NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS
Chas: “Noel and Mitch were shaking like leaves and even Jimi was petrified to go on stage. They realised that they were part of something bigger than themselves and I had to get a bottle of Scotch to restore some courage all round.”
NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS : ‘HAIL JIMI!” by Nick Logan:
“Hail Jimi Hendrix, the personality, the contortionist, the wise cracker, the exhibitionist. Hail Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell his traumatic Experience. How they were needed to close the package which opened at London’s Albert Hall on Tuesday. The bill seemed as if it would never get off the ground. Thank goodness for Hendrix, the untamed and the unchained, swinging down from the trees through Knightsbridge and Kensington to set the masses on fire in an ectoplasm of sound. This was wild man Hendrix, blowing the mind, biting, rolling, caressing his guitar into maniacal regions of sound fantastic, through the sexy ‘Foxy Lady’, the frantic ‘Let Me Stand Next To You’ and the now classic ‘Hey Joe’. Unbeatable Hendrix value - and then into ‘Burning Of The Midnight Lamp’, a preview of their new L. P. ‘Spanish Castle Magic’, the softly swooned ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ and into a sound barrier breaking ‘Purple Haze’.
Here was Hendrix the musician, but also Hendrix the comedian, wisecracking into the mike - ‘Like you now to plug your ears because I’m not responsible’ - and caressing his curls like a housewife with a new perm: Hendrix the contortionist, rolling on his back on the boards, kicking his feet in the air, skulking behind a wall of amplifiers like a scolded child; but most of all this was Hendrix the showman, the king size personality. And that was just what the rest of this group tour of first-timers lacked - personality. Too many groups with often too little time to put themselves over in this vast auditorium nearly brought the bill flat on it’s face. Perhaps the fact that for all the groups this was their first major tour and this was the first night of it counts as a point in their favour. And also it should be mentioned, the Albert Hall isn’t the easiest venue in the world in which to generate atmosphere.
Took too long
With whistling mikes and an erratic spotlight the show took a long time to warm up and the Move closed the first half of the bill to only mild applause, taking almost the whole of their act to get in their stride. They kicked off uneasily with the Byrd's number, "Rock 'n' Roll Star," followed with a short "Flowers In The Rain" and began to pick up slightly with a good rehashed version of the old Everlys and Nancy Wilson hit, "The Price Of Love," Carl Wayne and Trevor Burton sharing vocals. "Morning Dew," the Tim Rose number, was a good choice to follow but Chris Kefford's raucous vocal was drowned in all the wrong places by he group's overpowering backing. "Hold On," Carl Wayne on vocals, proved better and the group broke into a more characteristic sound with their hit "I Can Hear The Grass Grow." On the whole not a very inspiring Move performance and I found Carl Wayne's posturing with the mike embarrassing and not very clever. The Amen Corner, looking rather dated with swinging sax and almost Shadows-like guitar steps, played their first number "Let The Good Times Roll to absolute silence from the Hendrix audience. "In The World Of Broken Hearts" improved their reception slightly but Andy Fairweather Lowe, on his knees bathed in a white spotlight for "Gin House," earned some of the best applause of the night. A nervous beginning, but the Amen Comer will improve with time. The Pink Ployd played a relatively subdued instrumental set with a toned down version of their now famous light act and lots of crashing gongs, cymbals and eastern guitar. A pleasing set but again not very inspiring. P. P. Arnold's old backing group, the Nice, worked hard through a lengthy instrumental during which Keith Emerson whipped and flayed (literally) the organ into a frenzy of sound. It was all very unnecessary, I thought as this group obviously has the talent to make it without gimmicks. The Outer Limits from Leeds and the Eire Apparent from Ireland opened the bill. Ex-Radio London dj Pete Drummond was compere. A worthwhile tour for Hendrix fans but let's hope the rest improve a little as it progresses.”
MELODY MAKER - ‘Caught In The Act’ by Chris Welch:
“The Hendrix – Move tour thundered off on it’s trip ‘round Britain with a deafening start…’The Floyd’ gave one of their colourful and deafening displays of musical pyrotechnics, and indeed all the groups were painfully loud, with the agony increased by the horror of the Albert’s acoustics. ’The Eire Apparent’ practically damaged my hearing system for life; ‘The Nice’, my favourite group, blew their cool; ‘The Amen Corner’ raved like a show band, and the Move thundered along in a shower of ‘Flowers In The Rain.’ Jimi was great, and deserved the ovation, but really Mitch and Noel shouldn’t make announcements. Sorry lads, but Jimi sounds better with the chat.”
DISC & MUSIC ECHO by Hugh Nolan:
“Way back in 1966, a bill consisting of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Move and the Pink Floyd would probably have had little impact. But on Tuesday last week exactly that bill packed the vast Royal Albert Hall … A funny thing pop, isn’t it?
Hendrix… it seems…can do no wrong, [his] hysterically exciting act provides what must be the most crashing, soulful, thrilling finale any pop bill could hope for - short of perhaps the Beatles, who don’t play on pop bills any more.
….but it was Jimi the crowd was screaming for, and it was Jimi they got, doing every trick he knows … and always managing to produce very beautiful sounds’.