|1,4,5's. Photo: Wo.|
After the surfrockers of Hyperblaster Surfcowboys had finished, the podium was reshuffled a little for the second act of the evening at ‘Hail to the king’ night in the Q-Bus in Leiden. John Paul Keith and the One, Four, Fives took to the stage. Also guitar, bass, drums, but with three microphones that were used for singing as a main difference. The second difference was that the variation in JP’s repertoire was a lot bigger also. The similarity lay in the fact that the set was comprised of songs styled in ways that are long over in 2014. There were a few covers in the set, Freddie King’s ‘Hideway’ (or I’m nearly sure, as all these instrumentals sort of sound like each other), ‘You devil you’, which sounded very familiar ('You angel you'?) and the song that ended all fun on this night, Billie Swan’s 1975 #1 hit ‘I can help’. I hadn’t heard the song for years, but could sing every word and realized: This sounds like a Paul McCartney song so much. I’d never noticed that before. And here we get to one of the strong points of John Paul Keith. (And why did his parents forget Mick?, unless John Paul is after the two popes of course.)
|JPK. Photo: Wo.|
On record, I only knew 'The man who time forgot', his 2011 album before the show, John Paul Keith goes off in many direction. From Buddy Holly to straight country, to rock and roll or The Beatles. Anything goes, but sometimes too wide to my liking. The real country stuff, mwah. This made me a bit awry before the show started, as the show could have gone off in any direction as well. My apprehension was taken away almost instantly. In trio setting JP Keith mostly rocks. There is no escape in this trio setting of guitar, bass and drums. Again the songs themselves may go off in several directions, but all are played in a solid way. With some great guitar soloing going around.
Just when the band had finished a great rockballad sort of song, my companion for the evening said to me: "The show is having a dip. This is not my sort of music". Just then the band kicked into a Chuck Berry kind of rock and roller and we both did not look back. Limbs were moved around! In other words a great build up of the set.
|1,4,5's. Photo: Wo.|
In a sense John Paul Keith is an anachronism. With songs and sounds that could have been created 50 years ago and more, his musical taste is not from today. Ricky Nelson and Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and The Beatles in its first years. As all four are no longer active (or alive) today, there is a market for these songs. Ludwig van Beethoven is still played, so why not new songs in an old idiom. Especially as they are as pleasantly good as the songs John Paul Keith writes? Listening to a The Beatles kind of song, with at exactly the right moment the right extended or diminished chord, is so much fun. Spine tinkling sometimes.
That leaves me with mentioning the two members of The One Four Fives, John Trahey on bass and Brian Wells on drums, who both do some backing vox in the right places. Together they create a very tight show, partly down memory lane and partly in 2014. Anyone enjoying rootsrock, rock, pop and beat, can't afford to miss a show by John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives. Don't hold your breath, but expect a review of John Paul Keith's last album 'Memphis Circa 3AM' soon as well.
You can view John Paul Keith's 2012 show at Q-Bus, Leiden here.