Saturday, 15 January 2011

Man a Pysgod

Why o why o why was I not at this gig?

Here were two of Wales' finest jamming with not only a true icon of the sixties, but one heck of a blistering plank-spanker.

Now Barry Melton has never been regarded much in the guitar world, but his playing with Country Joe and The Fish (Melton's The Fish) was always incredibly bold and dynamic.
He could do a nice jingly-jangly and he could play a mighty fine boogie; but his solos, Wow! They were off the scale.
Blistering, shuddering notes that jumped right out at you, just leaping off the mix; notes so intense with vibrato and power they'd send your head reeling.
Man, he could do incredible things with that whammy-bar!

Okay, so he's slowed a little through the years, and his solo work is rather subdued compared with what he produced back in the day, but hey, he's Barry Melton, The Fish, the guy who runs towards the camera with a joint and holds it an inch away from the lens in the movie Woodstock, the guy who shouts 'no rain, no rain', the guy who often led the Fuck chant, you know: 'Give me an eff, give me a you...' etc.
And he was playing in Baglan, near Port Talbot!
Less than an hour away from my house!
And with two guitarists who could easily keep up with the Californian import.

Micky Jones and Deke Leonard: Man! nuff said.

Except, Micky Jones was rated by Zappa as one of the best guitar players out there - I saw Jones jamming one time with Jimmy Carl Black's Muffin Men, and Man, when he played Zappa, he played Zappa. Closer than anyone else I've ever heard. It's all in those nuances, right! And Jones could do it so well - and Deke Leonard: Man, one of the gutsiest rhythm players you'll ever encounter.

And the reason I wasn't at the gig: well, didn't know anything about it.
Most gigs in Wales seem to rely on word of mouth; the talking drums around here are very, very damp; the best shows one seems to come across through serendipity rather than advertising.
And to prove it: there's no one at this gig.
Okay, maybe six or seven people; or at least that's what it sounds like.

The space makes for a wonderful recording; top class, as good as many professional live recordings: a definite A+, but it does sound pitiful when Melton tries to sell the empty venue 'genuine Woodstock and Monterey picks' [£6.95 a pair].

However, the lack of bodies doesn't deter the axe wielding trio - three SGs! What more could one want!? - and they play their hearts out.
The combination of Melton's songs and the Man duo's Spunk Rock sensibilities makes a perfect blend: a cocktail for the ears.

So, enjoy this.
Nearly two hours of psychedelic bliss from three very original players.
O yes.

Barry Melton, Micky Jones & Deke Leonard - Baglan Social Club 17th July 2004.

I Can't Dance
Barry Speaks
Barry Breathes
Mojo Navigator
Picks For Sale
The Love Machine
Busted Strings
Colorado Town
The Dance
Butcher's Boy

CD rip to mp3s; includes cover art.
There was a welcome in the hillside here


. said...

Just brilliant. Your post, that is - I haven't heard the music yet. Keep it up, Roy.

. said...


You are SERIOUSLY underselling this. I expected, I dunno, something a bit crap ... I mean, how could anything acceptable, let alone amazing, come from a night at The Baglan Social Club?

Not only is the sound quality/mix astonishing, the playing, by EVERYONE, is fucking incredible! Worthy of the Matrix or the Carousel or the Fillmore. Acid rock at its finest - great long jams ... wow. Plus you get Melton's hliarious raps to the audience.

What a totally fantastic recording.

(And you were at home polishing the family coal!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAARGH ... *kaffkaff* .... hihihihihih .... oh dear .... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!)

roy rocket said...

I must have 'sold' it enough for you to bother with downloading it; even though you thought it might be a 'bit crap'.
I thought I'd big-upped it adequately ('psychedelic bliss', 'three SGs'), but your hyperbolic enthusiasm speaks for itself.

Glad you like it.


how's that? roy

. said...

The best thing to come out of Wales since ... since ... er ... let me get back to you on that one ...

(and you're right about the pick-selling speech - it's tragic - but pretty prescient of him to keep a supply of picks from Woodstock: "Hmmmm - I think I can shift a couple of these at the Baglan Social Club in forty years time ...")

Art Ducko said...

Excellent stuff, Roy! I'm moving & grooving with my Mojo Navigator as I type.

zappahead said...

Saw barry and the band with commander cody @ the iniversity in cardiff in the late 70's...he pulled a few of the man band on stage with him and proceeded to bring the house down.....didnt think id ever recapture it till...i came upon your goodself with this recording from cant believe it...excellent stuff and great to hear both deke....and mickey...god rest his soul in great form.....thanks for this superb recording...much appreciated......cheers.

roy rocket said...

Yeah, it's good isn't it.
Hey, thanks for your comments. roy said...

Hi can anybody tell me how to fet this concert? I want to hear it so much.

roy rocket said...

Click the 'here' link, that takes you to Mediafire, click 'Download' then 'save'.
Unpack with Winzip or whatever once received.
Enjoy. roy

AnthonyH said...

Just stumbled on this web site so thought I should post a comment. First why were so few people there ? Answer - because he wasn't supposed to be there that night. The tour had kicked off the previous night at The District Club in Pontypridd which I attended. There it had been announced that the next night's gig in Aberbeeg, which I was also planning to go to, had been cancelled but a new one quickly arranged in Baglan. Incredible, only just up the road from Neath where I live ! This change wasn't posted on Barry's web site so very few people would have known about it. I suspect quite a few fans probably turned up at the cancelled gig.

I had a chance to chat with the drummer Ian Backhouse that night and he was saying that Barry had sent over a tape of songs, they'd had one practise session of 4 hours and that was it off on tour. Baglan was the second night.

This was a really great gig, as you so rightly say, especially the jamming wth Micky and Deke. Martin Ace was also in attendance but he didn't get up to play.

It took me a year to get hold of this concert which was recorded to a mini disc from the soundboard. I asked Barry and he said the bass player, Mike Dunn, would be able to send a copy, I chased Mike for it a number of times but never got it. Eventually when Barry came over again in 2005 and played another great gig this time at the Patti Pavillion in Swansea, backed by the Green Ray, he gave me a copy after he'd finished playing.

If you are interested I prepared artwork for this CD, including an 8 page booklet. If you can see my email address contact me and I'll send it to you (in WORD format).


PS I assume your download is for a double CD as the playing time is about 111 mins ?

roy rocket said...

Howdy, Anthony.
No I can't see your e mail, but I would be very interested in seeing accompanying booklet; you could always contact me:
I'd be very grateful.

Yes, this is a double CD, including lots of chat.
Have you seen my Grandmothers' post?

It also has ref to Mickey Jones, who I saw play with The Muffin Men a few years back at Narberth of all places.

Anyway, thanks for the info, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Shanti, roy

zigzagwanderer said...

I'm amazed that some of the links on this now dead blog are still functioning - not that I'm complaining ! This sounds like it could be a good 'un , many thanks .

roy rocket said...