Arthur Brown is an imposing figure, at least to start with.
Standing centre stage in a kind of spiky crash helmet, a colourful horned mask, and a long black cloak thing, he looms heavy and kicks off with the daunting ‘Zim Zam Zim’ – the title track from his new album. It’s a solid sound. Shades of funky, chilled ska are underlined by a menacing tribal feel, as the band—similarly masked—grimly fulfil their solemn vow before us.
Things lighten up somewhat, though, as layers come off, and Arthur’s likeable and jovial self is pushed to the fore. He banters and interacts with the crowd with a command fitting of a man with some 50 years (!) of stage experience, and entertains with some fun goonish antics – at one point, having away with the keyboard player’s instrument, forcing him to play a solo whilst chasing him around the stage.
The new (and final) album’s a great one, complimented by the old material perfectly. And, yes – he did play ‘Fire’. It was ace.
Review by Hal Walker
Photo by Louise Mary Archer