05 June 2011


jim(I was going to head this "Corina Hamilton" but I couldn't find that razzmatazz showbiz font that blinks and flashes like a used-car scam.)

Oh but don't you love that shot of Big Jim Potts as if in supplicatory pose? Talk about Lawd Have Mercy.

'F course, if that had been moi, it'd be:

"Please please, Cori - just one cuppa round the corner at the Nomad Tea Rooms."

Loipon, Friday 3rd June, and off to HolTrinCo for the soirée part of their successful Summer Rave.

walking docvtorI needed cheering after a distinctly ragged week steering maman thru a crucial op in Athens, made gloomily aware by the hints of the quacks that I might sooner than expected be having to see that somebody's grave is kept clean.

girl at iasoDoxa to Theo, my backhander candles under the font to St Spiridon had kept the old josser sweet and we returned together in triumph.

I'd actually wanted to rehearse with the lads and sit in on a few ditties but the moment I entered the church and heard the tightly rehearsed sound and Raoul's expertly recorded background tracks (equally expertly twiddled by Rob Sherratt), I knew there was no room for me.

More than meets the Strum - Jim Potts is a performer who always catches me off guard by playing better than I remember. Not that he isn't good - and I have his albums constantly on the system to remind me - but 'live' [to use a fashionable word] he gets a better sound, wails a wailier harp, sings a throatier blues than I remembered.

He gets a true Sun studios whipcrack from his Epiphone and has one of the very few Brit accents that can pull off a twang without getting all pseudy like those Mancunian DJs or ghastly C&W jamborees in deepest Wolverhampton where 'dudes' walk round all hat 'n' no cattle and call each other pard'ner.

jim stompLook at him over there, the darling. If that isn't a man giving his all to the Blues, I don't know what.

If I lost my way on the Memphis~Maidenhead bypass and stumbled into a bar with hollerin' guitar action like that on stage (and those size 12 boots, yeh?), I'd turn to my rider:

"We here, babe, this's the place.

Call your mom, call your pa, tell 'em we'll be at that Rotarian dinner, Neasden crossroads, noon tomorrow sans fail.

Little business to attend to tonight."

They're cool; they'd understand.

I've said this before and I won't let him off the hook, Jim is one of the nicest blokes I know - thus disqualifying him from any midnight rendezvous down the Crossroad Arms - and brings a modest donnish tone to his informed intros that capture the essence of each song.

groupI once in an album review introduced an invented LP - Huddie Leadbetter sings the Best of Abba. Response from readers was as gobsmacking as it was laughable, and the teenaged sub said sweetly, "Gosh, I hope his manager is getting on to him right now before the excitement dies."

I'm reminded of that silly jape every time I listen to Jim's expert and coaxing interview with John Lee Hooker, at first hearing falling into the category of unlikely pairings.

raulRaoul, of course, is your consummate picker and iron disciplinarian, hence the well-oiled ensemble and meticulously composed backing tracks that Rob worked so well. Raoul is looking fiercely walruser by the day, so he should get those new album shots in the can fast before the mad genius look goes.

There was an absolutely hypnotic song given a cajun layering whose name i forget because I was somewhat distracted ... a lot, actually.

Let me put it this way, anyone noticed how I've not yet mentioned Ms Corina Hamilton.

Oh poh poh ... what a stunner. Twenty years younger, I'd be making a very big fool of myself indeed; as it is, I'm hovering around my trademark pseudo-mature, not quite de haut en bas, faux gravitas routine of owning simpering assholedom. Actually, that's rather well put.

My dears, for a voice like Corina's to belong to those looks and obvious adorabilitiness ... but enough.

laughingAmigos ~ Look at that lovely photo of Corina and Jim enjoying the evening. Hot damn! When I snap and good 'un, it stays snapped, and no whining about the blur ... we talkin' da blues here, ain't even meant to be no stretched mouths around, know what I mean, but this one's allowed because it's got that blue blur about it (and it's got Corina in the frame).

I tell you, if that lady chooses, she has a career ...

cSigh. There she is giving a smile to make a preacher lay the Good Book down. Note how the Revd Gulland is in no danger whutsoever of such a gaffe. [Wife sitting in front row, innit?]

Back to Corina ... she understands the lyrics and even her timbre has timbre. What a find! As I paddled around after her at the buffet, I found that she is not actually in any band, so someone get in there and do us all a favour.

Raoul writes beautiful melodies and none gives them the treatment like the wondrous Callihroe but I tell you, Corina [that is how she mis-spells her name, single N] turned me fickle from the first throaty bar of 'Lysistrata'.

I'll get the photos and post them to her Facebook fan page ... but try to catch her 'live' [dread word!].

corinaKnee trembler ~ Spine-tingling gonad graunching interlude when La Hamiltonella sang a capella that show-stopper from 'Oh Brother', Down to the River to Pray.

