Monday, 28 May 2018

The Fay Hallam Band at The 100 Club with Special Guests Magnus Carlson, French Boutik & DJ David Edwards

Fay Hallam and bassist Andy Lewis at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
What a great feelgood Friday night down at the legendary 100 Club with a superb line-up...The Fay Hallam Band featuring a very special guest appearance from Swedish Soul star and frontman of Weeping Willows, Magnus Carlson along with support from our good friends French Boutik and then there was DJ Dave Edwards from the Sidewinder club night too. French Boutik played a superb set, bravely introducing a few brand new numbers which went down really well. After all the band have a knack of writing instantly memorable and catchy songs, so even though they might start out as unfamiliar, by the last chord the melodies are already stuck in your head for good.

French Boutik at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
French Boutik at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
Tonight we were treated to the full line-up of the band with vocalist Gabriela, guitarist Serge, drummer Zelda and bassist Jean-Marc augmented by Olivier Popincourt on keyboards and Graham Lentz on percussion and acoustic guitar. They started off with their recently recorded version of The Jam's "The Place I Love" as a happy 60th birthday tribute to Paul Weller and ended up with a well deserved encore and a Punky run through of a cover of "Beta Gamma" by Henri Salvador. Highlights for me included a storming "Je Regarde Les Tigres" and "Mieux Comme Ca" with Serge on lead vocals and new song "Loin de Moi" which sounded like it could become a future crowd favourite. The band are on fire at the moment and I'd recommend catching them play live whenever you get the chance.

French Boutik at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
Fay Hallam and her excellent seven piece band kicked off their set with a great version of the "Dave Allen at Large" theme tune which had many of us old nostalgics looking round for a cigarette and glass of whisky and checking that they still had their fingers intact! We were then treated to an uplifting and uptempo set that touched on most aspects of her career stretching right back to a couple of Makin' Time numbers including the classic "Feels Like It's Love". We were brought right up to date with some really promising new tracks "Magic Potion" and "Lie Detector" which featured Fay's son Josh taking on lead vocals and he did a great job, such a talented family!

Fay Hallam Band at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
Fay Hallam & Magnus Carlson - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
I particularly enjoyed "Do You Know How To Love Me?" taken from the latest album "House of Now" which was produced by Andy Lewis who I'm pleased to see is adding his considerable bass playing talents to the line-up tonight. Two tracks from the excellent "Lost In Sound" album with The Bongolian, "Dancing" and a fantastic "Freefall" in particular highlight how good a drummer Kieran McAleer is and they get a warm reaction from the appreciative crowd. There's a couple of cover versions included, a faithful run through of The Flirtations classic "Nothing But a Heartache" and a perfect take on Dusty Springfield's version of "Spooky". Magnus Carlson is invited on stage to join the band for a great run through of Nolan Porter's "If I Could Only Be Sure" on which the excellent guitarist Jim Bishop tackles that great melancholy riff perfectly.

Fay Hallam Band at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
Fay Hallam & Magnus Carlson - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
There is a sparkling chemistry between Magnus and Fay, they look like they are having as much fun as we are and their voices work perfectly together. I understand that Fay will join the line-up of his band on an upcoming tour of Sweden to promote his new LP "A Nordic Soul" on Cosmos Music. In fact the main reason that Magnus is here tonight is because he just released a stunning new single "Now That It's Over" featuring Fay on vocals and organ. It's a stomping slice of classic Soul and it was definitely one of the highlights of the night, almost lifting the roof off of the 100 Club. Magnus says his goodbyes and the band are called back for an encore and end with a great version of "Greenhouse" from The Prime Movers early 90's album "Earth Church" which was a nice surprise. Great night out, great music and great people - you just can't beat it.

Magnus Carlson at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
Fay Hallam Band at the 100 Club - Photo copyright Retro Man Blog
French Boutik are currently finishing off work on a new LP so please check out their Facebook page here for more details. You can pledge your support at their IndieGoGo campaign here. For more news and information on The Fay Hallam Band please check out their web-site here. Information on Magnus Carlson and his upcoming album "A Nordic Soul" along with his collaboration with Fay can be found at his web-site here or over at the Cosmos Music site here. There are more photos from the night at our Retro Man Facebook page here and videos of both bands over at our YouTube channel here. Here's a sample of what you will find...



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