2007   JULY 14   #195

The Two Pete's - Live At The Ever New Montague Arms

01. Solitaire (6:31)
02. Macarthur Park/Popcorn (6:19)
03. After The Goldrush (2:54)
04. Bee Gees Medley (7:30)
05. The Games People Play (3:36)
06. Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On (2:29)
07. Love You More Than I Can Say (3:26)
08. Nobody's Child (6:48)
09. The Yodeling Song (2:20)
10. '57 Chevrolet (3:01)
11. It's Only Make Believe (3:01)
12. Trouble (3:32)

It was nearly twenty five years ago that a friend insisted that I accompany him to a pub in New Cross, South East London, to see a duo called The Two Pete's. Comprising a blind keyboard player with more synths than Rick Wakeman and a drummer with a kit matched in scale only by his beard, my friend assured me that The Two Pete's launched themselves at popular classics with such individuality and gusto that a good night out was guaranteed. My friend was not wrong, as the results on this album will attest.

Recorded before the drinkers and ably supported by a selection of guest singers drawn from the crowd, the performances veer from the wayward to the excruciating to the downright bizarre. However, the warmth and the enthusiasm of all concerned is self evident and I can't help but find myself endeared to such individual interpretations, much like viewing a small child taking it's first steps and repeatedly falling over.

There are far too many highlights to list, but I have a particular fondness for the good kicking meted out to Macarthur Park - the helpful addition of a Prog Rock style synth solo and a segue into Popcorn surely improve on the original.

Of particular note is the genuine technical skill of the keyboard player, however misguided the end results. He would play Moog bass pedals with his feet, simultaneously switching from keyboard to keyboard while singing. Tricky to do sighted, let alone blind. The drummer is also worthy of mention for his hyperactive snare technique. He is of the 'if it's not moving hit it' school of drumming. Respect.

As far as I can ascertain, The Two Pete's still perform in the pub and must be in their sixties by now.

I hope 'Live At The Ever New Montague Arms' gives you as much 'pleasure' as it has my friends and I over the years. Apparently there is a volume 2 knocking around as well, although one can have too much of a good thing.

- Contributed by: Scott Taylor

Media: LP
Album: Live At The Ever New Montague Arms
Date: 1981