Thursday, May 25, 2017
Steve Winwood at the Rough Hill Festival, U.K., Aug. 19, 1978
This appearance at an outdoor festival is said to have been Winwood's first-ever solo show after leaving Traffic, coming just over a year after the release of his self-titled first solo album (which I feel was a great, though underappreciated work).
It's a loose-sounding show -- a little sloppy at times, but actually refreshing compared to the ultra-slickness of his '80s-era shows. Winwood sticks to the organ, on which he also provides the bass part, and synthesizer. Winwood's wife at the time, the late Nicole Tacot, adds a homespun touch by singing And Then He Kissed Me, and contributes backing vocals.
*Winwood plays five of the six songs from his first solo album, and he rarely revisited any of these songs again. Some of the arrangements differ markedly from the studio versions. For instance, Hold On is done here Latin-style, while Vacant Chair has a different structure.
*Two Way Stretch is a soulful Winwood-composed number that later showed up only as a 45 rpm B-side in 1981.
*Winwood, who's famous for messing up his lyrics, gets them totally wrong on I'm a Man. You be the judge: Is he making them up on the spot, or is he doing Chicago's version?
This is supposedly a soundboard, but could be an audience recording, judging from the ambient sound. Still, there's little audience blabber to spoil it. The recording had numerous cuts, which I've tried to smooth out as much as possible. The worst is in Low Spark, which ends suddenly just as Winwood's hitting the climax of a great Nini-Moog solo, but there were also gaps in Nobody Knows You (end of the guitar solo) and And Then He Kissed Me (in the last few bars).
I've previously seeded this, but it may have been on another tracker. In any case, I've since repaired an especially bad gap in Midand and a distracting pop in Low Spark, so I suppose this qualifies as a minor upgrade.
All in all, an interesting look at an underdocumented era of Winwood history. Thanks to Kenneth at the winwoodfans yahoo group for sharing the recording with me. Cover included.
CD-R (unknown lineage) > xAct > Audacity > FLAC
Steve Winwood: organ, synthesizer, vocals
John Porter: guitar
Terry Stannard: drums
Nicole Tacot (Nicole Winwood): vocals
1. I'm a Man (Winwood-Miller) 5:10
2. Midland Maniac (Winwood) 8:34
3. Hold On (Winwood-Capaldi) 5:12
4. The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (Winwood-Capaldi) 12:42
5. Walking in the Wind (Winwood-Capaldi) 7:19
6. Let Me Make Something in Your Life (Winwood-Capaldi) 5:11
1. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Cox) 4:01
2. And Then He Kissed Me (Spector-Greenwich-Barry) 2:24
3. Two Way Stretch (Winwood) 5:47
4. Vacant Chair (Winwood-Stanshall) 7:37
5. Time is Running Out (Winwood-Capaldi) 8:44
6. Gimme Some Lovin’ (Winwood-Winwood-Davis) 10:33
7. Hound Dog (Leiber-Stoller) 5:07
TOTAL TIME: 88:25