2003 - Great Success for TEN YEARS AFTER in Europe

POSITIVE VIBRATIONS    -    Information, Photos, Reviews, Comments

TYA Fan Contributions from:
Tony Tilotta, Bryn Slack, Kay & Trevor, Jacky Moutaillier, Jirka Rogl, Giovanni Villani, Jason Ritchie, Batttttty, Silvia, Alan & Rosie, Epi Schmidt, Rainer Hüngerle

These Photos were taken in Austria by our friend Tony Tilotta






Wilbarston Hall (Northamptonshire/UK)  was the very first gig of the Europe tour 2003


A fan from England sent us his photo of TYA's gig in Kent/UK and wrote the following concert review:





 O.K. - the name thing first. Sure, I appreciate both sides of the debate, although not the intemperate language all too often associated with it. But look at it this way: if three original members of TYA want to reform - a fourth declining an invitation to join them - to play the music most closely associated with that name, and including in their number the founding member who not only came up with the name in question but was also their first manager, ask yourself this: do they really have the right to call themselves anything else?

 During the hour-long journey to the gig I ponder on my reasons for making it. My rock gig-going days have become somewhat a thing of the past. Certainly, it’s over thirty three years since I first saw this particular band, and over twenty nine since I last did so. What’s making me drive the 55 miles to the south coast of England to see them again tonight? Loyalty? Undoubtedly. Curiosity? Inevitably. Nostalgia? Plenty of that too. And a final incentive is an e-mail invitation from Leo to meet him after the gig. All things considered, I have to be there.

 Arriving outside the theatre at 8:30 I see that no-one could be accused of unfairly representing the act that will soon appear on-stage. The posters advertise “The Flashback Tour”, with three “original members” of TYA, and introducing the “sensational” Joe Gooch on guitar and vocals. I collect my pre-booked £15 ticket (£17.50 on the door) and wander inside.

 And inside - for the very good reason that there aren’t any seats - it’s standing room only. Looking around I see that the Astor is a small, old theatre, with a bar to the left and a low stage straight ahead, fronted by a strange archway. I seem to be one of only about thirty members of the audience; but gradually it begins to fill up. There’s no support act, but booming out over the P.A. is something that sounds like “Family’s Greatest Hits Live”. I get a drink and begin to take stock of my fellow audience members.

 Later, at their peak, they will number perhaps a little over a hundred, a fact which will prove to be the only disappointment of the evening. Gender? 90%+ male. Ethnicity? 100% white. Age? Resoundingly middle. Clearly, TYA will not be reaching out to a new rock generation tonight, although reconnecting with an old one will still be an achievement well worth making. I also realise that when I first saw TYA (May 1970), Leo - aged 26 - was not just the senior man on-stage, but probably one of the oldest guys in the entire hall. Now, in May 2003, at about the same age, Joe Gooch will not just be the junior guy on-stage but probably the youngest guy in the entire hall. Quite what that proves, I don’t know - but it’s an interesting reflection on something, all the same.

 But, at 9:10, the time for reflection is over: the lights go down and the music stops. A suitably respectful introduction is given - and then they’re on, with Leo, Ric and Joe in black, and Chick in blue. But what’s this? Leo now has a mike, and makes the first address to the audience: “Hi, how are you?” A few words too from Joe ... and then five familiar notes ring out. We’re off, with a blistering version of “I Woke Up This Morning“.


 I’m making notes, so I can confirm that the complete set list is as follows:

 1)  “I Woke Up This Morning” - same arrangement as on Ssssh! except that Joe does his own original solo. In less than a minute I realise that I am in the presence of a truly shattering talent. It’s that obvious, that quickly.

 2)  “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” - shorter lead/bass solo interface than of old, and a longer whole band jam element. It’s great to hear Leo’s bass playing, up against Joe’s lead, each note’s soft yet firm whumph! sounding like a bag of flour being dropped into a sandpit.

 3)  “Bad Blood” - after two from 1969, we jump twenty years to one from 1989’s About Time album ... and why not? It’s a great number.

Then Ric comes out to Joe’s mike, towel around his shoulders, and makes an announcement, which contains the following comments:

 “We know it’s a bit different without Alvin ... but we love playing with Joe ... he’s a monster guitarist ...”


The audience breaks out into a spontaneous round of applause, because after only three numbers, it is obvious to all present that Joe is indeed a world class addition to the line-up. But more of that later.

 4)  “I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always” - from Undead. Of all the numbers played tonight, this is the only one which Joe plays pretty much as Alvin originally played it. Great bass solo by Leo, who seems to be loving every second on-stage. In fact, they all do. The three original TYA members are all multi-talented guys, with a variety of different musical and commercial accomplishments to their names. Yet something tells me that nothing gives them more pleasure than to be doing what they’re doing right now.

 5)  “She Keeps Moving” - a new one, from the album out in September, we are informed. Includes a wah-wah pedal solo from Joe.

 6)  “Hear Me Calling” - Joe appears to add in a new verse - certainly, I’ve never heard the one that ends with the line “Then I’ll be leaving this town”. (But it doesn’t really matter.) Great organ solo from Chick.

 7)  Another new one, but I don’t notice a title being announced. The refrain “She Keeps Walking” is repeated several times, so maybe that’s a clue.

 8)  And here - I lose the plot a bit. I could swear I hear Joe announce ‘Time for a slow blues ... this is called “Angry Words”’. Yet what we indisputably get is Hendrix’s “Red House”.

 9)  “Big Black 45” – with a great hook. From Leo’s Solo Project with KICK.

 10) “Hobbit” - Ric’s traditional piece de resistance, although shorter than (what used to be) usual.

 11) “Love Like A Man” - I’ve been waiting for this one, and at last it’s here. Traditional arrangement, different solo.

