|Einlass:||19.00 Uhr / Beginn: 20.00 Uhr|
|Veranstalter:||eventhalle Westpark GmbH|
The Bevis Frond is a working rock band. It inhabits that crepuscular zone which sits amorphously between the mainstream and the underground. Not big enough to get on to television or appear at prestigious events (though a distinguished attempt at Granada TV's 'Countdown' quiz show has passed into legend), and not small enough to interest the legions of kindly record company moguls waiting like vultures to assist their young proteges efforts at enlarging their label's incomes. Another over-riding feature of The Frond's rather unique position is that the three main protagonists are no longer what is known in affectionate farming circles as 'spring chickens'. This has its pros and cons. The pros being that all the relevant dues have been paid, the quality of the playing is usually of a reasonably high standard, and having seen it, done it, smoked it and shagged it, the anticipated level of naivete is almost never achieved. In English that means we can't be taken for a bunch of stoned out idiots all the time. Moreover, if we are, those poor unfortunates who have miscalculated the ease with which we can be stitched up, often have their misconceptions brought to their attention swiftly and forcefully. And in a strange way this is also one of the cons. The very fact that we are quite clearly not pushovers, makes us an unattractive proposition to most termites in the music industry. Not that I don't understand. Why bother with a cantankerous bunch of middle aged cynics, when the world is full of pretty young things queuing up to be taken to the cleaners? I mean, think of the video!
I'm Nick Saloman, born in London in 1953. I write all the material for the band, which in the studio at least is basically a solo project. On record, I play all the instruments, do all the singing, produce, edit, design, sell, and all that. Live, I play guitar and sing, while the bass is played by Ade Shaw, and the drums by Andy Ward. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate in securing the services of these two fine musicians. Let me elaborate; Adrian Paul Shaw is my senior by six years, which means he was going to gigs in the sixties that I could only dream about. OK, I saw a lot of bands from early '68 onwards when I was just 15, but Ade was already 21 and he'd more or less seen everyone worth seeing. Beefheart at the Tithe Barn, Harrow, Hendrix at the Saville, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, The Redcaps, Paul Simon at High Wycombe Town Hall In '65. He even saw Shane Fenton and The Fentones with Bobby Elliott on drums! I met Ade in '89, introduced by a guy called Rod Goodway via a friend of mine called Phil McMullen. We got on really well, and found we had a great deal in common. Over the years Ade has referred to this 'synchronicity' on a regular basis, and I have to admit there does seem to be something going on there. Both our fathers were Jewish refugees from war-torn Europe who married London girls, we both injured our arms in motor bike accidents, we both have one child and our houses are extremely similar. The clincher, however, for me came when Ade's aunt from Vienna died recently and he received some family papers. It turns out that his great, great grandmother's maiden name was, you guessed, Salomon, which is how my grandparents spelled their surname. It was my father who cunningly anglicised it to Saloman. Ade has been with me from the start of the touring. We've had a succession of other members. The first line-up featured 'Rustic' Rod Goodway on guitar and Martin Crowley on drums. Rod has been mates with Ade since the late sixties when they played in various bands together. There was 'J.P.Sunshine', 'Rustic Hinge' and most notoriously 'Magic Muscle'. They shared a Dorsetshire farmhouse in 1970 with Arthur Brown and lived in close proximity to High Tide, before moving to Bristol, going their separate ways in the mid-70s when Ade got the gig as Hawkwind's bassist. The live Frond was born from a Magic Muscle re-union in 1989 supporting Hawkwind. Their original guitarist, Huw Gower, was in New York and unavailable, while the drummer, Kenny Wheeler had jacked it all in many years before. I was asked to sit in on guitar, and suggested my friend Martin as drummer. The result was so encouraging that when The Frond was asked to tour Europe in 1990, that became the first line-up. Martin was a lot younger than the rest of us. A wonderful drummer, but a consummate party animal complete with blue mohican and 'Clash City Rockers' tattooed across one bicep. One tour was enough. Rod, being primarily a singer was a little superfluous. For our next European jaunt we were going to employ the services of ex-Pretty Things/ Pink Fairies drum legend, Twink, otherwise known as John C. Allder. However, shortly before leaving for Copenhagen, he began to show worrying portents of what may well have been to come. An insistence on a month's supply of bottled water (in case he got spiked), and a private bathroom at every gig caused us sufficient anxiety to enquire as to whether or not he was really that keen on going. With a couple of days to spare, we replaced him with Ric Gunther, who was a close friend of our new guitarist, Bari Watts.
I've been friends with Bari since I was 18, and as I frequently opine, he is the best guitar player who isn't famous that I've ever heard. This line-up lasted for three years, but came to an end in The Goodwill To All Men public house, Harrow at the beginning of '94, when, spurred on by a problematic European tour of their own band, 'The Outskirts Of Infinity', and not a little alcohol, Bari and Ric decided to air all their apparent grievances at life in The Frond, and gave a list of what I felt were unrealistic ultimata, the upshot of which was that they quit the band. Ade and I had to find replacements quickly as we had a tour lined up. We decided to forego the services of another guitarist. I felt I could handle that side of things alone. As for the vacant drum stool, a singer/songwriter acquaintance of ours, Todd Dillingham had recently been in touch with ex-Camel and Marillion drummer, Andy Ward, and used him on a couple of recordings. I got hold of Andy's number and asked if he'd like to meet up for a play. We all got on fine, the music sounded better than ever, so Andy joined the band. Perhaps it should be noted that, as is the case with all drummers, Andy did not come without a certain amount of baggage. A truly superb drummer and a thoroughly nice guy, Mr.Ward has a medical and social history that can be a little daunting to the casual observer.
Most years The Frond embarks on a European tour. This usually lasts about a month and takes in most countries, though for some reason we've never played in France or Spain. 1998 saw the Frond embark on it's first coast to coast tour of America, it must have gone well as we're due back there again in 1999.