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Overall Rating
4.0

Tramps Club

Written by Lisa Adelson Jun 06, 2008 at 12:52 PM
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We were fortunate enough to see Peter Green at Tramps club in Manhattan, NY, last night. We arrived there at about 8:00 PM, an hour before the show was supposed to start, and already there was a *really* long line of people standing there, waiting to get in. We walked to the end and felt sort of discouraged as to our chances of getting a good view of him. However, Marty had made a few contacts with some of Peter’s entourage, and his name had been given to Pete’s manager, Mich Reynolds. Luckily Mich happened to be standing right by the box office window when Marty went up there to see if he could pass a note back to her, and we were given clearance to come right in. I think they were going to let us in for free, but we’d had tickets already anyway. BTW, on our way in, we heard people calling our names—there were people who were up in the front of the line who recognized us from the Penguin—we think they were from Massachusetts….? Sorry we couldn’t stop to chat, but the security guy was waiting for us with Mich.

We walked into the empty club where they were doing the soundcheck, and talked for a bit with Mich, who was very gracious with us. We gave her some printouts of the Peter Green material from the Penguin, and she said it all looked "brilliant." Near the stage we could see Peter himself, and we were soon taken over to meet him. Mich showed him the Penguin pages, and he looked quite astounded to see all the written material on him. It was quite cute to see the look on his face. He did comment that, "You don’t have my full name," (inside the star on the main page) and Mich explained to him that we couldn’t fit his full name there. I touched his arm and told him that his tour had generated much interest on the site, and that people were excited he was on the road again. I’m not sure he really understood what the Penguin was, or the internet, but he seemed appreciative. At this time we also met Nigel Watson, who was to the left of Peter. We asked if it was OK if Peter signed a couple of things for us, and he walked over to a table with me so I could remove the records from my bag. As I did this I told him how much I‘ve been enjoying his work on Then Play On lately, and he nodded. He then signed my vinyl copy of his solo album "In the Skies", (unfortunately, this one smeared…) and then signed the front cover of the original (unopened) ‘dog and dustbin’ Fleetwood Mac album. Before signing it, he looked over the cover like he hadn’t seen it in a long time. I asked him if he was enjoying himself and if things were going well so far on the road, and he thought for a minute and then nodded and smiled. I didn’t really care that he didn’t talk; it was just so great to see him looking so well! We asked if we might take a picture with Peter, but Mich felt it would be better if we took it during the show instead.

He then went off with some other folks while we spoke with Martin Bell, (Peter’s guitar tech), a nice chap whom we had also previously corresponded with. In chatting with Martin he told us that the first show of the tour, in Cleveland, was the best he’d ever heard Peter play. We bought a nice hunter green Splinter Group T-shirt for $20 (we thought it was dark blue like the album cover when we bought it). As people began to come into the club, Marty suggested that I stand up by the front of the stage to save us good spots, but Martin said we "shouldn’t worry too much about that" and told us we could sit right up in the front, where the photographers sit. He OK’d this with the security guy at Tramps as well, and we were also given permission to take pictures. Martin said that normally flash photography is not allowed, but if it was for the site then that was fine-- just take photos during the first 3 songs only.

Let us take an opportunity here to say that we were much impressed by the people working with Peter Green. They are all incredibly supportive and protective of him, and seem truly concerned with being sure that everything around him goes on in a manner that is best for Peter. He has a marvelous support system, and they are certainly to be commended for making it possible for Peter to do what he is doing.

The opening act was Savoy Brown; we hadn’t even known there would be BE an opening act. They were very good, but after an hour we were quite ready for Peter!! We finally took our places up under the stage (we’d stood in the crowd all throughout the Savoy Brown show) and were thrilled when Peter took the stage. There could not have been a more supportive crowd. Folks were shouting out things they wanted him to play—mainly Man of the World, Oh Well, Albatross, and Green Manalishi. He did do Albatross, and upon finishing that, said, "Here’s a song that I think is much better than Albatross!" It was Green Manalishi, which he played and sang with much enthusiasm, and the powerful rhythm section gave the song a great ominous feel. Rattlesnake Shake was another great performance, but the song that stands out in my mind as my favorite of the evening was The Supernatural. He wrote this instrumental when he was still in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, at around the age of 20, and it still sounds eerie and incredible 30 years later. He looked so genuinely happy as he played this that the crowd burst into spontaneous applause, and this made him smile more. It gave me the chills. From our seats directly in front of the stage, we had an unsurpassed view of the performance, and we really enjoyed ourselves. (Plus it was so great to *sit*! I’m a wimp when it comes to standing for a long length of time….) The club had a capacity of about 1000, and it looked as if it was nearly full—we wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was sold out. Very impressive crowd.

Anyway, to wrap things up, the Splinter Group was a great asset to Pete’s performance. They are a strong band who can carry him in those moments when he needs to be carried. Nigel has mastered the art of playing like Peter Green, and at times when I thought it was Green I was hearing, I realized it was really Nigel. Much credit should go his way in terms of the musical end result.

We had to leave the show early (I think he had 1 or 2 more songs to do) due to a train we had to catch at 12:40 AM. We thanked Martin, Mich and the security guy for their assistance, and then practically ran back to Penn Station, talking about the show the whole way home. We have to give a special thanks to John and Annemarie for making this night out possible for us- they babysat Brittany and did a great job!!

