FART AT PLAY !
saturday 08.04.72 AMSTERDAM holland CONCERTGEBOUW
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elly de waard - de volkskrant - 10 april 1972
CAPTAIN BEEFHEART ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE
Last Saturday night Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Beefheart, or Don van Vliet as his real name is, has been a youth friend and long time protégé of Frank Zappa, on whose Straight label he brought out two very exceptional elpees.
While nowadays Zappa’s own musical avant gardism has been accepted by a very large public, Captain Beefheart's work still goes much further beyond it and till now his various elpees only have been appreciated by a very small group. However, his recently released album "The Spotlight Kid" all might change that, because the well structured chaos of Beefheart appears on it in an apparently simpler and therefore much more approachable form.
The concert last Saturday night also primarily focused on this new simplicity. Beefheart performed with two ex-Mothers, the brilliant drummer Art Tripp and bassist Roy Estrada. Moreover, his steady seconds Zoot Horn Rollo (bill harkleroad - t.t.) and Winged Eel Fingerling (elliot ingber, who in fact wasn't that steady - t.t.) played along as lead guitarists and Rockette Morton as second, not less brilliant bass player (and sometimes as third lead guitarist - teejo). So: two bass guitars, two lead guitars and a drummer - an exceptional combination for a pop band.
These five produced a music that wasn't less extraordinary: an unpolished, almost raw sound which at the same time was very complex in its structure. The rhythm dominated, but it often was an asymmetric rhythm, in the way it furthermore only occurs with The Band sometimes. Over the very loud, completely unpredictable although very logical sound structures of the band the captain himself laid his incredible vocals.
Beefheart owns a voice which covers several octaves. In the higher registers his voice has the quality of Eric Burdon, in the lower ones he is the pop equivalent of Michael Rebrov [possibly the same as iwan rebrof - teejo], and his obsession surpasses that of Doctor John the Nighttripper. He growls and sniffs in the microphone he sometimes almost puts in his mouth; he excellently plays harmonica, and besides treated his soprano sax a long while in a way as if he couldn't play on it and yet knew very well what to get out of it.
The tenor of repetition his compositions have does bear a great similarity to The Velvet Underground. By the way, Beefheart's lyrics are worth a separate mention, but even without this enumerating and not adequate description it will be clear that a completely unique character was speaking here. The only drawback of the concert was that in fact it was much too short (after well over an hour it ended very abruptly) to really comprehend it well. Beefheart's records will have to do the rest.
ROY ESTRADA oréjon / audi hon
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