 12) “I’d Love To Change The World” - Leo announces that it’s only the second time they’ve ever played this live. Accomplished by Joe playing an amplified acoustic until the solo is due. Then he takes it off and picks up his electric while the rest go twice through the chord sequence. Then the solo, and retention of the electric until the end of the song. It works perfectly. Why wasn’t it first done thirty years or more ago?

 13) “Time To Kill” - another powerful new one.

 14) “I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes” - largely along the lines of the Recorded Live version, but shorter. Now with added “Smoke On The Water” in the “rock riffs” section.

 15) “I’m Going Home” - we all knew it was going to be the one to finish with. However, like the other two traditional TYA epics (“Hobbit” and “I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes”), it’s a bit briefer than of old.

 And then they’re off. It’s 10:50, so that’s nearly one and three quarter hours they’ve been on-stage - and that’s significantly longer than in yesteryear. Of course, there has to be an encore, and so they’re back for:

 16) “Choo Choo Mama” - sounding much as you would expect, and;

 17) “50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” - “I think this is about drugs”, says Leo. True or not, it’s certainly the last number of the night.

And there they are, the seventeen numbers that make up the TYA set list in 2003. All the traditional (live) TYA bases are touched - riff rock, rock and roll, jazz, jamming, blues and boogie. Of all the official TYA albums released between 1967 and 1989, only two - Watt and Positive Vibrations - are unrepresented tonight. As for those critics who have been concerned that TYA without Alvin will still be playing “all Alvin’s songs”, they might wish to note my rough calculation that only eight of the seventeen played tonight - so that’s less than half - fall into that category.

 So, what’s the audience reaction been like? For a while the atmosphere was strange, as if the crowd could hardly believe their eyes, that here - in a small hall in a little town on the southern edge of England - was reappearing one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Everyone kept a respectful distance, no-one venturing nearer than about ten feet from the front of the stage. Applause was rapturous throughout, but only towards the end - perhaps in realisation that it would soon all be over - did the desperate requests start to be shouted out: “Choo Choo Mama!” (he was lucky), “Standing At The Station!” (he wasn‘t) ... and, inevitably, “’Goin’ Home!”

 I’m on my own, so I’ve no-one to compare notes and opinions with. However, upstairs in the gents’ toilets, I can’t help but overhear anonymous fans exchanging their views.

 “Fantastic, weren’t they?”

 “Yeah - Wishbone Ash were here recently, but they were nowhere near as good as this lot”.


 “Yeah. But I just don’t understand why there weren’t more people here ... ?”

 And neither do I. That is the only criticism I have of the whole evening, and it’s almost certainly one which it would be inappropriate to lay at the band members’ feet. Why wasn’t there more, and better, publicity for this gig - and perhaps the others on the tour, too? I check through most (admittedly, not all) of the national newspapers and magazines in the following days, and they’re awash with adverts for rock gigs, tours, festivals, etc. for all sorts of famous and not so famous acts - but there’s nothing for TYA. Even if the promotional budget didn’t stretch to national media advertising, all it takes is a ‘phone call and the national papers will mention acts for free in their “gig guides”. No TYA mention in those either. What advertising there is seems to have been placed only in each town’s local press. But perhaps that’s another tradition living on, for - excellent musicians as they always were - TYA never quite got the hang of how best to blow their own trumpets.


After the gig I have the pleasure of meeting and talking to all of the band members in turn. While the other three are engaged in conversation and the signing of autographs (and a copy of Stonedhenge, which appears out of nowhere) Joe sits down in the corner of the bar, and lights up. I wander over and congratulate him on his performance, and we chat awhile about how he got the TYA gig. For all those - relatively few, in fact - who have ever posted derogatory comments on the message boards of the various TYA-related websites, without ever having heard him play (or sing), without ever having met him, or without ever having even stood on the same continent at the same time as him, you would most likely feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself if you were ever to spend just a few short minutes in his company: Joe Gooch is a very quietly spoken, and quite exceptionally modest and pleasant guy. Having had the pleasure of meeting him myself, I now realise that the derogatory comments in question tell their readers far more about the character of those who have made them than they ever will about the thoroughly likeable and genuine guy at whom - in total ignorance - they were directed.

 But what about his performance tonight? You will probably have read complimentary comments about his abilities elsewhere before, but let me try and put a little flesh on those bare bones. Joe plays Fender Stratocasters - tonight’s is metallic blue - with the tremelo arm removed. As well as the aforementioned wah-wah pedal he also has an effects pedal board, which seems to consist of six separate units connected in series, although I didn’t detect enough tonal variety in his sound to suggest that the buttons of all six felt the full force of the sole of Joe’s shoe on this particular evening. I forget to note the amp, but let’s say that - as always - there are a lot of Marshalls on a TYA stage. He is extraordinarily accomplished in ability - and extremely fast, when he chooses to be. I could be wrong, but the fact that his fingers tend to be vertical (rather than slanted) to the fretboard, and that he incorporates the use of his little finger in his runs, may well be indicative of a classical training.

 Does he sound like Alvin? Well, firstly, let’s acknowledge that there’s no way he can win that particular battle in the eyes of those who are determined to criticise. Imagine if he walked on-stage with a red Gibson 335 and a pair of white clogs and tried to play Alvin‘s solos, note for note - he’d obviously be accused of being an unoriginal copyist. (Mind you, he’s got the black leather trousers.) On the other hand, if he plays noticeably differently to Alvin, then the critics can carp that “it doesn’t sound like TYA”.

 The reality is somewhere between the two. Those who want to hear the sublime hollow-bodied, woody warblings of Alvin’s 335 will be disappointed - but only if they can’t appreciate the harsher, more staccato metallic tone of a brilliantly played Strat. And though it is clear that Joe has the technical ability to play and sound like anyone he might choose to, he doesn’t copy Alvin’s solos. Certainly, where he really has little option but to play Alvin’s notes - intros mainly, such as “I Woke Up This Morning” and “I’m Going Home” - then he does so superbly. But - with the exception of “I May Be Wrong” etc. - the rest of his solos are his own.

