Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 10. 22nd May 1975
Country Flying with Redeye
Country Flying with Redeye
Buckahead is in Wellington. A couple of Sundays ago, the Town Hall filled with people to hear the Country Fliers and Red-eye. This concert was the first in a series of ten which will be held over the coming weeks. The aim is to provide music on Sunday night and to give New Zealand bands a regular showing. Last Sunday night there was Mark Williams and hopefully Buckahead will bring Splitz Enz back from Aussie.
So good old Country Fliers opened the show with a Fiddle. They were a group of guys into having a good time and letting us hear the results. By their third number they had warmed up and during 'Naturally' by Little Feat the lead guitarist did a good solo. However it wasn't until the fifth number 'Alimony' by Ry Cooder that the sound filled out and seemed to balance. Turn up the bass.'
The group sound was good on the whole, the only problem being the three guitars. The second lead guitarist is left with nothing to do except clutter the sound. Possibly the singer should stop playing rythm and then the two guitars would have to tighten up. When the first and second guitarists did work on their own it was effective; should've heard that intro to Lousiiana Lady. Still I'm new to the rules of country rock, they're the musicians. I'm just an 'audience'. But I do know enough to like a good lead guitarist and that slide was pretty okay.
The sound ranged the whole compass of country rock with numbers by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody and the Ozak Mountain Daredevils, to mention just a few. The music seemed to bounce along. It was helped by the fiddling of Bob Smith who played for a few numbers Once again the overall sound was spoilt by lousy mixing, but what you could hear was good.
Midge Marsden the singer really did a bonza job on keeping everyone alive and laughing. He had Humour and a sense of fun, which not only the band but the audience needed to loosen up. There was a sort of natural high which comes from making music with a group of friends. The classic expression was when he got the harp the wrong way round — it was almost as good as Keith Richard's when he dropped his pile at Western Springs. Country Fliers was a good opening to good time music that's coming.
The second half of it was that professional Soul Band, solid and dairy, Redeye. Singer and sax man Dennis Mason presented the strong front to give his band total sound.
He was particularly good on
Tom Swainson, drummer, gave out a chunky beat, he knows how to handle those sticks along with the bassist, filling in the sound which gives this band solid power. But, there is no prize for guessing who is the loudest Bass Guitarist in NZ, perhaps it was just the mixing, but it sounded worse than Black Sabbath.
Redeye specialises in doing Loggina & Messina better than they do it themselves and on that Sunday night they were very impressive. The main fault was their extra professionalism and polish which overshadowed any life. It seemed to me these guys are entertainers before musicians. As well they could sure take lessons on being funny. Their attempts were forced and seemingly rehearsed to the point of being dead. Better luck next time.
Yet I enjoyed this band's particular style of soulful sound, as much as my own preconceptions of a band-audience relationship could let me. To most of the audience Redeye closed the evening with the quality of music that shows New Zealand music is often as good as imported stuff.
On the first showing it looks like the Buckahead series is going to be value for money.