There’s no hiding the mod influence on this six-track CD from a bunch of Sydney veterans. It’s beat pop with a bright disposition that sometimes sounds like Paul Weller on happy pills.
TSF began life as a duo, playing acoustic covers under the name The Mayday Dreamers. By accident, design or both, they grew two more members over the next three years and took on their new moniker. This is their first release.
Like the band's story, the songs are relatively uncomplicated but well constructed. Folk traits are evident and pop harmonies abound. Peter Kowal’s pleasant vocal carries most of the songs, with fellow guitarist Chris Newton singing earthier lead on a couple. Keith Claringbold (bass) and Pete Iacono (drums) are much better than workmanlike, down there in the engine room.
Glen Matlock's Adelaide show was such a fine, big smile-stretched-across-the-face, hugely enjoyable gig. Not because of the association to THAT band, but because Glen is who he is, likes the kind of music he likes, and brings it into you.
If you’re hesitating about whether to see this man’s gigs - don’t.
Best known for her beautiful and classic mid-to-late ‘60s hits including “The First Cut Is The Deepest”, “(If You Think You’re) Groovy” and “Angel of the Morning”, as well as the power chorus of the Small Faces’ iconic hit “Tin Soldier”, PP Arnold is set to undertake her first ever concert tour of Australia.
And she’ll be backed by a super group of super fans in Tim Rogers, Rusty Hopkinson and Andy Kent of You Am I, Talei Wolfgramm and James Black.
The Los Angeles teenager, who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner and coming to the attention of Mick Jagger, is still going strong. And she’s once again at the right place in the right time, as she has been so often in a career that’s lasted over 50 years.
PP’s tour down under follows the release last year of “The Turning Tide”, an album of unreleased recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, produced by both Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton. It cracked the UK Top 30 upon release, recently made the NZ iTunes Top 20, and has been the subject of many accolades and much airplay since its release.
Although this will be PP’s be first concert tour of these parts, she has previously performed here as a featured singer with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters in 2002 and 2008. In recent times she has also recorded with Primal Scream, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller. She has a voice that other artists love to work with; her first duet was with Rod Stewart on a single produced by Mick Jagger, way back in ’67.
“It’s been a long journey,” laughs PP Arnold down the line from her home in Madrid, as she apologises for a long answer. It's taken us through her days singing in England in the early 1970s, through to a brief reunion with her friend and collaborator Barry Gibb in the United States in the late 1970s and onto to her present-day career, with her continuing to sing professionally, both solo and as a backing singer.
“It’s pretty hard condensing 50 years of your life into a few minutes!”
Patricia Cole - the name PP Arnold was bestowed by photographer Gered Mankowitz in London in 1966 - was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Watts and was an unlikely pop star. Married and with two young children by the age of 17, Cole’s career trajectory commenced when a couple of friends suggested she audition for a vacant spot in the Ike and Tina Review, as one of Ike and Tina’s backing band Ikettes.
Ever been in a position where you didn't know what to expect when a disc landed in the CD player? That’s often a good thing. My preconceptions of Sydney’s Urban Guerrillas as inner-city, squat-dwelling, agitprop punk preachers are somewhat passe, and almost abandoned after a couple of spins.
The UG sound is more folk-pop than punk rock these days, and the concerns of the seven tracks on the “Equation of Life” EP are mostly universal. Not that the band was ever stuck in one sound. There’s a splash of Celtic pipes in “Divine Image” (a William Blake poem set to music) and “What I Wish For” sets out a societal manifesto with a stab of mandolin in its mix.There’s also enough chugging guitar and urban angst in “Claustrophobia” to light up a street-full of terrace houses in Erskineville.
A PP Arnold show is more than a “gig“, it really is a live performance music history of somebody who has had an extraordinary career as a vocalist since 1964.
Word of the amazing shows in Melbourne had reached Sydney and slowly but surely the room started to fill up (including a front seated section for some of her more mature age fans.)
Whoever assembled her backing band should be congratulated.Thy comprised three-quarters of You Am I who IMHFO don’t get nearly enough credit for being the great musicians they are (Andy Kent should be singled out for really nailing the bass parts), with James Black (the bloke from Rockwiz) and vocalist Talei Wolfgramm joining them.
Sixties soul and Swinging London icon PP Arnold returns to Australia in November and December for more shows with her all star band.
In case you haven't heard, that band would be Tim Rogers, Andy Kent and Russell Hopkinson of You Am I, Talei & Eliza Wolfgramm and James Black, and she'll also play select shows with the Rockwiz Orchestra.
Her recent run through Australia elicitted rave reviews - including this one.
PP Arnold‘s CV includes Ike & Tina Turner, Mick Jagger and Andrew Loog Oldham, The Small Faces, The Nice, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, Barry Gibb, Eric Clapton, Nick Drake, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Roger Waters, The KLF, Ocean Colour Scene, Primal Scream, Oasis and Paul Weller.
She was the Los Angeles teenager who became London’s First Lady of Soul after hitting town in 1966 with Ike & Tina Turner and coming to the attention of Mick Jagger.