piece band, on an equal with the most popular bands in classic rock
history, but with a grasp on the modern technologies. By
the end of the first set, the audience was in the palm of these three
musicians hands. Introducing them to three new songs, soon to be released
on their new CD in March of 2013 didn’t hurt the cause either.
During a twenty minute break the band gave the audience enough time to
refresh themselves in drinks and having cigarette breaks.
second set started the same as the first – they jumped right on it, and
never backed off the hammer.
After every number the people in front of me were clinking their glasses
together, hugs all around, smiles and dancing going on all over the
venue. Feet tapping, knees bending to and fro, heads nodding….no one was
unmoved. The band won over another audience of music lovers, and they
(the band) can be very proud / happy to win over this die hard crowd.
The Audience Raves About Hundred Seventy Split:
this night Hundred Seventy Split are embraced as heroes, and have been
invited back next March of 2013, to promote their brand new CD release.
After the show, Henry was ecstatic about the entire performance, and HSS
have opened another door of welcome. I asked Joe Gooch what he thought of
the place, “It’s great, I love it, I don’t know why we haven’t played
here before, so many great acts have performed on that stage, the
audience was incredible”. Brigitte asked Leo, how was it that they
finally got booked to play here after so much time away? “I just got on
the phone, had a personal talk with Henry and we booked the date”. Leo
continued, “I like places like this, because they have a warm intimate
feel that I like, you can really communicate with the audience, and get
their immediate feedback”.
my chat with Damon, out by the front door, I asked him what it was like
working with Mike Vernon, in Damon’s studio? “It was great, sometimes I
was the producer, other times I was the engineer, and other times I was
performing on drums while he was working the controls”. Damon continued,
“I learned a lot from Mike, he is a hard working perfectionist, and never
stops until he’s satisfied”. I asked Damon if Mike discussed working with
Years After on their first three albums? Of course replied Damon, story
after story I heard, very interesting history of those early days”.
is also working with the band “Marmalade” a Scottish band, you may
remember their big top ten - pop hit “Reflections of My Life” reaching
number three in the United States singles chart and number ten on the
album charts, in December of 1969 – well, they’re back in the studio once
again, with Damon playing in the band.
this point in time Hundred Seventy Split is a very interesting musical
adventure for me.
exciting, with new material, new energy and sound. With all musicians
free to improvise at will. For those of you looking for unexpected
musical excitement, come out and see for yourselves what Hundred Seventy
Split, is all about - at a venue near you!