 (Note: we all know the recorded solos to TYA classics, such as “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Love Like A Man” - indeed, we could whistle them if we could move our lips fast enough. Yet when I saw the Alvin Lee Band, in 1995, the solos to numbers such as those were largely unrecognisable to the originals. So if Alvin doesn’t play them the way they used to be anymore, then I don’t suppose Joe can be criticised for not doing so either.)

 Does he make use of any of Alvin’s showbiz idiosyncrasies? Rubbing the guitar neck on the mikestand? Playing the guitar with a drumstick? No, none of that. What about “Scat Thing”, “Classical Thing” or “Silly Thing”? Apparently now consigned to history. So does Joe have any showbiz flash of his own? Well, there’s a bit of fret tapping, and a slight use of feedback - but not too much of either. Also, just as critics and fans alike tended to fixate on Alvin’s guitar wizardry and commented on his vocals only as an afterthought, I’m in danger of doing the same to Joe. So, for the record, he sings very well - but he doesn’t try to sound like Alvin.

 You might wonder if the new numbers sound like traditional TYA tracks. Well, no - not particularly. But did they ever? Can you really believe that it’s the same band on 1971’s brilliantly progressive and sophisticated A Space In Time who only four years earlier were the gauche studio amateurs who recorded that eponymously titled first album? And whether you start with that first studio outing and travel forwards from 1967, or you start with 1989’s About Time and travel backwards, does anything you hear along the way prepare you for arriving at 1969’s Stonedhenge? So, as has always been the case, I expect that the new will become familiar enough in the course of time.

 I exchange a few words with a very laidback Chick, and have a longer chat with Ric, with whom I have a mutual friend. My longest conversation is with Leo and, although much of the detail of that must remain private, there is one interlude within it that is perhaps worthy of dissemination to a wider audience. A man joins us at the bar and - referring to the “Sunshine Of Your Love” riff in the middle of “I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes” - he asks Leo: “Did you steal that riff from Jack Bruce, or did he steal it from you?” Ever the gentleman, Leo patiently explains that it was Jack Bruce/Cream’s riff originally, and the questioner departs, satisfied. (Still, how was the guy to know? He was one of the evening’s whippersnappers, only in his late thirties. Frankly, I was surprised that his mother would let him stay out that late.)

 And after chatting to all three members of TYA, I appreciate another reason why Joe fits in so well. All four members are politeness personified, decency defined. They wear their illustrious talents and industrious achievements lightly, and with unassuming modesty; they are - quite literally - among the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. Strangely, it feels like I’ve known them most of my life. And then I realise that, in a way, I have - and that my life has been the better for it.

 The rain pours down for the entire journey back home. I ponder on what I have seen and heard tonight, and an analogy suddenly presents itself to me. It may be simple - but it works. Imagine you have an old friend. (And that’s “old” as in “longstanding”.) You haven’t seen him around for a while - a long while - and you know he hasn’t been getting out much because he hasn’t been well. It’s his heart - gradually it’s been winding down over the years and losing it’s enthusiasm for the vital task it needs to perform. Nothing wrong with that, it’s worked hard, and for a long time - these things just happen. You heard that a little while ago it failed him completely, and faced with the unenviable prospect of certain death, your friend agreed to a transplant. Now you meet up with him again. Sure he’s a little different than before, not quite how you remember him - but would you rather that he was dead? And which of your other old friends hasn’t changed a bit over the years, anyway? (For that matter, you’ve changed a bit yourself, haven‘t you?) He’s got plenty of other friends besides you, and apparently a few of them think that he should change his name, that he’s not entitled to use his old one since he’s had that transplant. You weren’t particularly convinced by that argument before you met up with him again; now that you’ve done so, looked at him, heard him, seen him back at work, you know just how wrong they were. He’s still very recognisably your familiar friend of old.

 The analogy is clear enough: think of Joe Gooch that way. He’s the new, strong, youthful heart of TYA, pumping the lifeblood back into that venerable warhorse, revitalising its other elements, and enabling it to live again, safe for some time yet from the clutching cold embrace of the rock graveyard. Don’t criticise him, thank him. 

 And let me put some personal cards on the table. I am a huge fan of Alvin Lee. His abilities not only as a guitarist, but as a vocalist, performer, songwriter and riffmeister, mark him out as one of the greatest rock talents the world has ever known. If a TYA without him didn’t work, and wasn’t worthy of the name, I would be forcing myself right now to the front of the queue to say so. But I’ve seen it and I’ve heard it - and it does and it is.

 So go and see your old friend if he comes round your way. Spread the word, support him, help him make new friends, buy his work, and feel confident about rekindling your previous relationship. 

And whatever else you may do, call him by his rightful name.



TEN YEARS AFTER in Sheffield, "Boardwalk", June 5th

Photos from Bryn Slack



Ten Years After 
The Brook, Soton

Thirty two years after our wedding, to the day, my wife and I went to see Ten Years After. My hearing is not what it was 32 years ago, but it certainly took a battering from these rock survivors. Original members Ric Lee on drums, Leo Lyons on bass guitar and Chick Churchill on keyboards were joined by young Joe Gooch on vocals and lead guitar to blast out some of Ten Years After’s most famous tracks and a few new ones from their forthcoming album.
“Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” “I’m Coming Home” and “Love Like A Man” were amongst the songs from classic albums like “A Space In Time,” “Cricklewood Green,” and “Ssssh.” If Joe Gooch’s vocals and lead guitar were a bit limited and lacking in dimension, the instrumental work of original members Ric, Leo and Chick was not. Leo in particular seemed to enjoy himself immensely pounding out that pulsating bass style as if the intervening years had just not happened. Ric’s inobtrusive but solid drumming underpinned the bass lines, with Chick studiously adding some lyrical patterns on keyboards.
Encompassing rock, blues and jazz, the Woodstock heroes’ work has recently been getting the recognition it deserves and the crowd at The Brook enjoyed every minute of it. Maybe it was just me, but I could have done with a little less volume, but that’s a small criticism when you are watching legends at work.
(©Peter Ashton 2003)

