The "Party for Greg" on November 20th 2004 at Carling Academy London sure did old 'Elvis' proud.
Huge thanks to Keith Stallbories and Patricia Ridley for pulling this off - and of course to the musicians who played in the event, who in the words of Pat "did it from the heart" - exactly how it should be. And also, to the audience, whose love for Greg was tangibly in the air, and who came out and supported the event, and with their enthusiasm helped make the evening a major success. It was a fitting tribute to Greg Ridley, who passed away 19 November, 2003.
First up was the Greg Ridley Band - based around the group Greg played with on his his last UK dates. The line-up consisted of Dean Rees on Hammond and vocals, Del Bromham (from the group Stray) resplendent in his bandana and on guitar and vocals, Karl Randall on drums, Steffan John on guitar and Stuart Uren on bass - a really solid line-up. A fitting start to events was Big George, of course one of Greg's trademark songs - from the Rock On album, and if this got the crowd going then Rocking the Fillmore standards Four Day Creep and Stone Cold Fever finshed the job - and we were already only 15 minutes into the show! Both of these latter songs had also been part of Greg Ridley setlist in his last ever gigs.
Let Me Be Your Lovemaker, again one of Greg's live trademarks, albeit in the 70's, built the set nicely, with its heavy guitar-based verses and the Hammond coming in on the chorus - and then to Wrist Job, which in my view was the highlight not only of set, but probably of the whole evening - with Dean's swooping and swirling organ sound dominating the song - fantastic!
Then came the finale of the set, and it was really superb - firstly Mollie Marriott hit the stage for Black Coffee, which cooled the tempo for a few minutes and introduced the soulful edge of the "Eat It " era, before she was joined by Janette from Spain on backing vocals for Natural Born Bugie. They both wore "The Doctor is Gone" t-shirts which have never looked so good, and this version of Natural Born Bugie really chugged along powerfully behind them!
Dean's vocals throughout the night were impressive - very clear. However for Natural Born Bugie, and the next song I Don't Need No Doctor, from nowhere suddenly Del added lead vocals to his impressive guitar work and very nearly stole the whole show.
My friend from Scotland said at this point - "If I had to go to the airport right now and fly home, I'd be happy" and I think that says it better than I can. ( More > )