|Terry Reid - Cardiff, The Globe - 19th May 2010|
|Written by Russ P|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2010 06:00|
Let's start with a bit of Über Röck History 101. Why? Because the rock landscape was shaped somewhat by the decisions Terry Reid made.
Aretha Franklin famously once said that "There are only three things happening in London: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Terry Reid." Because of a commitment to tour with the Rolling Stones in 1969 Terry Reid turned down an offer from Jimmy Page to be singer for the New Yardbirds but suggested he look at a singer called Robert Plant instead. Later when Rod Evans left Deep Purple he was offered the role but declined and Ian Gillan took the position.
Songs from his classic Graham Nash produced album "Seeds Of Memory" featured in Rob Zombies' 2005 film 'The Devil's Rejects' and his songs have been covered by a diverse set of artists including The Raconteurs, Marianne Faithful, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and John Mellencamp.
Sometimes talent and fame do not go hand in hand. Out in the Hinterlands are often overlooked gems of musical greatness, John Sloman and Jellyfish to name but a few. Terry Reid is also in this category.
Practically two years to the exact day Terry Reid makes a welcome return to Cardiff for what is a relaxed and intimate performance at The Globe. This time without his band The Cosmic American Derelicts, Reid is on his own performing a solo acoustic gig, mixing stories of the past with his music. Like Mr. Ben's shopkeeper Reid suddenly appears dressed in what could be Ray Bradbury's fabled and wonderful ice cream suit. You could pass right by the bespectacled Reid in the street discounting him as some scatty college professor. Or worse, mistake him as Sylvester McCoy. He's relaxed, affable and ready to talk. His guitar playing is a combination of laid back elastic rhythm and dropped tuning chordal work tempered with the occasional Keith Richards' lunge. Age just seems to make Reid, who is now 60, get better and better, his voice is on fire and has that compelling visceral quality of Joe Cocker and the Faces era Rod Stewart. The venue isn't packed tonight, which is a shame when you consider his pedigree. But, despite all that and when all is said and done, that's what makes this night so special. His select audience for the night are all rabid Reid fans and he treats us, the initiated, to fan favourites 'Faith to Arise', 'River', 'Without Expression' and 'Rich Kid Blues'.
Reid has no setlist tonight: "I've tried setlists," he laughs, "then I just gave them up". He looks at his four guitars that he has standing either side of him. He looks back and forth like a kid in a sweet shop who can't quite make up his mind about which delicious morsel to choose. Finally he gets the inspiration that he's been looking for picks up a guitar and plays us a few works in progress. To the fans' relief he tells us that he's been back in the studio recording this new material - he doesn't tell us when he'll have anything out but it's enough for us that at least he's in there. You see Terry Reid is famously unprolific having only really released 6 studio albums in over 40 years.
Terry comes over like an otherworldly character full of avuncular jocularity, he rolls his eyes upward in a sort of "would you believe it" gesture as he regales us with a smörgåsbord of stories peopled by such luminaries as Jimi Hendrix and Steve Marriott.
I have a slight urge to shout out 'Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace' as the astute among you will know that this Reid penned tune turned up on Cheap Trick's debut album. Instead someone shouts out "We love you Terry" which makes Terry lose his train of thought and he replies: "You've confused me". He then gently chides one of his guitars: "You better be in tune", before picking it up and deciding it's close enough for rock and roll.
Time gets away from Reid and all too soon he's only got one track left to play and even then Reid is in no hurry to play it despite the impending curfew, instead he enters into another of his stream of consciousness ramblings before carefully choosing another guitar and playing a drawn out version of 'Seed Of Memory'. Reid is taken aback by the reception that he gets tonight and is genuinely moved - as are we all.
If you've never heard of Terry Reid before check out the video below and see just what we're talking about.