After all                                   
Preview by Peter Ashton

        THIRTY SIX years on, Ten Years After are still playing their special brand of jazzy blues-rock. Three of the original band who wowed them at Woodstock back in 1969 will be bopping at The Brook on Thursday May 29 along with new member Joe Gooch.
Ten Years After were formed in 1967, adopting their name in recognition of
the fact that they had come along ten years after the birth of rock n’ roll.
Four musicians from Nottinghamshire, Leo Lyons, Ric Lee and Chick Churchill, together with Alvin Lee, went on to become one of the biggest names in rock.
As well as their legendary ten-minute spot at Woodstock Festival, from 1968 to 1975 Ten Years After toured constantly and played other milestone musical events like The Newport Jazz Festival, The Miami Pop Festival and The 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. During this time it is estimated that over 75,000 new fans a week saw them in concert. By 1974 they had released ten multimillion selling albums, but broke up in 1975 shortly after Alvin Lee decided to go solo.
Over the next twenty years three short-lived attempts were made to reform Ten Years After, but each time Alvin quit to resume his solo career. In 2001 Decca Records began digitally re-mastering and re-releasing the whole of Ten Years After’s back catalogue due to public demand. Ric and Chick and Leo again approached Alvin to join them on tour to support the releases, but this time he declined. The positive reaction to the reissued rock albums led to the recruitment of young guitarist and vocalist Joe Gooch to put the band back on the road to perform live.
Demand to see Ten Years After was huge on their recent tour of Europe and just as big in the UK.
(©Peter Ashton 2003)



Photos from Kay and Trevor




ALAN   &   ROSIE'S    Pictures
from Kendal Town Hall and Newcastle Opera House



Alan and Joe


Alan with Leo



Date: 06/8/03 03:18:37 PM

Name: Alan

Email: apthillfire18@aol.com

Subject: Mighty Big Shoes

'A young man stepping into mighty big shoes' is a quote from Ric Lee, referring to Joe Gooch.
Last night, a week earlier than planned, I saw Ten Years After perform at a small venue, as a taster for the Newcastle gig this coming Friday.
Toni, quite frankly they blew me away. Talking to the band after the gig, they are serious about making the line up work. As for Joe, his quiet friendly persona belies the devil inside, when the Strat is over his shoulder. He's built like a greyhound, but has twice the stamina, and believe me he can play. He does not deserve to be caught up in the stuff that has been said.
Me? I was one of those screaming for blood not so long ago. Now, I feel we've got the best of both worlds, Alvin happy with what he's doing, and TYA happy with what they're doing.
All we've got to do is enjoy their music, that ain't that hard. I look forward to both their new albums, TYA in the fall.


Thank You Alan & Rosie for this contribution to this page
and for your trust and faith in Ten Years After,
they never fail to please their fans


From Batttttty 

  Jason Ritchie's Interview with Leo Lyons

Leo Lyons, bass player with Ten Years After, who are currently on
tour in Europe and have just completed a succuessful UK tour. Leo is
also a respected producer having worked with UFO, Wyasted and Procul
Harum amongst many.
(Thanks to Batttttty for the contact info)

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. touring/studio, etc.)

I live in Nashville and for the past seven years I've been
songwriting, recording and occasionally gigging. Right now I'm back
and out with TYA on the 2003 tour. Early in 2002 Ric Lee, Chick
Churchill and I were asked to replace Double Trouble on a European
tour with American blues guitarist Carvin Jones. The offer came at
the right time for me. I needed a break from songwriting and the
thought of leaving a hot humid Nashville Summer for festival gigs in
Europe appealed. On those shows it became apparent that there were
many fans out there that wanted to see TYA play again. Alvin Lee was
approached but didn't want to make the commitment needed so we looked
for another guitarist and were lucky to find twenty-five year old
guitarist/vocalist Joe Gooch.

Is there a new T.Y.A. album in the works? Any US dates forthcoming?

1. Yes there certainly is. A live CD "One Night Jammed' to introduce
Joe to fans is already available which we sell at gigs and on the
web. A studio CD will be out early October titled `Ten Years After
Now'. US dates are being worked on. Any one interested in TYA can
check out our official web site `TenYearsAfterNow.com' or the
dedicated fan site `Ten-Years-After.com.'

2. What has been the highlight(s) and low point(s) of your career to

There have been so many highlights. The Marquee Club, London, The
Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival, Woodstock, The Isle of Wight
Festival 1970, US tours, The Filmores, Madison Square Gardens The
Budokan, Tokyo are all highlights but I think every time we play in
front of a receptive audience it continues to be buzz.

Low points? No complaints but if I had to think of something it would
be the time I've wasted through the years not knowing exactly what I
wanted to do.

3. How did you first get into the music business? Who have been your
main influences on your career to date?

I got into music at the age of  ten when the Skiffle craze started in
the UK. I listened to all the early rock'n'roll artistes, Presley,
Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry,  Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Little Richard
and many more. Influences to date would be everyone who's out there
making music.

4. How has the UK tour been going? What has been the fans' reaction
at seeing TYA back on stage?

We couldn't wish for a warmer reception from the crowds.  Currently
we're in the UK. It's the first time we've toured here in 25 years.
The audience reaction to the new line-up has been great and it hasn't
taken long for people to take notice of Joe's exceptional talent.
We've already played sold out shows in Italy, Germany, Austria,
Belgium,Holland and the Czech Republic. We're on the road in Europe
until September and hope to follow on with a US tour.


