Saturday, April 4
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Tag: United Kingdom

Listening Booth — Queen, “High Voltage” (London 1974)

Listening Booth — Queen, “High Voltage” (London 1974)

Listening Booth, Music
God I miss Freddie Mercury, don't you? Thankfully we have a treasure trove of studio albums, concert videos, and of course bootlegs. Because Freddie was always at his best when he had a crowd in the palm of his hand. This particular crowd watched Queen perform at the Rainbow Theatre in London on March 31, 1974. That's just over three weeks after the release of the awesome Queen II album. This show -- which I acquired with the title High Voltage -- is just seven songs long but is full of energy and great playing by the whole band. Roger Taylor is a beast on the drums, and of course Brian May (who gets his showcase on "Son and Daughter" and busts out a solo that will remind fans of the one on "Brighton Rock") rules at all times. And let's not forget the ever-solid John Deacon on bass. ...
Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening Booth, Music
Today marks the first time I'm making a live bootleg available on GFS, but I think it's worth the wait in this case. What we have here is a smooth, yet super-funky 1978 set by the Crusaders performing at North Essex Polytechnic in the United Kingdom. This show, the group's last on their supporting tour of the Images album, was broadcast by the BBC and that's what you'll hear today. By this point in the group's history, it had been eight years since they changed their name from the Jazz Crusaders. That much will be obvious on first listen, as these songs draw much more from the wells of funk and R&B than jazz. It's also a different sound than even the early Crusaders years showcased, as founding member and trombonist Wayne Henderson departed a few years prior to become a full-time pr...
GFS home movies: The Queen

GFS home movies: The Queen

Movies
I've never been much of a Royal Watcher, that devoted group of people who follow the affairs of the British royal family like others follow the characters and plot of Lost or The Godfather. While the notion of a monarchy appeals to my sense of order and love of history, I know that in almost all cases the idea looks better on paper than in reality. As an American, I suppose that anti-monarchist sentiment is ingrained in my DNA. But still, there is something fascinating about watching the institution function in our so-called modern times. The troublesome duality of the British crown is exemplified brilliantly in The Queen, starring Helen Mirren as...the queen. Mirren deservedly won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, who at the age of 25 ascended to t...