Jimmy Carl Black Memorial Barbeque Band

The Capstone Theatre
2nd November 2013

Reviewed by Joe Coventry

Indian Reservation

There will always be a place in peoples hearts for Jimmy Carl Black on a night like this, which saw the fifth memorial concert in his honour. The eponymous past drummer of The Mothers of Invention, and Liverpool's own Muffin Men amongst others, his untimely death in 2008 provided the inspiration for The Barbeque Band's performance tonight.

First though the Zappatistas in the audience were treated to the UK Premiere of a 2012 documentary film on the self styled 'Indian of the Band' in which he heads into the sunset on a final tour.

'Where's the beer and when do we get paid', the brainchild of Sigrun Kohler and Wiltrud Baier, starts with an affectionate look at Jimmy and his partner in his new home in the picturesque German hinterland. Here, leiderhosen and Wagnerian brass bands are de riguer, the local yodelling version of 'The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music' is everyone's favourite tune, and the only thing that moves faster than snail pace is the train that occasionally comes to a halt at the passengerless station.

Having said that, Jimmy is accepted into the community and the odd resident, with pride, knows he used to play in a rock band. Then he hits the road with ex-band colleagues Bunk Gardner and Don Preston. As 'The Grandmothers'. They travel far and wide philosophising on hotel bedrooms, the status of cars they used to drive in the USA, and wondering how the combo's gentle 'sweet, sweet, steady beat' music will be received.

"Man, this place must hold at least 500", an exasperated Jimmy muses at one venue, "we'll never fill this"!

The money they get barely covers the expense of setting up somewhere new every night, but their gentlemanly demeanour never deserts them, and even though there was little beer, there was loads to cheer in this film tonight.

After the interval it was the turn of the headliners, and their set did not disappoint. The group consisted of Carl Bowry on guitar, drummer Tilo Pirmbaum who, with Andy Frizzell on bass, lined up alongside trumpeter Martin Smith, the latter with a hint of Herb Alpert about him.

After a psychedelic blast of noise in the first warm up bash they went into the wacky series, which Zappa styled 'The Big Melody'. As the smoke still hung over the stage, a fabulous light show accompanied the ersatz zany trills, riffs and echo guitar backed by acid rock drums, and a trumpet that had a life of it's own.

'More Trouble Everyday', recalling the Toxteth Riots of 1981, was introduced by Frizzell, before Paul, 'Rhino'Ryan of Muffin Men fame, got his voice going on 'Road Ladies'. Then some of Jimmy's immortalised English 'wankers' railed into the wall of sound that is 'King Kong' to added guest flute accompaniment.

All in all, a great night out. The crowd enjoyed three hours of nostalgic foot tapping, (dancing in the seats is not allowed?!), which finished at 10-30pm, enabling the gerontologically challenged audience to depart for a last pint, if nothing else.

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