5/8/15

Back Street Crawler - Live at Croydon (1975)



Very happy that this live concert has been requested since 1) it's always good to see that all Koss stuff is awaited, 2) it's a really great live album, not even paling in comparison with Free but it's true the band was in no way an imitation of them and 3) it's for an opportunity to discover how Mike Montgomery was a great composer (and singer too, particularly on "Survivor" and "All The Girls Are Crazy)), he is actually the main author of most of these songs that were, in my mind, much better than those of Bad Company but of course I was in minority judging by sales. Thus, I explored the (small) discography of Mike Montgomery (who quitted the band) some months later, replaced by John Rabbit Bundrick. And I found some forgotten gems I will post here soon. Discovering artists I had missed and helping to keep their music alive and share with anyone in the world who comes here is one of the rare things that make me feel life has still any interest at my age. Note too that the main singer of the band, Terry Wilson-Sessler was proposed to be the new singer of AC/DC but declined the offer. Meanwhile catch this wonderful concert here.

After Free definitively disbanded, in 1973, Paul Kossoff drowned more and more in his addict-habits, probably because, like Brian Wilson and so many more, he had been broken by an authoritative dad all his youth. But spring 1975, he finally was in charge of his band, a strange outfit composed of John Rabbit Bundrick US friends and some English ones (notably the excellent singer from the UK band Beckett, Terry Wilson-Slesser). The biggest surprise was that, except for the quite bad production, their self-titled 1st LP was a gem, somewhere between Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Chicago and, of course but not so much, Free. The best was that they had as soon as the 1st LP, a collection of songs to defend on stage and that assured them an audience that would enjoy herself without asking for Free favorites (except "The Hunter", they didn't play any). Mike Montgomery, the main writer of the band (almost all songs are his signature) was a fantastic new ally for Kossoff, and to have found a nice singer, much more in the Marriott-Plant file than the Rodgers one, was a good point to avoid constant comparison. This concert catches them at Croydon, a place so legendary for Free, at their beginnings and the excitation, energy and dynamics are all there. Kossoff is not always in tune but takes some wonderful solos. Impressed, they would sign a big contract with Atlantic, the label of Koss old pals Rodgers and Kirke. What would come later would be a total wreckage due to Paul Kossoff himself, going deeper and deeper in his demonworld of addiction and inconsequence. A boy that everybody says was nice, but unable to cope with his fatal attraction for mandrax and then coke and even heroin. His heart would cease to beat during a plane trip one year later, after months and months of a downline road with more and more uneven apparitions on stage. Enjoy this superb testimony of survival. This concert has been released 3 times (with rather ugly cover sleeves), always under the name of Paul Kossoff, and it's a shame since he was quite proud to have a band back. So it's more respectful to give credit to the full name. The front picture was taken from a photographer calling him or herself "privatedancer" on deviantArt.






5 comments:

TONY MORRIS said...

Hi. Could you please re-up Back Street Crawler - live in Croydon please. Tony

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very nice concert. Sound is indeed excellent for a recording from this period and the songs are quite interesting.

Listening to it now. Much appreciated.

Derek from Paris

peppermintfrappe PF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peppermintfrappe PF said...

thanks for a great upload, yours has an extra two songs I wasn't been able to find!

dkelvin said...

It seems you have find it. Thx for the comment
dk