The ABC tour……….
Whoever came up with the idea of putting ABC and KID CREOLE on the same stage is a genius.
The ABC tour was a great success.
Returning to Manchester was a blast, since I used to live there 1000 years ago. And the same for Sheffield. I used to live there, too. And London … hey I used to live there, as well. Yes, I’m a New Yorker who has spent a lot of time in England. Hey, in the United Kingdom, to be sure.
The tour: Manchester, Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Bristol, York, Sheffield, Gateshead and Nottingham; All cities that Kid Creole has, at one time or another in a long and varied career, performed in before. But so very nice to revisit.
I’ve known Martin Fry since the glorious 80’s. A true gentleman and a true survivor, much like myself. And he still sounds as wonderful as he did in the beginning. ABC still rocks.
My longevity? Much of it is due to the guys and dolls who surround me on that stage.
This time around, for the ABC tour, we had Barnaby Dickinson on Trombone (he’s been with me for over 16 years), George Hogg on Trumpet (off and on for 5 years), Dave Imby on Drums (a 9 year veteran), Oroh Angiama on Bass (over 8 years), Lorne Ashley on Guitar (my son, who has just joined the band this year), Mike Gorman on Keys ( over 8 years), and …. the fabulous COCONUTS, of course.
The COCONUTS = Sarah McGrath (who we met in Bosnia in 1998), Roos Van Awesome (over 3 years) and Charlotte De Graaf (the newcomer, who joined the band last year). Charlotte replaced the longest standing Coconut in the history of the band, Eva Tudor-Jones (who took a leave of absence to have a Coconut baby). We all miss Eva’s presence on stage. But she is still very involved in the business end of things.
Trivia: Charlotte celebrated her 27th birthday while on the road, in York. Who said “youth is wasted on the young”? I disagree, vehemently.
I mention these names because the KCC SHOW would not be as magnificent as it is without these talented musicians and singers and dancers. Every true bandleader knows that the secret to greatness depends on the simple act of assembling the correct players. I have been constantly blessed with the correct players.
One should also note, that besides the players on stage there are a whole lot of other people involved in a tour. My sincere gratitude goes out to the ABC staff, who made the whole thing enjoyable from start to finish. Their monitor man made each show a breeze for me. I could hear every instrument and every voice, including my own. That’s no joke. Every lead singer will tell you that the greatest danger on tour is the possibility of straining your voice. But from the first show I knew I was in good hands. You see, I am still old-school. I use stage monitors, not the in-ear gadgets that shut out the universe. And that means I need a sound man who knows what he is doing at the helm. I got that.
My 2 KCC guys who travelled with us were perfect also: Andy and Eric. Andy, our backline tech guy, made sure the stage was always ready for the groove. And Eric, our house engineer, made sure that what the audience heard was what I wanted them to hear – the goodness!
Our set was only 45 minutes in length but those 45 minutes were filled with magical grooves and banter and joyful appreciation from fans, old and new. We played CAROLINE WAS A DROP-OUT, DON’T TAKE MY COCONUTS, STOOL PIGEON, NO FISH TODAY and ANNIE, I’M NOT YOUR DADDY which, on some nights, got audience members up and dancing the conga. I consider this a major feat, because the venues were all sit-down affairs.
All in all, we had a funky good time.
Another great memory is born in the eternal legend of Kid Creole and the Coconuts.
Here’s a link to a wonderful write up from Graham Clark for the Yorkshire Times