5. You have a new guitarist Joe Gooch. How did you hook-up with him
and what has his playing bought to the band?

Joe was recommended to us by my son Tom. . He's added a new energy to
the band.We're lucky to have found him. I believe he'll go far

6. How did Ten Years After get their first big break?

First big break in the UK was probably appearing at the Marquee Club
and playing the Windsor Festival. In the US it has to be Bill Graham
hearing our first album and inviting us to play the Filmores. That
started the ball rolling.

7. You put out a solo album back in 1996. Any plans to do some follow-
up solo work?

I put out two CD's with my band `The Kick'. I've no plans right now
to record any solo projects but I still have unreleased material
which at some time in the future I may make available.

8. You are a famous producer in your own right, having worked with
UFO, Waysted, Procul Harum amongst others. Who did you most enjoy
producing? If you could work with band/artist who would it be and why?

I enjoy working on all kinds of music. When the vibes right in the
studio and everything `s slotting together it's a magical moment. I'd
like to work with any artist/band with talent that has something to
prove to the World.


9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I have many interests but right now I have very little spare time.
If I don't just crash and fall asleep -reading, writing, talking to
people, movies, travelling. In fact anything that stimulates my

10. Message to your fans...

Thanks to all of you for making it possible for me to be still living
my dream. I feel very fortunate.



Our Friend  Jacky Moutaillier - French Photographer

shares his photos with us that he took in Holland








Photos taken by Jiri Rogl, Prague, Czech Republic







Welcome to the Italian Section
Silvia's Pictures of Chick Churchill, Leo Lyons, Joe Gooch and Ric Lee 

Pistoia, Italy, July 2003



Chick  and Silvia 

For Silvia, Tony Tilotta and Fabrizio Perrini, and all  Italian Fans of Ten Years After: 

Bilancio Pistoia Blues 2003
Un evento che si tiene da più di venti anni
cronaca del concerto di domenica 13 luglio 2003
Pistoia, 11-12-13 luglio 2003




           di Alessandro Staderini e Massimiliano Franchi

Il mese di luglio per gli appassionati di musica, e di quella del diavolo in particolare, è caratterizzato dal Pistoia Blues, un evento che si tiene da più di venti anni (è nato nel 1980 con presenze di artisti straordinari, come Fats Domino, BB King, Muddy Waters e Alexis Corner !). E quello di quest’anno è un programma veramente notevole, pieno di ottimi musicisti di varie estrazioni, ma accomunati dalla stessa musica; in altre edizioni dobbiamo dire che erano presenti artisti che poco avevano a che spartire con la filosofia della manifestazione. Difficile anche scegliere la serata da seguire, talmente buona è l’offerta; la serata (meglio dire giornata) che vi racconteremo è quella di domenica, piccola maratona blues senza precedenti per numero di gruppi e qualità.

Il programma originale del Pistoia Blues 2003 ha subito alcune modifiche, ma non a scapito della qualità: manca Gary Moore, per problemi personali e poi mancherà anche Carvin Jones, per motivi organizzativi, direttamente il giorno del concerto, ma troviamo nel cappello a cilindro Bill Wyman e la sua band e Ike Turner, anche lui con big band al seguito.

Un’interminabile parata di artisti più o meno famosi che fanno sembrare, vista anche la temperatura e l’umidità, l’affascinante Piazza del Duomo di Pistoia un angolo di Texas o di Louisiana dove queste manifestazioni sono all’ordine del giorno.

Purtroppo motivi tecnici ci hanno impedito di arrivare in Piazza Duomo puntuali per assistere all’ esibizione degli italiani W.I.N.D. e della Morblus Band. Peccato, perché sicuramente sono fra le band italiane più preparate e accreditate per suonare in un festival blues. I primi fanno un South Rock solido e sudato, di chiara matrice Allman Brothers e Lynyrd Skynyrd e presentavano a Pistoia il loro nuovo album Hypnotic Dream, che ha avuto già grande successo in Francia.

La Morblus Band vanta collaborazioni con Beppe Grillo (insospettabile amante del blues) e con uno dei più grandi artisti italiani, Massimo Bubola (fra le tante, autore di canzoni per Fabrizio De Andre’), il loro nuovo disco si intitola Mrs. Miller.

Quando arriviamo il sole è ancora alto e sul palco, sotto un caldo infernale, si sta esibendo Ray Wilson, un tempo leader degli Stiltskin, poi passato ai Genesis per intraprendere finalmente una carriera solista, sintomatico il titolo del suo nuovo disco Change. Solo voce e chitarra, ma proprio grazie alla splendida voce riesce a tenere in pugno le poche centinaia di persone che in quel momento erano presenti nella piazza.

Il tempo di dare una sistemata al palco ed ecco arrivare i Twin Dragons, Andrea Braido alla chitarra, Nathaniel Peterson al basso e alla voce e David Pisveich alla batteria. Mezz’ora per far capire le doti funamboliche di Braido passando da cover di Stevie Wonder a Robert Johnson.

E’ la volta di Tolo Marton & the Iguanas, altro bluesman italiano, forse , grazie anche alle collaborazioni importanti che ha avuto con artisti d’oltreoceano, è quello, nel panorama italiano, dotato di una fantasia maggiore nell’interpretare la musica del diavolo. Anche lui presenta per l’occasione il suo nuovo disco, un live dal titolo “Dal Vero”.

Dopo una pausa di un quarto d’ora per approntare la strumentazione e arrivano i Ten Years After. Da Good Morning Little Schoolgirl a Baby Please Don’t Go, una jam session anni ’70 con intermezzi come Walk This Way (appena accennata) e l’intro più famoso della storia della musica rock Smoke On The Water, per chiudere con un medley di Blue Suede Shoes in versione quasi punk e Hound Dog. Ottimo Joe Gooch, chitarra e voce con l’arduo compito di sostituire un’icona del rock come Alvin Lee.