We also want to say thanks to Stuart Taylor, Mich Reynolds (both partners in managing Peter), and Martin Bell for their assistance in making it such a wonderful night for us.
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Overall Rating
4.0

Peter Green is Still a GOD!

Written by Gypsy Jun 06, 2008 at 12:22 PM
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The title for this review flashed through my mind as I watched Peter Green playing at Tramps, based on the graffiti that used to adorn London's subway walls at the height of his fame.

Well, this review's been long in coming, but better late than never…and the same could also be said for Peter Green! I had been in a state of excitement all day to see Peter- THE Founding Father of my favorite band, and I knew it was going to be a special night.

I'd intended to be among the first to arrive when the doors opened at 8PM, but was still running errands in NJ and didn't wind up making it to Tramps until about 20 minutes to 10PM, when Peter was slated to open, by which time, of course, it was packed. I tried my usual technique of politely slipping between people to get to the front of the stage, but it was literally just too full, and people had no indication that they were moving. So I was forced to remain where I was 'packed', about three deep from the right hand side of the stage. And boy, was it hot in that joint!

Savoy Brown came on at 10PM. I had no idea who they were, but they played ferocious, hot blues. They were a great opener, and the bass player was very intense. I still had hope of squeezing my way to the front once they finished, to be in a good spot to see Peter, but NO chance-nobody budged. Then, once the crew started setting up the stage for the Splinter Group, the crowd broke out into anticipatory applause and shouts of 'Peteeeer'!

And then Peter and the Splinter Group came on. And there he was, onstage- THE Granddaddy of Fleetwood Mac. I couldn't believe he was actually alive and in front of me. Only being familiar with his work from 'The Chain' box set (yes, shame on me), I wasn't sure what to expect, but I knew that history in the making was about to begin. The flashbulbs were going off like crazy during the first few minutes, when they stepped onto the stage and geared up for the first song. Although I wasn't sure what the 'camera rules' were, I had snuck mine in, and you can see the fruits it bore accompanying this review.

Of course, the group launched into some amazing, smoldering blues, and although I didn't know the first couple of songs- I didn't care. I was so happy I was there. I just stood there craning my neck in utter reverence to catch a better look at THE Green God. Live, all the way from England, standing there playing in front of me as though the last 30 years never existed. I couldn't take my eyes off his fingers on that guitar.

Peter seemed rather humble, what with all of us fans screaming 'Peteeeeeeer', and shouting out 'Rattlesnake Shake!', 'Greeeen Manalishiiiii', and 'Oh Well!'. He just seemed surprised that all of this fuss was for him. I was very impressed with him...his fingers just flew over that guitar neck, and I couldn't help but be reminded of Lindsey Buckingham during moments in the show (or should that be the other way 'round?)

And THEN they launched into 'Black Magic Woman'. Oh-to hear those first few beautiful chords being played-I can't possibly describe what I felt during that song-but just to see Peter resurrect that song and to have him playing it front of us was nothing short of magical. Nigel Watson said afterward, "And that was 'BMW'! " (very funny). Peter's voice sounded wistful, sweet, like he had never stopped singing. And they-the Splinter Group- were wonderful. They all obviously connect very cohesively with each other, (the way a good band should), and seem to be a great support for Peter. Not to gloss over their newer songs, like 'Indians', etc., which were special and superb, but I was just lying in wait for the 'big' songs. When they started up 'Rattlesnake Shake'-the whole crowd just went wild, roaring with approval. It was hot, sultry blues at it's best. I must have bust a smile a mile wide when Peter sang, 'I know a guy, his name is Mick.' Such a wonderful connection. BTW, one man I met, John, had come up from MD to see this show, and told me that he'd heard Mick would probably make an appearance for the CA shows (which, I've read, has already happened). Peter played at least two (possibly three) different guitars during the show, the first being a white & cream colored one, the second (for Black Magic Woman) being black.

I just have to say: It was so wonderful to see this man, knowing his past history and where he's come from…and to watch as an almost angelic look passed over his face, as he was drawn into the depths of the chords he was playing. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Here was the guitar player everybody worshipped over all these years-coming full circle to play for us, and it was truly a piece of history that was made in Tramps that night.

It was totally sweltering in that place- I swear I was going to pass out a couple of times…I've always considered myself a tough cookie, but it must be that I'm getting older :-(

During 'The Stumble', I leaned over with curiosity to the guy standing next to me and asked him what song they were playing, which he clarified for me. A few songs later, as they drifted into 'Albatross', the same guy leaned over and said, humorously, "If you don't know this one, they'll kick you out!" You could have heard a pin drop among this boisterous blues crowd as they played 'Albatross'. Peter was perfect-I wish they had just continued playing that over and over…..it could send you to sleep.

He played harmonica on a couple of songs, and it was a real treat for me, since I never knew he played. The sound was out on his harp for one song, but the crowd was too polite to shout out that there was no sound, and they couldn't have been heard anyhow.

I would have totally killed to get him to sign something afterward, and hung out for about fifteen minutes, but couldn't miss my last train home, and so had to leave before Peter and the band (if they ever did) came out. I'd also planned to see if I could find Marty and Lis, but it was impossible in that smoky blues bar atmosphere. If you have a chance, catch this tour-it's a must. And very special thanks to the Adelson's for making these reviews possible through the Penguin.

Check out the pictures that Gypsy took in the NYC show photo gallery.

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