Reviews of early
New Musical Express, August 1970)
Club is a famous entertainment venue in Leeds, Jeff's
hometown. When Roy Orbison performed there, he returned
Jeff's phone call about recording All
The Love .. but they missed each other, so it
was an opportunity lost.
CHRISTIE'S break from a heavy concert schedule for a
week's cabaret at Batley Variety Club met with a mixed reception
at Saturday night's opening.
Their pop and blues numbers appealed to the
younger members of the audience, but the older people seemed
bewildered by the volume of it all.
There were no pretensions to be all-round entertainers.
They concentrated on playing their own brand of music, ranging
from original compositions to some of the big hits from
the rock era.
Bass guitarist and lead singer Jeff Christie
harmonised with Vic Elmes on an Everly Brothers medley (Bye
Bye Love/All I Have To Do Is Dream/Bird Dog). The
Chuck Berry influence came in Put
Your Money Down.
a track from the forthcoming album and a possible choice
for their next single, featured Jeff's vocal talent and
there was some good guitar work from Vic on this story song.
Drummer Mike Blakley provided a good rhythm
for their act, which was climaxed by their hit Yellow
New Musical Express, October
The overwhelming response which greeted
in Sweden - and around the world - has been completely beyond
the group's wildest expectations.
Now it's down to a basic case of supply and
demand .. for such is the speed with which their fame has
spread that foreign impresarios wait in line to sign Jeff
Christie, Vic Elmes and newcomer Paul Fenton for appearances.
I met the lads in Stockholm in the middle of
their frantic whistle jet-stop tour of Scandinavian and
European capitals, before a lenghty visit to South America.
As we sped to the Esso Hotel Motel, Jeff gave
me a quick progress report on the tour: gigs in southern
Spain, marathon TV extravaganzas in Italy, and "would
you believe yesterday we spent the whole day charging around
some medieval German castle dressed up as monks," he
laughingly told me.
We arrived at our hotel in Kurgens Karva, and
prepared to flop out in the contemporary comfort of our
rooms. This was short-lived as Christie's regular companion,
a Glaswegian named Booby, dragged everyone out to attend
a press reception at Stockholm's Tudor Arms. Following a
photo session, interviews and some rather large measures
of local liquids, it was time to head for the first of that
evening's two university dates.
After a well-received 35-minute set at Uppsala,
it was back on the road for a midnight show at Karen - and
what a knockout show this turned out to be!
The place was packed to capacity and despite
feeling a little weary, Christie played a peak performance.
I'm sure they are going to surprise a lot of people. They
are very funky and heavy but they don't degenerate to unsubtle
histrionics favoured by so many other bands.
Apart from their own originals, they were wise
enough to spice the program with Buffalo Springfield's Rock
and Roll Woman, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix
in Hey Joe,
and a good workout in Tobacco
All three virtually collapsed in the showroom
after their final number. They looked quite exhausted and
Paul's leather trousers were stuck to him with
perspiration and for some time he just didn't have the time
to change. Flat out on his back, he did manage to raise
a smile and admit: "Man, it's just great coming off-stage
absolutely out, knowing that you've played not only with
every ounce of strength in your body, but to your capacity."
Vic just moaned and said he felt ill, as Jeff,
who was drying off, cheered everyone by saying: "We
haven't started yet. We've got Copenhagen, Belgium and France
before South America."
"This tour is the best thing that could've
happened to us, because by the time we get back to England,
we're gonna be a tight and well-rehearsed band," said
Paul. "I've only been in the band for about a month,
but we're all working bloody hard and I think we'll surprise
quite a few folk who may think of us just in terms of Yellow
Later that evening we made it to The Three
Coins for a bit of good old-fashioned raving. Paul sat in
with a fine local jazz-rock band called Salt and Pepper,
after which he was joined by Jeff and Vic for an informal
spot.This packed the floor with wild, gyrating dollies until
the early hours.
All too soon it was time for me to head to
the airport, and home, leaving Christie to catch a few well-deserved
hours of shut-eye before the next hectic leg of the tour.
As I checked in for my return, a flight stewardess
inquired: "I hope you enjoyed your stay in Sweden?".
Darling, that goes without saying."