Drayton Nights – 1

Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure

For those of you who don’t know.  The Tyneside Cinema has, for the last 18 months or so, been the venue for an event called Record Player which is hosted by the convivial Mr Steve Drayton.  Steve is a producer for local radio station BBC Newcastle and a stand up comedian, but don’t hold that against him.  His dream was to get 30 people sitting quietly in a room listening to a vinyl LP all the way through without interruption.  And by George he’s done it.

Last night’s offering was Roxy Music’s second album For Your Pleasure.  It comes as a surprise to many people that the peddlers of saccharine blandness in the 80s were, in fact, one of the most innovative rock bands of the early ’70s.

Recorded in 1973 FYP is perhaps Roxy’s most consistent album.  Each track adds something to the whole and sits perfectly in it’s place on the disc.  The album kicks off in style with Do the Strand a prog/pop masterpiece that highlights the musical skill and dexterity of all involved and heralds the next 7 tracks perfectly.  I think it’s the way the band manage to display their virtuosity without that being the primary focus of any track that makes this LP as special as it is.  Each track has something different to offer and it never get boring.

I have a particular soft spot for the one two punch of side one’s closer In Every Dream Home a Heartache and side two opener The Bogus Man.  IEDHAH opens with Bryan Ferry’s spoken homage to an inflatable doll backed by some eerie Eno noodling before exploding into life, as witnessed below.  TBM is driven along by Paul Thompson’s hypnotic drum groove onto which the others hang their offerings. 

Now these evenings usually end in a quiz relating to the LP we have just enjoyed but this week was different. This week was special.  Very special.

In our presence this week was the one and only, afore mentioned, Paul Thompson.  Paul had offered to come along and do a bit of a Q&A session with Steve after the playback.  During the session we learned several interesting snippets.

What it was like to be in, and out, of one of Britain’s most loved bands.

That Simon Kirke, amongst others, was an influence on his drumming style.

That The Beatles Revolver is the album he keeps going back to.

That no click track was used when recording The Bogus Man…Blimey!

But, most of all, that Paul is a top bloke and most of the people present would much rather invite him around for a pot of tea than Bryan Ferry.

Steve 'Happy as a Pig in Shit' Drayton and Paul Thompson

Steve ‘Happy as a Pig in Shit’ Drayton and Paul Thompson

Recommended Drink: A nice pot of tea.



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