Concert Reviews

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 07, 2017    
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The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Royal Albert Hall, London (UK) - 02 July 2017

The first few screams uttered by Arthur Brown took me back to Ian Gillan era Deep Purple and everything that was good about the first decade that people really let rip in Rock. Brown was all about letting it all hang out in a good way. With face paint, velvet and sequins, there was a lot of theatre here, but the most important thing to note was that Brown has a great voice. He could give you a deep beautiful Baritone like Tom Jones or a crazy high-pitched Falsetto and has real talent which the visuals may distract from in popular culture.


Whilst there was much to be enjoyed by the sheer spectacle of Psychedelia and though he is clearly sober, Brown did a mean line in Charles Manson style crazy sixties moves. The scene could have literally been a musical interlude in a movie set in the sixties and tracks like 'Devil's Grip' were a real nostalgia trip. Jon Lord-style sixties/seventies electric organ was a big feature in the show and they got centre stage when Brown stole the whole keyboard then led its player a merry dance while he whirled it around the stage. His backing band were young but they were clearly aficionados and totally into the groove.

I wasn't too keen on the fifteen minute interval in the middle which, although traditional in the theatre, did break the mood a little, but the audience were there to enjoy themselves and it didn't spoil the fun. There was an apocalyptic feel to the poetry about war, the atomic symbols on Brown's silver kaftan and the authentically low-tech sixties futurism could be truly understood by kids who witnessed sixties Sci-Fi and the beginnings of Doom Metal from Black Sabbath. Brown's multi-coloured LED coat was rather spectacular and I am not sure I have ever seen anything quite like it, which I think is the point as there was definitely a "roll up roll up" element to this show for the curious.

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Since the dawn of health and safety in the nineties, we unfortunately didn't get the fire head-dress which I would have loved to see, but we did get a rousing version of the number one hit 'Fire', accompanied by a beautiful golden costumed dancer which evoked flames in a much safer way. It ended with the rather quaint optimism of 'Spirit Of Joy'.

Much has been lost after the postmodern nineties that Brown brings back in one massive time capsule which was fascinating and absorbing. Yes, there was a cabaret feeling to this, but it harked back to an age before computer games and the Internet to when people dared to love and dream. The thing is, when it comes to loveable old hippies we could all see that Brown really was the genuine article. The audience loved him back and it was beautiful to see (even if we knew amongst this world of millennials he was a dying breed). Ephemeral it was, something which made it seem all the more precious. He's in his seventies now and while his abs put most thirty year olds to shame he cannot last for ever. It is this sense of Paradise Lost which made the show bitter sweet and poignant. Like nothing else out there, the audience were lucky to see this while they still can.

Dawn Osborne


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