Garth and Maud Hudson w/Goldrush
The 100 Club, London, UK, September 26, 2007
Review and photos by Roger Woods
2007 has been a good year for live performances for Band fans. There's Levon's Rambles, Robbie performing with Eric Clapton at the Crossroads Festival and the UK seeing Ollabelle in May. Add to this Garth and Maud Hudson befriending the British band Goldrush and performing 6 times over the summer. They performed at Oxford Brookes University on 22nd July (see review by Peter Viney) followed by an impromptu concert at Steventon Village Hall the following night. Do the residents of the village of Steventon know how lucky they are? Then over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd September they returned to the UK and performed twice at the rescheduled Truck Festival in Steventon near Oxford. Finally they've just performed twice at the 100 Club on Oxford Street in London's West End with their new found friends, Goldrush.
You need to read Maud's account of dinner with the President of Magdelene College to get some idea of the affection between Garth and Maud and Goldrush. You had to be there at the 100 Club to appreciate the fantastic atmosphere these musicians create. I was there on Wednesday night. A short and lively set by Piney Gir and the Bluegrass Two began the evening. The 100 Club is a small, intimate venue in a basement. It's played host to The Stones, The Sex Pistols, The White Stripes and a host of other big names. Maybe 100 people were there on Wednesday to watch Garth and Maud take the stage with Goldrush at about 8.45. The next two and a half hours were magical.
At Oxford Brookes University in July it was clear that both halves of the association were feeling their musical ways. Over the few times they've now played and rehearsed together they've developed a rapport and a confidence with the arrangements which made last night's concert look pretty slick. Goldrush were excellently competent as a backing band. Two guitars, bass, congas, drums and keyboards were augmented by a horn duo which really made the music soar. They did Ophelia which could only work as it did because of the sax and the trumpet. The same went for Young Blood (the only number from one of the reformed Band albums). This had the novelty of vocals from Garth in the chorus. He didn't strain his voice however -- which he used frequently, either to check an arrangement with Maud or to tell a joke or two. ("What's the difference between an accordian and a trampoline? Folks generally removes their boots before jumping on a trampoline.") There are clips of the music on YouTube which give a good idea of the atmosphere. King Harvest was played brilliantly by Goldrush. Maud opened with It Makes No Difference and the only disappointment of the night was that this was the only time Garth played sax. He encouraged the horns from time to time however, conducting them, bringing them in and playing keyboards in support of them.
The set list ran like this:
It was a fantastic evening. Were any Guest book readers there? Someone told me John Niven was on the guest list. Garth and Maud (who never looks cold) were clearly having a great time. Goldrush and Danny Wilson really brought it off as more than a backing band; it was a musical collaboration. The audience was full of old Band fans but there were plenty of young people there who knew the words too. I'd predict that we'll hear more of Garth and Maud with Goldrush.