Uli Twelker on „Chasing Tales“: Relaxed late work full of winks, smiles and finger snaps

Lots of followers remember the Steve Gibbons Band from harder-edged R&B-times when they got cooking as The Who´s support, and stunned European audiences with their Rockpalast appearance of 1981 (their legendary gig at Berlin´s “Metropol” got a belated, welcome release on CD and DVD 30 years after the event). Later on, a relaxed, JJ-Calesque swing was added, and as a sideline the Brummie lad shone as the voice who often sang Robert Zimmermann better than Bob himself, not least via the Dylan Project with his favourite guitarist P.J. Wright and members of Fairport Convention. Steve Gibbons has always been a disarming, poignantly observant storyteller: and this is exactly what makes CHASING TALES so welcome between Swing, Beat, Calypso & Folkrock – Gibbons´ first “LP” with new stuff since STAINED GLASS from 1995.

How can you wake up as hung over as Steve in “Where Was I Last Night”, quote “Shakin´ Al l Over” quickly while he´s at it and stay with a tongue-in-cheek boogie woogie? Who else would be able to equip detective scenarios like “The Chase” or “Bad Day At The Office” with characters straight out of the Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler universes, pub-rocking so wonderfully countrified in the process? We get treated to gripping love tales, too: meet “Velda”, or the hot lady with the room above the music shop, the one with the broken hi-fi, Steve couldn´t even grasp the name of: She calls her “Jazz”, and “Jazz alone is worth the price of admission! In the process, Gibbons once again tries the footsteps of one Harry Belafonte, when he pimps his underdog philosophy “Limbo No More” the Caribbean way and makes numerous clubs and your front room dance – hopefully including a few festival-sites along the way. A relaxed affair, full of nods, winks, smiles and finger snapping. (RGF Records, 12/48:27) utw Uli Twelker

Uli Twelker is a drummer and music journalist. The above article was first published in the magazine „Good Times – Music from the 60s to the 80s“ No. 3/2009 and we thank Uli Twelker for permission to publish it here.


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