It's true to say I am a huge fan of music. I bought my first album way back in 1978 when I was just seven years old. (It was Outlandos D'armour by the Police). I had a radio long before then too. Well actually it was more like a classic wireless with a rounded wooden case, I think it was handed down to me from my grandparents, I can't really recall. However I do remember listening to Radio Luxemburg which was about the only station it could receive. The signal was weak and it would come and go getting louder then a moment later it would fade away for a minute until it returned. In the next room my brother played ELO and stuff by the Beatles. Almost all major events in my life are marked by a record that make up what would be a huge soundtrack.
Boston Band, the Beloved Few have made their mark on that soundtrack over the last 2 years, and a fairly major mark it is to! I discovered their CD in Borders one rainy afternoon back in 1998. Customers could listen to the CD through headphones so on the strength of the cover alone, I listen to the CD. From that moment I was a 'fan'. The CD has never been far from the top of my most played pile since that day back in 98. And the Lemon Millennium singe has been on top of my CD player easy to hand since I got it last year.
There was no way I was going to Boston and not seeing them play live somewhere. I wanted to meet the guys behind this great album, I wanted to see them play live and this was going to be a rare opportunity for me to do just that. Anne found out their dates for me and together we headed over to Crackers pub in Beverly to see them perform.
Crackers pub is what I imagine a typical American bar to be like. Dimly lit, with neon lights around and a ball game on TV screens. It was packed and filled with the smell of smoke and beer, just as any good bar should be. Perhaps this night the bar was far busier than usual not just because the Beloved Few were playing, but also because the Boston RedSox were playing the New York Yankees and the Yankee's stadium.
Anne and I took our place at the bar and started a tab. I ordered a shandy as I was driving, and evidently the drink isn't popular in America as the barmaid asked me if I was being a wise guy. Once I explained the makeup of the drink (half beer half sprite) she obliged willingly. Anne ordered a drink that looked more like an ice cream than a drink! So in this bar full of people drinking beer shouting at the RedSox and listening to the Beloved Few playing, Anne and I sat there drinking an ice cream and shandy!
The Beloved Few were already in the swing of things before we arrived on this memorial day weekend evening. David Stefanelli was toasting the summer and kept inquiring from the stage as to how the RedSox were doing. They were winning.
When the guys to a short break I introduced myself to David and had a brief chat. After that he kept making fun of me from the stage and doing his English accent, which for an American, wasn't too bad. Although I don't think I sound like anyone from Austin Powers!? I then went wandering around the bar chatting with fans (of the Beloved Few and the RedSox too!). That bit was great fun for me because people knew who I was thanks to David who had kept making jokes about me being English.
As the night drew on the smoke got thicker and the music seemed to get louder. And while the band played a superb set the RedSox were beating the Yankees on the TV screens, which only heightened the atmosphere yet further. The guys played a great set of material from their CD and covers from the 70's.
It all came to a perfect end when the RedSox finally beat the Yankees and the Beloved Few played a real powerful rendition of their song 'Regards to William'. The atmosphere was just superb with everyone cheering both the band and the RedSox alike with David and Michael toasting the summer and the RedSox one more time.
Afterwards I chatted with David and Michael about life as musicians and their upcoming CD. I got well over an hours worth of material that could pretty much could have all been used. Putting the final show together was very hard because a lot of material I wanted to use had to end up on 'the cutting room floor'.
I hope though, that I managed to capture a little of the mood of the evening. Certainly for me the show takes me right that evening. And what a evening it was. It really was one of my best memories of America ever, and now one which thanks to this show, I will never be able to forget.
Check out the Beloved Few's website and buy their CD! It really is superb. I can't wait for the next one.