Dopo i TYA tocca ad un artista di casa al blues Festival di Pistoia, Brian Auger che per l’occasione si presenta sul palco con la figlia Savannah Grace, il figlio Karma alla batteria e Derek Frank al basso. Trenta minuti di atmosfere jazz e fusion molto più adatte a notti soffuse che ad un pomeriggio di luglio in un piazza battuta da un sole inesorabile. Languida la versione di Light My Fire dei Doors.

A questo punto si entra nel vivo del concerto, si presenta sul palco Eric Sardinas. Nato nel sud degli Stati Uniti ma adesso trasferito a Los Angeles, si presenta sul palco vestito di nero e lustrini, cappello con relativo serpente a sonagli e un ghigno luciferino che incute non poco timore.

Appena attacca a suonare la sua slide originale del ’33, quella che fino a poco tempo prima era una tranquilla piazza con gente che sonnecchiava nei pochi posti all’ombra, si trasforma in una bolgia infernale. Tutti sotto al palco a sentire questo nuovo erede della musica del Delta. Un set veramente infuocato, con tanto di chitarra in fiamme di hendrixiana memoria, gesto, questo, che scatena le ire di uno dei responsabili del palco, preoccupato forse delle conseguenze dell’ “insano” comportamento. Mezz’ora di fuoco anche tra il pubblico che gradisce la performance oltremisura, tanto da acclamarlo a gran voce, ma invano, per farlo tornare fuori una volta finito il suo turno. Grande tecnica e grande feeling (leggi cuore), un’anima amalgamata con quelle di Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan e Willy De Ville. A metà del suo live si toglie la camicia mostrando a tutti un tatuaggio che prende tutta la schiena con la scritta “Respect Tradition” ed in mezzo una slide guitar, tanto per far capire quali sono, per lui le cose in cui credere. Subito dopo viene portato sulle spalle in mezzo al pubblico annichilito, mentre sfodera un solo al fulmicotone. Ottima anche la sezione ritmica dei sui compagni d’avventura.

Emozionante e coinvolgente, sicuramente il punto più alto della serata, se dovessimo dare un voto da 1 a 10 gli daremmo 15. Ad agosto esce il suo terzo disco dal titolo Black Pearls.

Dopo un’ apparizione cosi coinvolgente non deve essere facile per l’artista che segue riprendere le redini del concerto. Invece Kenny Neal e Billy Branch ci riescono benissimo. Chitarra e armonica il primo e solo armonica il secondo catturano l’attenzione dei presenti con un Chicago blues di stampo classico ma suonato in maniera veramente impeccabile. Anche loro venuti a Pistoia per presentare il loro nuovo disco dal titolo Easy Meeting.

Una delusione invece la presenza di Mick Taylor. La sua esibizione scorre tranquilla senza particolari sussulti. Blues bianco dove, solo a tratti, torna a farsi sentire il suono che ha contribuito a rendere grande e unica la ritmica dei Rolling Stones.

Oramai è buio, finalmente si comincia a respirare grazie ad un pò di fresco che ci raggiunge ed il momento è giusto per ballare un po’ di rock ‘n’ roll. Si presenta sul palco la band di una altro ex dei Rolling Stones, la Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, dieci elementi che mettono in piedi tutta la piazza. 2 Sassofoni, tre chitarre e due tastiere che riescono a far muovere anche i più stanchi. Grande la corista Beverly Skeete, Mike Sanchez alle tastiere e voce e Albert Lee e Andy Fairweather-Low (ex Eric Clapton) alla chitarra e voce. Divertentissimi ed energetici.

L’ultimo artista della serata è una leggenda del soul e del Rhythm‘n’blues, Ike Turner, ex marito violento e socio in affari di Tina. Anche lui si presenta sul palco con una band molto nutrita e tutta vestita in modo uguale, proprio come usava negli anni cinquanta. Anche qui la gente balla su una musica che probabilmente potrà vivere momenti di crisi, ma che non tramonterà mai. Il Soul, ma non quello freddo e tecnologico di oggi, bensì quello vero, quello che per suonarlo bisogna essere perlomeno 10, 12 persone, quello che sfiora il blues e accarezza il rock’n’roll.

Questo, in sintesi, il resoconto di una giornata molto faticosa dl punto di vista fisico, ma altrettanto appagante per gli occhi e per il cuore. Vedere tutti insieme personaggi di questo calibro non capita tutti i giorni, e per questo dobbiamo ringraziare gli organizzatori del Pistoia Blues che anno dopo anno ci regalano sempre bellissime emozioni. LONG LIVE PISTOIA BLUES!!!



