Good God – 7 p.m. it said, and 7 p.m. sharp the show started: “That´s how I´m used to things from my television work!” party promoter Keith Stallbories quipped. We heard THE GREG RIDLEY BAND; featuring Stray´s singing guitarist Del Bromham, who included valuable stuff you hardly ever heard Ridley´s Humble Pie do live – all the more welcome in this context of honouring the great singer and bass player who sadly died a year ago, just when his second career “in the autumn of his years” was gathering momentum.
Bromham, Stefan John (g), Stuart Uren (b), Dean Rees (org) and Karl Randall (dr) started out with Greg´s “Big George”, playing damn loud, but with precision. Some rousing renditions of “Four Day Creep” and “Stone Cold Fever” served as a great memory of the classic “Rockin´ The Fillmore” album, which had put Humble Pie in rock´s first league in 1971 at long last – thankfully they were in the hands of a capable frontman in Del Bromham who, bandana-clad and with a stage presence combining magic and modesty, did the late Greg Ridley and late mate Marriott proud without acting as a Pie imposter . “Let Me Be Your Lovemaker” – great riff, heavy groove, and a reminder that “Street Rats” can be a satisfying album to listen to if you forget about the bad press. Another rarity was “Wrist Job”: Originally hidden on the flipside of “Natural Born Bugie”, these dramatic hammond sounds came on true to the 1969 original – in the capable hands of Dean Rees. For “Black Coffee”, Steve Marriott´s daughter Mollie Marriott joined the band – her stage presence, vocal delivery and sheer sense of fun gladly reminiscent of her great father. As her choir mate, Jeannette, a Ridley friend from Spain, was welcomed on stage, the band finished the way Humble Pie used to – with “I Don´t Need No Doctor” – dynamically drawn out and celebrated the way Greg would have loved.
Next came a short and sweet set from ´BUCKET´ COLWELL & FRIENDS. The Humble Pie III guitarist and singer (1999-2002), known to many from his work for Bad Company, presented bass man Steve Lamb, Choireboys and UFO guitarist Paul Guerin, and vocals were shared with John Warman. They delivered excerpts from Humble Pie´s legendary “Smokin” album, featuring “C´mon Everybody” and “30 Days In The Hole” to get the packed Carling Academy Bar crowd on their feet. Bucket then proved that a surviving Ridley would have had great things to come, showcasing “Reason To Live”, a new song which Greg wrote recently. “All I Ever Needed” followed – a ballad form the underrated last Humble Pie album “Back On Track”. Then “Live To Learn” finished Bucket´s presentation, this great song will be featured on the “Greg Ridley Anthology”, to be released in January 2005. Steve Marriott´s sister Kay, Mollie Marriott´s mother Manon Pearcey-Brown and Pie guitarist Clem Clempson watched amiably and obviously loved what they heard, great memories for them, too. (More >)