Friday, 1 July 2016

Zoot Money - The Bull's Head, London, 30th June, 2016, gig review

The Heat is 73 and Risin'

Zoot Money and his band of equally mature members gave a consummate performance to characterise the stonkin’ seventies [most of them] and I don’t mean the decade. Wow, these guys rocked, and such a cliché hits the big nail on the Bull’s Head.

Wordplay over, it was a privilege to see Zoot [to name a few musical liaisons: Alan Price; Alexis Korner; Alvin Lee; The Animals; Eddie Harris; Kevin Ayers; Kevin Coyne; Humble Pie; Long John Baldry; Spencer Davis; Thunderclap Newman] and at 73, soon to be 74, he absolutely thrilled with his energetic presentation of the blues and jazz, ranging widely from Ray Charles to Chuck Berry to Alexis Korner to a guy from Suffolk [which appealed to my friend and me, school mates from Ipswich] although the song attributed to him was actually written by a Scotsman, as Money tells us at its end, and instead it’s the next song that is by our Suffolk songwriter – it was hard to keep up, the songs and glorious solos pounding out were a whir of wonder.

Zoot is a gracious, generous band leader and clearly adores as well as enthuses as the band play their various parts. My musical education continues to expose me as the dunce, not knowing the history of the great players contributing – Al Kirtley, who Zoot acknowledged taught him how to play the piano, not that he will ever be as good [and reading Al Kirtley’s blog today he is as complimentary the other way, saying he couldn’t compete with Money’s organ playing prowess] guested on a number – and it was superb; Bobby Tench on guitar [Freddie King; Van Morrison; The Jeff Beck Group (as Bobby Gas); Ginger Baker; Humble Pie; Streetwalkers]; Nick Newall on saxophone and flute [The Kinks; Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band] and bassist Paul MacCullum who – I wasn’t going to mention but it was clearly a chair malfunction and nothing else – fell over during one number, quite dramatically, but kept playing, the pro’s pro. I’d appreciate some help on the other saxophonist [M Crescent…?] who played superb tenor solos. The guest drummer [Steve? Give me a break, I was having a great time] filled in brilliantly on the night, another one of the ‘Bournemouth’ boys from where so many hailed and/or played back in the day.

Highlights of the night were all the solos, including Money on keyboard [he really only played his Hammond the once, it seemed], but also and memorably Zoot’s singing: such a reverie of emotive R&B/blues, his voice rising and falling and screeching and growling and expressing every joyous emotion in the lyrics and playing. Stand out song was Wild Women and Desperate Men, written by Alexis Korner, and as Zoot tells us, Korner never played it live but he did now. Watch the video I will post after this, with MacCullam on bass.


  1. Just found your blog by chance and wanted to say thanks for your kind remarks. It's always great fun to sit in with my old mate Zoot Money and I'm glad you liked it. However, you missed the best bit, which was after the gig when I had to push ZM's car up Barnes Hight Street to bump start it! Anyway, thanks again. Al Kirtley

    1. Very good of you to stop by and leave a comment Al. My friend Steve and I had arrived early and saw Zoot shifting the gear from his 'old' car himself and we commented then that this was hardly the glamorous rock'n'roll lifestyle! Says a lot for the sheer love of music you guys demonstrated. I hope to come and visit again soon.