I used to scoff when I read of daft geezers losing their marbles and changing their will to exclude family and bequeath the farm and oil wells and island in the sun to some wisp of a temptress in whose lush lips butter wouldnt melt ... scoff no more.

As I say, my thrice accursed camera let me down so I couldnt record CH elle-meme, but you'll get an idea from the pale imitation here.

But I ramble, better get back to writing about the concert and the rest of them, I suppose, bore, yawn.

bNo applause please we're British - I am NOT one of those boors that claps and sings along on these occasions, but I will say that, sitting in the church as the HamPottSca crew wondered "Will the Circle be Unbroken", I felt a distinct desire to clap happy and grunt along.

aCommercial break: There is engineering whizz of the night, Rob 'Dials' Sherratt, and above him a pic my mum presented to the fair. Price tag €1,000.00 hence not many takers. Mebbe auction it at the next church fayre. 'Tulip Blues'. Write one specially for Her.

Peace in the Valley - a wonderful rendition with throb and vibrato that would've had The King himself nodding approval and fingering a momentarily unsteadied crown.

Gotta Serve somebody - brilliant choice for a church concert and Jim gave it the underlying cynical gravely tone that Dylan clearly intended. I really need to re-add that album to my store; so many good ones left behind in Seattle.

AJim had talked of the need to rehearse because this time folks were forking out real dosh. They got their drachmas' worth, in spades. Wait, I can't say that; yes, I can, it was that sort of night.

When I walked back to the car, it had an €80 parking ticket. Tipota, vaut le prix. Now there's a compliment.

Mission Hamilton - keep tabs on that remarkable voice and catch her every gig. Yes, I did say she belonged to no band (and even her last one was so short-lived it never even got a name). I'm talking bootleg stuff like crouching outside her chicken shack, basking in the trills as she croons in the shower; stalking her in AB to catch a dulcet hum as she cruises the vege counter. That's what I'm talking about, not sissy stuff like sitting in a concert hall with a coupla hunnert other glazed-eyed devotees, each of us in our Hamilton t-shirts asking "Corina Corina, where you been so long?'

Wonderful evening.

raulParking Ticket Blues -

'What's that on my baby's windscreen?
Pink slip flapping in the Tupelo air
Something 'neath the wipers,
Looks like The Man put something there
I been listening to Crooning Cori, and I don't mighty care.

Got me an eighty euro ticket, down Route Mavilee
Judge's wife called up, said 'Let that man go free,
A Cari Hami concert? Hottest ticket in town,
Toots got a smile on her
Make a preacher lay the Good Book down'

(Lord have mercy, that girl's sweet features ... words fail me ... blow it, Big Jim, blow what cain't be said in words)


When I thought I'd be singing in the church jamboree, I started my first 'religious' song - also the first in a long time of any song.

I pictured the usual congregation and wanted to skate close to the mark and put some lurches on their faces while never quite inviting a thunderbolt. The melody just came, as did the unusual chords. I hum it still, catching myself wondering which album it came from til it clicks that it's mine.

Don't Block my view of the Cross

Too much gnashing, not enough teeth,
Too much trashing of my brother's belief,
Too much cashing in on my Father's forgiveness
Of all my mischief and grief,
Something tells me, I've lost my view of the cross

Mister Moneychanger, with your coats and your ties
To the bright lights no stranger, Where the women writhe
You look like the Lone Ranger after Tonto said goodbye
Did Kemo Sabay lose the trail of the cross?


Don't block my view of the cross, mister,
Let the sun shine through
It's the only view I've got, sister,
How Jesus died for me and you ...

[back to verse]
You look so good, girl, from your smile to your feet
Lips a'puckered for the Sign of the Peace
Have you noticed the ones you want to hug stay firmly at their seat?
That's their game, girl, they've got their view of the cross

[Cool change of key for:]

Walkin' in the Garden of Gethsemane
In the cool of the day
No hustlers no buskers no enemies,
Or that's what the scriptures say
But they stretched him up in Calvary
So he could end his day ... with a view,
You get a good view from the Cross

chorus: Don't spoil my Dream of the Rood, mister,
Let the joy shine forth
You've got me in the mood, sister,
Always happens with the Word of the Lord.

Verse ~ Stole my neighbour's oxen, coveted his foxy wife,
I'm just a honky-tonk sinner livin' the loser's life
But Verily, He said unto me, 'You gonna make it up to Paradise,
Right there at my side, soon's we've died, gonna quit this view of the cross.'


Simon Baddeley said...

Ouch. You're at your enviable best writing about real things rather than gleanings from the meeja - but don't stop.

Corfucius said...

thanks. work in progress, good buddy. soon as i get those fotos up, it'll be getting there. also want to tag in some links to jim and callirhoe.