Thanks to Giovanni Valli for sending us his article on TYA in Italy, June 2003

Ten Years After trentaquattro anni dopo


Ten Years After


Da Woodstock al Porto Antico di acqua sopra (e sotto) i ponti ne è passata molta.
Trentaquattro anni dopo un evento che, con buone ragioni, si può definire epocale e che li vide protagonisti (ma con quaranta minuti di ritardo sull’orario d’inizio previsto, ingiustificabile perché non si capisce come mai all’estero si spacchi il secondo e qui si traguardino le mezzore…) sono i Ten Years After ad inaugurare (martedì 8 luglio) la nuova edizione di Arena Blues, manifestazione ben pilotata dal Teatro Garage.
La formazione è per trequarti l’originale: Leo Lyons, il più “vecchio”, prossimo al sessantesimo compleanno, ma anche il più tonico e con il sorriso sulle labbra, di uno che si diverte un mondo ad esser ancora lì a picchiare sul basso; Ric Lee, viso alla Charles Bronson, l’aria di aver preso le redini della band, è un “motorino”, senza pause, alla batteria e Chick Churchill con la sua aria da intellettuale d’antan, alla tastiera.
Manca colui che, nel bene e nel male, ha fatto la storia del gruppo: Alvin Lee.
Con le sue straordinarie scorribande vocali e, soprattutto, strumentali, che gli guadagnarono il soprannome di “chitarrista più veloce del mondo”, contribuì in maniera determinante a dare fama mondiale, per almeno cinque ann,i dal 1969 (data della fatidica apparizione, live e poi in disco & film, al Festival di Woodstock) al 1974 (quando decise di spiccare un volo solitario fatto di alti e bassi. Mi capitò d’incocciarlo un bel po’ di anni or sono in quel del Teatro Alcione, ante – luci rosse).
Almeno tre tentativi di reunion andarono a vuoto finché di recente, i T.Y.A. si sono riformati, incidendo anche un disco dal vivo, scelta azzeccata perché è indubbiamente a contatto col pubblico che la band riesce a dare, da sempre, il meglio di sé.
L’indubbiamente ingrato compito di sostituire il leader se lo prende il venticinquenne biondino londinese Joe Gooch.
Piglio sufficientemente deciso, la voce non riesce a graffiare ma, se non il “più veloce del mondo”, con la chitarra elettrica se la cava discretamente. E poi i paragoni non si devono fare mai se non nella stessa dimensione spazio–temporale. Per non dire di gruppi nostrani in cui i membri originali sono …uno.
L’arena è discretamente affollata, nonostante la sbornia di spettacoli concentrati a Genova in un paio di mesi (estivi), a fronte di prolungati “silenzi” nel resto dell’anno. Forse il merito è anche di prezzi non esosi e della possibilità di un abbonamento col prossimo concerto di Billy Cobham.
Si parte, forse, leggermente in sordina.
Poi la musica prende il galoppo con lunghe cavalcate che pescano in quell’ampia fetta di sound agli incroci tra british blues, hard rock e classic rock ‘n’ roll. E sono jam in cui fanno capolino qua e là riff di “Cream & Deep Purple” o della super-mitica “Blue suede shoes”.
Il suono è decisamente chitarristico, ma Churchill si ricava alcune nicchie – assolo d’organo tra il manzerekiano e il soul jazz e Ric Lee si esibisce in una di quelle cose che non si vedono più neanche col lanternino, un solo di batteria di cinque minuti, cinque.
Il pubblico si scalda, specie quella parte nata post1969, c’è il simil-Joe Cocker che si dimena proprio come lui e il ragazzo col vinile di Woodstock in mano.
Alla fine tutti in piedi a ballare il bis e, poi, accanto al palco, a comprare magliette, foto, dischi e, per gli amatori, persino la pelle autografata da Ric Lee.

Giovanni Villani


TEN YEARS AFTER in Udine, Italy - Photos by Tony Tilotta








Leo & Joe 
together with Tony Tilotta
(Tour Manager and Professional Photographer)




Epi Schmidt from the German "Home of Rock" Website
wrote this review about TEN YEARS AFTER's
new CD - recorded live:


Translated by Brigitte and Dave 

Tja, da sind sie wieder, wer hätt's gedacht: TEN YEARS AFTER. Und was soll man sagen: Sie sind in guter Form! Wer meinen Konzert-Bericht gelesen hat (jemand nicht?!), weiß das es hier gut abgeht. Das Alvin Lee nicht mit dabei ist, befremdet einen natürlich zunächst mal, aber ich habe wirklich den Eindruck, dass sich die Band, befreit von dem "Über-Star" Captain Speedfingers, viel wohler fühlt und, ja, befreiter aufspielt.

Can you imgine, here they are again: TEN YEARS AFTER. What more can I say: they are in rare form! If you read my concert review you already know: Off we go !  Knowing that Alvin Lee isn’t anymore with the band is strange for the moment – but I really got the impression that the band is much more comfortable without their “prominent star” Captain Speedfingers,  and even play more at ease.

Dass "fremde" Gitarristen im Rampenlicht durchaus einen überzeugenden Job machen können wird uns ja von DEEP PURPLE seit Jahren vorgeführt. Über die "Arbeit" von Derek Trucks bei der ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND gibt es sicher geteilte Meinungen, doch die Band ist ja anscheinend damit zufrieden. Mit Joe Gooch dürften nicht nur Ric Lee, Leo Lyons und Chick Churchill, sondern auch die Zuhörer zufrieden sein.  Vertraut mit klassischer Gitarre, ebenso wie mit Jazz und Blues, hat er offensichtlich keine Schwierigkeiten sich in den Stil und Sound der Band einzufügen.

New guitarists often have a good influence on a band, such as DEEP PURPLE have proven over the years. With Joe Gooch not only Ric Lee and Leo Lyons are happy but also the listeners. He is familiar with classical guitar as well as with Jazz and Blues and has no problems to fit in to the style and sound of the band.

Beim Gitarren-Sound sind, logischerweise, ein paar Unterschiede zu Alvin Lee vorhanden - Joe bevorzugt Stratocaster Gitarren und Mesa Boogie-Verstärker - aber ehrlich gesagt, in den langen Instrumentalpassagen vergess' ich oft genug, wer da jetzt gerade spielt. Es ist einfach klasse!
Obwohl der Junge ja erst 26 Jahre alt ist (oder gerade weil?), seine Bandkollegen bewegen sich ja stramm auf die 60 zu, kann man sich auch über den Gesang nicht beschweren. Vielleicht fehlen Alvin's hohe, spitze Schreie, aber ansonsten passt das schon sehr gut.

Of course there are some differences of the guitar sound compared to Alvin Lee – Joe prefers Stratocaster guitars and Mesa Boogie amplifiers – but honestly, during the long instrumental phases I often forget who is playing right now.  (Joe or Alvin).  It is just great! Although the young guy is only 26 years old (or maybe because of this fact?) and his bandmates are heading towards 60, there is nothing to complain about with the music or the singing.

