Des Henly's Rock and Roll Circus

Gig reviews - uk music papers

Concert Review:

27 Apr 1974 - Bristol University

If Fumble are supposed to be the leading exponents of the rock and roll revival, someone doesn't know that holders of such titles are supposed to cling to authenticy like crepe soles to suede uppers - or else Fumble don't like the mantle thrust upon them.
Their concert at Bristol University last Saturday shows them to be far more interested in developing and adapting a style than reissuing it to a later generation. Of course the mainstream of their music remains jiveable, but the rock and roll standards don't come over as pure unadulterated songs any more preserved intact in a timeless glacier of nostalgia.
Fumble know what the music of today is just as well as they interpret that of yesterday. Naturally they use the old material, interspersed with some of their own, but what they take from it is not its past aura and its appeal for those who lived themselves in the Fifties, but its basic simplicity, its directness, and its universal Saturday night quality.
An indication of the way Fumbe do move forward is the fact that they've recently acquired a lead guitarist, who plays solo breaks, a little slide, and keeps a couple of pedals for other effects, and truly adds an extra something go the golden oldies. But don't get the wrong impression about Fumble - they haven't come up to date so much that they'll rediscover flower power in a couple of years - they're too well rooted for that.
No. I leave you with Des Henly's accolade for the steaming students as a sign that they keep their feet on the ground - "the best way to tell if an audience is having a good time is by the smell. You lot have got to be enjoying yourselves 'cause you smell awful."
Howard Fielding
Sounds
May 4 1974