Review: Jim Leverton & Geoffrey Richardson

The Coach & Horses, Whitstable, Sunday 5th August 2012

 

For years those in the know and lucky newcomers have made their way on sunny afternoons and rain swept winter’s nights to various pubs and had the privilege of hearing Geoffrey Richardson and Jim Leverton play together.

 

Both are world class musicians with pedigrees as long as both your arms! … Google them and see. Together they make fantastically eclectic music as they take their listeners on a marvellous musical journey through their respective careers, both having played, and continuing to play with many famous bands.

 

So it was delightful as always at The Coach & Horses to hear many of the favourites including a fine rendition of Ride On a great song made famous by Christy Moore. It was sensitively interpreted by Jim’s singing and guitar playing, and enhanced by Geoff’s fabulous viola playing. After such an early high point we knew we were in for a great afternoon of music, so sitting back suitably ‘refreshed’, (as Andrew says on this site "You only have to buy the beer!") .

 

An attentive and appreciative audience were treated to a fine set as the virtuoso Geoff selected the appropriate instrument to soar with from the several that he plays, including flute, mandolin, and guitar, and Jim cracked the punters up with his ready wit. Always a great and evocative singer Jim was on particularly good form, as Geoff’s playing reached into emotional areas that moved us all.

Part of a Jim & Geoff gig is a section graciously explained by Geoffrey where three pieces are played in sequence ; one from the long established band Caravan of which Geoff and Jim are both current members, Geoff from their very early days and Jim a relatively more recent recruit, then a song from Jim’s long musical association with Steve Marriott of The Small Faces, and then the lovely instrumental piece Paul’s Dance from Geoff’s time with ‘The Penguin Café Orchestra’ which has been known to silence and quietly uplift even the noisiest of drinkers in the past!

 

For me the highlight was their version of Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?, a deep and reflective song that has a beautifully played slow instrumental introduction, and which needs to be listened to carefully to catch the many poignant references in the lyric.

 

Near the end of the gig this was balanced by the ribald song Rene The Docker’s Delight (from The Small Face’s repertoire!) that produced gales of laughter all around… When Jenny the landlady rang the pub bell to call for yet another round of applause, it could not have been more deserved. If you haven’t already, see them! … if you have, see them again! … As Jim once said, “We’ll keep playing as long as people keep showing up”

 

Submitted by Nigel