Splinter Group Review, Review Everleigh

May 8, 2001
SECTION: Whatson

LENGTH: 613 words

HEADLINE: Rock star comes Mac from the dead

DATELINE: leisure

The rain stopped in time for rock legend Peter Green to unveil his new band at an outdoor concert in Everleigh.

Pub landlord Garry Marlow and his partner Sarah Jane Levitt had run up against the age-old problem of weather when they launched a series of outdoor concerts at The Crown.

They could well have have renamed their first event Rock and Roll in the Rain because it bucketed down for the first couple of hours of the inaugural concert of a series of rock events which the couple plan to stage to help put their pub and the village of Everleigh on the map.

But the rain miraculously halted in time for the star of the show Peter Green, a founder member of Fleetwood Mac, to appear with his new band the Splinter Group.
Green is a rock legend and an enigma because after leading Fleetwood Mac from obscurity to chart topping success on both sides of the Atlantic he dropped out of the limelight altogether.

Memories were still fresh of Fleetwood Mac topping the pops with Albatross in 1969, which is today regarded as a rock classic, when Green left and slid into obscurity for 25 years.

Green has spent the past four years clawing his way back into the music world and making a new name for himself with the Peter Green Splinter Group.

The group was making its first appearance back in the UK at Everleigh on Saturday after a successful tour of Europe and the USA.

Green was once rated one of the greatest rock guitarists in the world and is beleiveed by music critics to be on a par with Eric Clapton, whose place he took in the John Mayall Bluesbreakers when Clapton left to join Cream, and Mark Knopfler.

On Saturday, while he waited to go on stage with his new group, he told the Gazette that although he is back it is not the same as it was in his chart topping days with Fleetwood Mac 30 years ago.

Green is reluctant to talk too much about the past 30 years and how he disappeared into obscurity only to re-appear when a number of imposters were claiming to be him.

He said: "During those years I did get involved with a couple of groups but nothing special. In fact I didn't play at all from about 1981."

The man who was part of one of Britain's most important rock groups had all but forgotten how to play. He said: "When I decided to play again I had to start all over."

He shook his head at the suggestion that he was once one of rock's greatest guitarists and said: "I never was all that good and now it's different. It's not the same as it was.

"I need a lot of practice. Sometimes you have to do a lot of work and because I was away for so long that's what I had to do.

"I knew the length of time I had been away from playing would make it difficult. A lot of it has come back but it's different, it's hard to explain."

But when he took the stage as the sun broke through at Everleigh on Saturday the crowd of about 400, many of them soaked from the earlier storms, did not care. They were there to hear a rock legend and they did not let the damp grass underfoot prevent them from dancing.

Landlord Gary Marlow said afterwards: "It was an absolutely stunning performance from one of the great names of rock."

The Crown is planning to stage concerts each month through the summer and on June 16 has John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers appearing with Chris Farlowe and Amor.

Mr Marlow said they were still waiting for confirmation of who will be appearing in July but they have invited another rock legend, Van Morrison, to headline the August concert and are waiting for a response from his management.