Aufgenommen wurde diese Doppel-CD übrigens am 17. Februar 2003, in Twist, Deutschland, (außer Big Black 45 - Italien) und wurde quasi direkt vom Mischpult, ohne irgendwelche Nachbearbeitungen auf CD gebracht. So sollte das ja eigentlich auch sein, oder? Auch wenn der Klang dadurch manchmal nicht ausgewogen ist - ich find's gut. Über die Songs muss man ja nicht viel Worte verlieren, die sind eh von zeitloser Qualität. Der Opener vom "Undead"-Album I May Be Wrong... wird hier noch ein ganzes Stück aufgepeppt.
Zum Glück haben DEEP PURPLE Don Airey schon engagiert, sonst würden sie, nach Hören dieser Aufnahme, vielleicht bei Chick Churchill nachfragen.

This CD was recorded in Twist, Germany, Feb. 17th 2003, except Big Black 45 – Italy) everything else was recorded on CD directly without any corrections. Even if the sound doesn’t seem properly all the time, I like it. You don’t have to tell much about the songs, they still are of an ageless quality. The opener from “Undead”  I May Be Wrong… even sounds much better now.  Fortunately DEEP PURPLE already hired Don Airey. If they didn’t they would ask Chick Churchill to join after hearing this song.

Lediglich Jimi Hendrix' Red House hätte man sich sparen können. Nicht dass es schlecht gespielt wäre, aber der Song ist für mich einfach schon zu oft gecovert worden.
Richtig Spaß macht dagegen I Can't Keep From Crying, Sometimes mit Jammin' On One Chord. Da zeigt Joe Gooch einiges von dem was er zu bieten hat und stachelt die anderen offensichtlich mit an. Wie im Konzert, werden auch hier verschiedene andere Songs zitiert, u.a. Sunshine Of Your Love, Purple Haze, Smoke On The Water und Walk This Way.

They only should have spared themselves Jimi Hendrix’ Red House. Not that it was played badly, but for me this song just has been covered too often. Really amazing is I Can’t Keep From Crying, Sometimes with Jammin’ On One Chord. Now Joe shows his talent and what he has to offer and obviously keeps stimulating the band. Like during the concert, several different songs are played just as Sunshine Of Your Love, Purple Haze, Smoke On The Water and Walk This Way.

Ich denke, da hat sich eine gute Truppe zusammen gefunden und man darf auf das kommende Studio-Album gespannt sein UND hoffen, dass die "neuen" TEN YEARS AFTER genügend Akzeptanz kriegen um sich noch ein paar Jahre halten zu können. Wer weiß was da noch kommen könnte...

I think a good group came together and they make a good team, and we are very excited about the coming studio album and hope that the “new” Ten Years After will be accepted to make it for some more years. Who knows what might come out of this new band in the future.

Epi Schmidt, (Impressum, Artikelliste), 23.08.2003




                                                                                                                                                                              Photo by B & D

 Great Concert Review from Rainer Hüngerle - TYA in Lorsch, Germany
 August 21st, 2003

Es war ein Super-Konzert, noch besser als ich erwartet hatte!

Wenn man 35 Jahre zurückgeht in die Zeit, als Titel wie 'wild thing'(Troggs) oder 'you really got me' (Kinks) zu den absolut progressiven Stücken gehörten und die Fans schon ausflippten, wenn Gitarristen auch ohne besondere musikalische Glanzleistung durch den Einsatz von einfachen Effekten, wie Verzerrern usw., die Fans zum Ausflippen gebracht haben, ist es immer wieder spannend zu erleben, was die Jungs heute so drauf haben.

Ich denke, die 3 ursprünglichen TYA gehören auf jeden Fall zu den 'Guten'.
Besonders gefallen hat mir der satte Sound und das Zusammenspiel von Leo und Ric. Die beiden haben unheimlich Power
in Stücke wie 'good morning little school-girl' und 'hear me calling' gebracht. Insgesamt waren die Bass-drum und
Leo's Bass perfekt aufeinander abgestimmt. Die Bassläufe von Leo waren prägnant und knackig und Ric hat während eines kurzen Gitarrenausfalls von Joe ein sehr schönes drum-solo hingelegt. Es hat sich stellenweise angehört als würde er mit
zwei, anstatt mit einer bass-drum spielen!

Chick hat besonders während der Gitarrensoli eine wichtige Rolle, wenn er perfekt den Rhythmuspart übernimmt.
Ich musste immer wieder hingucken, wo denn jetzt die 2. Gitarre herkommt, dabei waren es die keyboards von Chick.
Meiner Meinung nach steht er etwas im Hintergrund, obwohl er viel mehr drauf hat.

Zum Gitarrenspiel brauch ich sicherlich nicht viel sagen. Es war mir eigentlich auch klar, dass Joe sich vor Alvin Lee nicht verstecken muss. Schon der erste Titel, ich glaube es war 'I woke up this morning', hat mich unheimlich beindruckt und natürlich 'I'm going home' , 'choo choo mama' und 'I' d love to change the world' ebenso wie die Klassiker 'I can't keep from crying' sometimes' und 'love like a man'.

Ich freue mich schon auf die neue CD, von der sie 'long time running' gespielt haben, ein Stück mit einem wahnsinnig interessanten asynkopen Rhythmus und hoffe, dass sie im nächsten Jahr wieder bei uns in der Nähe spielen werden.

Am Schluss hatte ich noch die Gelegenheit, ein paar Worte mit Leo und Joe zu wechseln und Grüße von Dir und Dave auszurichten. Sie machen alle 4 einen sehr sympathischen Eindruck und sind mit großer Ausdauer und Geduld für ihre Fans da!

Rainer Hüngerle


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