Monday, April 21, 2008

Mavis Staples - not down in Gateshead, apparently

As you will see from the above sign, Ms Staples did not quite make it to her performance at the Sage the other night (nor to Basingstoke Anvil four nights later, according to my dad). Disappointing as this was, it was handled brilliantly by the Sage who, not having chance to warn us as the cancellation had only happened that afternoon, offered everyone a full refund and yet still ploughed on with the support act, Jhelisa (talented, but SO not my thing) and The Mavis Staples Band (just sans Mavis Staples).
The stoicism and 'we're all in this together' spirit of 'the show must go on' was commendable and Staples' band were all very skilled musicians. They shared the duties out amongst themselves, the guitarist taking the lead for the majority, the bassist taking lead vocals on a couple of songs, and the backing singers (two of them) stepping up for a song each. The latter, Donny and Siobhan, were excellent...he did The Band's The Weight, she Turn Me Around (from Staples' 2007 album We'll Never Turn Back).
A bit of a letdown, then, not getting to see Mavis, but a laudable evening's entertainment given the circumstances.
Here are a few for Mavis and her band:

The Show Must Go On - Queen

And the Band Played On - Saxon (Hell yeah! Rock out with your cock out!)

Making the Best of a Bad Situation - Millie Jackson

Get Well Soon - The Empty Orchestra
And a couple of tracks from the good woman herself:

Down In Mississippi - Mavis Staples

Turn Me Around - Mavis Staples
And, finally, an extremely disturbing, but beautifully thought-provoking video to Mavis Staples' Eyes On the Prize:
(Note: Most viewers will find the scenes in the video they should, and it does not mean it should not be seen!)

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