BBC Paris Studio, Lower Regent's Street
Funny how things happen more by chance than anything else. At this stage, I was far from being a regular down The Paris, but somehow one of us, probably Mick, got wind of the fact that Arthur Brown
was being recorded for the Concert Programme, so we duly turned up. To be honest, this appearance was around the time of his "Dance" album, which, coming after the musical excesses of Kingdom Come, floated few boats as far as I was concerned. This was a gig for completists, in a sense. However, being there meant we caught the first band on, namely Upp
. Now these
were interesting, not least for the fact that they were basically three white guys playing Funk
! The bassist was introduced as Steven Amazing, and that he was. To this point, I was used to bass virtuosos, but in the Rock idiom, rather than anything else, and it was stunning to see someone so in command of his instrument in this genre! It was only much later that I learned of the Jeff Beck connection, as he'd produced, and played on their debut "Upp", which would have been released at about the time I saw them. That's
when I went running back to the second hand record shop in Twickenham, remembering that I'd seen it in there a week or two previously, but, alas, now gone. Happily, both "Upp" and their second album "This Way Upp" were released last year as a twofer, and I reckon it's my favourite re-issue of 2004. The sleeve notes describe them as "a bunch of unknown musical polymaths who combined a full-on, synth-based jazz rock/funk approach with exquisite white soul ballads....", also described by a critic at the time as sounding like "Emerson Lake & Palmer meets Isaac Hayes"!! Unfortunately, Upp seem to have fallen through the cracks, not least precipitated by the onset of Punk. Anyway, I recommend giving Upp a listen if you can.