David and Ged
This summer I was fortunate to play bass with a bona fide guitar legend, David Rhodes. David has been Peter Gabriel’s guitarist since 1980 and has played on all of his releases since then. He has also performed with Paul McCartney, Scott Walker, Joan Armatrading and perhaps most thrillingly for me, Talk Talk. It is David’s spidery lead line that adorns Life’s What You Make It, one of my all time favourite songs!
David is renowned for his minimal and spare approach to guitar, playing just the right thing. He is also a terrific singer and songwriter. The shows I have played with David are in support of his new album, simply titled Rhodes. This is his second solo release with the first, Bittersweet released back in 2010. Rhodes is now also the name of the group too, a three piece featuring Ged Lynch on drums. Ged has also played for Gabriel, 13 years or so following on from The Icicle Works, Ruthless Rap Assassins and Black Grape.
The bassist on both of David’s albums is the superb Charlie Jones. Currently playing in Goldfrapp, Charlie was Robert Plant’s bassist for years and played on all the Zep related reformations in the 90’s – Unledded, No Quarter and Walking into Clarkside. Charlie has also just released his first album, Love Form on September 13th. With David used to playing with Charlie and Gabriel’s bassist, Tony Levin, I had rather big shoes to fill!
Our first show was in Liechtenstein, the tiny country squeezed between Switzerland and Austria. We performed in a fabulous studio in front of a small invited audience. The first song we played was Rhodes album opener If I Could Empty My Head.
We then went on to play a selection of tunes from the album including this slamming tune Monkey On My Back:
And You Are The North Wind:
We played 9 songs including a German version of Waggle Dance. We revisited Waggle Dance for our final performance where David caught me showing off in front of the camera calling me a tart! I subsequently made a big mistake and managed to nearly put David off!
As well as the performances, a short interview with David took place:
The performance was recorded on two inch tape by the great Little Konzett of Little Big Beat.
This session and the following show was organised by Austria’s top promoter Alex Nussbaumer. Alex is a fabulous, energetic and positive chap who came to meet us at the airport. He knew David and Ged from previous Peter Gabriel shows but surprisingly he also seemed to know me. He kept going through possible connections until he realised that he knew me from my regular appearances on Sonic State’s weekly podcast Sonic Talk! Alex is a regular listener to the show and I suppose out of context he was convinced he knew me!
Here is a video about the live sessions they make in Liechtenstein:
The following day we performed a free outside show in Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein. This was a great fun performance despite the rain. Here is an audience filmed clip of the song Crazy Jane from David’s earlier album Bittersweet: