THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN
Steve Goldby: Photos by Liz Medhurst 26th July 2011
Arthur Wilton Brown was born on 24th June 1942 in Whitby, North Yorkshire and is best known for his flamboyant, theatrical style and significant influence on Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel, Marilyn Manson, George Clinton, Kiss and Bruce Dickinson, among others, and for his number one hit in the UK Singles Chart and Canada, 'Fire' in 1968
His dancing style was influential on his whole generation and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple says it was from Arthur he got the inspiration for his falsetto style.
He is regarded as the first goth and is respected by hippies and punks alike. Later, he became the first man to use a drum machine as a live instrument, replacing his drummer with a Rhythm Ace in 1973.
Article continues below...
So it was with great excitement that word spread that Arthur would be performing a set in the Ace Cafe at High Voltage on Saturday night and yes, it was well worth missing Slash for.
But the gig went pretty much unpublicised and I met many people afterwards who had no clue he was playing and were ultimately disappointed they had missed him.
The 2011 version of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown consists of a really good drummer who I am guessing is in his late 20s, a very good bass player of around the same age and two accomplished lady musicians on keyboards and drums.
I have been doing some searches to try to find their names and a little history as they deserve a namecheck at the very least but there is no information at all, not even on Arthur's official website.
The lady dancer was superb as well. She brought plenty of colour to proceedings and added a new dimension to the songs she appeared on. Wonderful costumes!
Of course, the majority of people in attendance would only know one Arthur Brown song and it was a good move to save it right until almost the very end. He reworked the intro to amazing effect and the song brought the house down.
I am talking about 'Fire' of course and Arthur makes it onto these pages because I consider it to be one of the very first Heavy Metal tracks, certainly the first one to make it to number one in the UK charts.
That gives Arthur 'founding father' status in my book and it was a total pleasure to see him perform because I never thought I would ever have that experience.
If you get the chance to see a true legend who still has the most amazing voice and a top, top band around him, you really should make the effort as it truly is an experience.
Arthur's gig dates and lots of other information are available on his official website by clicking here.