England has had a long tradition of hosting star-studded extravaganzas to raise awareness and money for various causes, and it seems Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones) has stored footage of a number of these events in which he's been prominently featured, stowed away for years, later successively brought out by MVD in the label's One Night Only series. Elsewhere (here), you'll find coverage of the ultra-cool Willie & the Poor Boys DVD, but this one chronicles the AIMS (Ambitions, Ideas, Motivations, Success) project Wyman founded , here coming to the aid of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
The night starts with a trio of cuts from Elvis Costello and Chrissie Hind, mellowed rock soon followed by the impeccable Chris Rea, just as smooth but with full backing band in a quartet of tracks, including Steel River. As far as I know, Rea has only two other DVDs out, Road to Hell and Back and the Dancing Down the Stony Road bonus that previously was only available in the magnificent Blue Guitars 12-disc box set, so any chance to see this guy is an opportunity that should not be passed up. After him, the All-Star Band hits the rostrum, composed of Wyman, Phil Collins, Ronnie Wood, Ian Dury, Terence Trent 'Arby, and too many to name, all performing a set of oldies and standards, reviving the rock and roll spirit of former times, complete with set of girly-girls on backing vocals (if ya don't have a Ronettes, then ya just ain't hip to the groove!). Rea cuts back in for a sit-in on Baby Please Don't Go, and of course it stands out.
Small surprise, with Wood and Wyman pretty much coordinating affairs, that we're treated to a version of the Faces It's All Over Now and the Stones' Honky Tonk Women, both with Terence Trent D'Arby sitting in and exactly the kind of cool/sloppy ramble you want from these cats. Included in this package is 3/4's of an hour's worth of backstage activity and full-song clips of opening bands The Works, This Perfect Gift, Someone Shouted, An American in Paris (cool-ass band!), Mola Mola, comedy splices by Jim Davidson and a pair of performances by the Spinal Tap-y metal spoof band Bad News doing a piss-take on Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and then their own Bad News (with a horrifically mangled Moby Dick mutation in the middle). Pretty fucking hilarious: a set of posturing purposely half-talented oiks cavorting in rock star abandon, screwing the pooch from here to Sunday, really really bad but funnier than any event since George Bush trying to act like he knew his ass from a hole in the ground on anything.
Oh Christ, I guess I gotta watch out for the NSA now, but…oh wait, those farts only listen to Perry Como and Liberace! Phew!!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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