Wednesday, August 29, 2012

David Garrick - BLOW UP LIVE ! (1968)

David Garrick & The Dandys (aka The Iveys / Badfinger) live at the BLOW UP Munich
1968 PYE Records

01 - See See Rider 
02 - Mr. Pleasant 
03 - Words
04 - Simon Says
05 - If I Were A Carpenter 
06 - Medley 
Please Mr. Moving Man
Lady Jane
Dear Mrs. Applebee Side Two
07 - River Deep Mountain High 
08 - Dandy
09 - Gimme Little Sign
10 - Dedicated Follower Of Fashion 
11 - World
12 - Bend Me Shape Me

David Garrick: vocals
Pete Ham: guitar, keyboards, vocals
David Jenkins: guitar, vocals
Mike Gibbins: drums
Ron Griffiths: bass


It seemed like an exciting project right from the start, which was when Pye's international liaison man Peter Elderfield suggested : "Why don't we record David Garrick in action, entertaining a live audience in a Continental club ?"

Excellent idea ! David's two previous LPs had been studio jobs, put together with care and precision. Now it was time for something a little more Devil-may-care to capture the Garrick magical effect on enthusiastic audiences. And, in the case of D. Garrick, audiences don't come any more enthusiastic than in Western Germany He's wildly applauded in most parts of Europe and he's been voted best dressed man on the Continent by readers of a Dutch paper! but perhaps it's the Germans who are most spontaneous and boisterous in expressing their appreciation.

So Manno Ullrich of Deutsche Vogue (Pye's distributors in that country) was asked to find a suitable location. Manno chose the huge, glitteringly groovy Blow Up Club in Munich. Two nights were booked and mobile recording equipment was hired. All was ready.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the elegant David was on holiday, getting himself a suntan and generally relaxing: he wanted to be in peak condition to make it all happen a few days hence in Munich.

Meanwhile, back in London, recording manager John Schroeder was busy rehearsing a backing group-The Dandy, five guys with rocking souls, modern musical tastes, and a refreshing ability at reading scores. All the chosen numbers are regulars in the Garrick repertoire for, as John explains: "On a live album it creates more excitement if you use material that the audience knows and can immediately identify."

Then The Dandy had to be transported to Germany. "Getting a group through airport officialdom is no easy task at the best of times", sighs John Schroeder. "On this occasion there was a lot of extra equipment, grossly overweight. But, with the help of road manager Bob Whitley, we finally made it to Munich."

At the Blow Up, John and recording engineer Alan Florence, aided by two German engineers, set about the complicated business of achieving a good sound balance in that enormous room (capacity well over 2,000 customers) with a round stage in the centre. They were working with unfamiliar equipment but, happily, the result is a sound that gives a brilliantly accurate impression of what it was like to be present during the four performances by David Garrick with The Dandy.
What you hear on this LP are the highlights from those performancesand it's worth noting that the audience's fervent response was stimulated wholly by the musical entertainment: there was simply no need to do warm-ups or exhort the fans in any way. The vocal presence of David Garrick was more than enough; he was too much!

"In a studio it's possible to clean a recording up, make little improvements here and there," observes John. "On this album there's been no cleaning up. Sure, you might hear the odd imperfect note if you listen carefully but that's all part of the atmosphere. We wanted David and The Dandy to sound as real, exhilaratingly LIVE as possible. We think we've succeeded."

Mr. Garrick agrees: "I feel I'm at my best when working to people, reacting to them, feeling their reaction to me. It's a sensation you can't get in a recording studio. So my style probably comes over more accurately on this kind of location recording."

To ignite the fuse for the Blow Up merely touch needle to spinning disc, stand back and listen for the explosion of talent.~ DAVID GRIFFITHS

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