I wasn’t going to review this gig at one point; it’s not as if I’ve never blogged about Pips and Recovery before and I was going to struggle to find anything new to say. Two weeks later I’ve changed my mind. There are two reasons for this; firstly that my 100% record with Recovery gigs looks set to come to an end with their next gig. The second was a chance comment from Mike Holmes before the gig which I later followed up.
Starting with the venue. Zoso was formerly Katana, a small bar tucked on a side street around the back of Parliament Street leading to the Royal Hall. I had been there once before in 2008 to see Faces Of Dorian (featuring – of course – Jonny Skinner and Andy Crick) but I must admit I needed to use googlemaps to remind myself where it was. Zoso itself seems to be a satellite of Rehab and I think the plan is to hold regular live music nights. Just hope they don’t run out of Amstel next time; Heineken doesn’t agree with me – but I digress and there is much to discuss.
He wasn’t playing but Joe Flanagan of the Four 45s certainly knows how to make an entrance. Early in the evening the lights mysteriously went off, leaving the atmosphere slightly more intimate than was intended. Power was restored the same instant Joe bounded into the room, almost as if he’d yelled, `Let there be light`. Of such scenes are legends made.*
Recovery were back to their original line up with Andy Crick standing in for an absent Matt Jones. They were on were later than scheduled but that gave an opportunity for the drink to flow (always a good thing). There were no massive surprises in the set (and therefore not much I can write) but their cover of Sweetness was again a highlight, Modern Army grows in complexity with every performance and I’m Not Turning (normally their slightest song) had a best ever outing.
As for Pips there is even less to say. We know what to expect by now; they delivered – and then some.
But we need to return to Recovery and that chance comment of Mike’s. Before the gig he told me that Jonny and Andy Crick had recorded a song called Drive and that I ought to check it out. So I did …
There are actually two version of this song to be found on Jonny Skinner’s soundcloud and one features Andy Crick on cello. However after several listens I’ve decided I prefer the solo acoustic version and that’s the link I’m going to give here.
You need to give this a few listens; it won’t grab you the first time. But after a few plays its power is beyond description. I could analyse what might be going on here; is this defiance through gritted teeth or the sound of somebody giving in despair and nothing else but I’ll let you form your own opinions.
I can be honest now. Recovery have always lagged slightly behind the other Harrogate bands of the hours, lacking the songs of the Four 45s and the sonic originality of Pips and SiP. Drive shows that Recovery can not only draw level, that might yet be able to surpass their rivals. This song is too good to leave as a Soundcloud demo; also is it possible that now Andy Crick is out of Littlecrazy he might be able to play a part in the band, even if not as a full member?
Going off at a tangent; one of the few false notes at a Recovery gig happened at Harrogate Theatre when Skinner made a dismissive comment about my all time favourite singer – Bruce Springsteen. It’s curious that The Boss has written songs not entirely dissimilar to Drive but given the comment he can hardly be an inspiration. Again it needs a few listens but compare the two and see what you think.
* There’s a `He’s not the Messiah` joke in there somewhere.