November 27, 1975

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New Victoria Theatre, London, England

Melody Maker 75-12-06, ticket stub


6 thoughts on “November 27, 1975

  1. Steve Ball

    1975-11-27 Weather Report @ New Victoria Theatre London UK
    Joe Zawinul Keys Wayne Shorter Sax / whistling
    Alphonso Johnson Bass Chester Thompson Drums Alex Acuna Perc
    Below is from my audio notebook of the gig…
    …about the show
    Ticket stub says 2nd show, but as I recall there was only one, a packed house. The doors opened at 8.45 pm, band came on at 9.00 pm and left stage at 12.15 am, which was very late for a London theatre, most theatre gigs finish at 11 with the venue cleared by 11.30 pm smaller club gigs have late licenses but not the theatres, there was no interval…
    …about the stage time
    …the gig was extremely intense right from the start. The auditorium filled with the sound of the opening pre-recorded sample -the intro to Mysterious Traveller…and then a short jam with Zawinul, Johnson, Acuna and Thompson hitting hard –sudden stop, enter Wayne Shorter, then whole band in for Freezing Fire…after the gig the band did an interview for one of the UK music papers and when asked why the gig was so intense they said that it was the last night of a long tour and they were all looking forward to going home and seeing their families…the band came off stage at 12.15 to a standing ovation. I almost missed my train home due to the lateness of the finish, but it was definitely, worth the run to the station, this was a Thursday night and I had work in the morning…
    Worthy of a note
    1: An anomaly worth mentioning was the performance of Cigano, a tune by Wayne Shorter, as far as I know this was the only time it was played live and like 4 other performances from this gig only ever appeared on ‘Live & Unreleased.’ For the first few bars of this performance Joe Zawinul plays left hand bass in lieu of Alphonso Johnson, who was having issues with his bass, I read at a later interview that Alphonso Johnson had picked up a new custom made fretless bass while on tour and planned to use it live for this gig, but on plugging in the instrument found that the white dots that mark on the top of the neck where the frets would have been, were in the wrong place making it impossible just to pick up and play without a bit of familiarization. Consequently there’s no Johnson on the beginning of the tune and Zawinul plays left hand bass.
    2: Also worth noting is Wayne’s whistling blues solo on Between The Thighs
    3: Just to say, there was no ‘interval’ and hardly any breaks in the performance, as I said it was intense, but at least everyone else had a break during Chester Thompson’s 20 plus minute drum solo…
    Freezing Fire, Cucumber Slumber, Cigano, Man In The Green Shirt and the Medley Directions / Dr Honoris Causa, released on ‘Live & Unreleased’ are from this gig –on Cigano you can clearly hear Joe Zawinul playing the bass part and Alphonso Johnson coming in later. Obviously the authorized recordings come from the bands mixing desk –oh how I’d like to hear the whole gig again…
    No Title
    01 Intro Mysterious Sample / Band Jam
    02 Freezing Fire ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    03 Scarlet Woman
    04 Cucumber Slumber ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    05 Perc Solo Alex Acuna
    06 Medley : Improvisation
    Directions ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    Dr Honoris Causa ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    07 Bass Solo Alphonso Johnson
    08 Man In The Green Shirt ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    09 Drum Solo – Chester Thompson
    10 Cigano ( appears on Live & Unreleased )
    11 Duet JZ & WS
    12 It’s About That Time
    13 Badia
    14 Piano Solo Joe Zawinul
    15 Between The Thighs includes Wayne’s blues based whistling solo
    16 Boogie Woogie Waltz includes drum n perc duet

    1. Steve Ball

      …Chester Thompson’s drum solo lasted more than 20 minutes, he covered a lot of ground in terms of beats and technique, there were not that many quiet moments during this gig…it was the first time I had heard someone using phasing on cymbals, being a percussionist / drummer myself I was always looking to extend my playing possibilities, which is probably why I remember it so well…also Alex Acuna had a conga drum that had been cut in half horizontally and a mike put inside -that is what you hear on Scarlet Woman Boom-ba-Boom-Boom, Boom ba-Boom-Boom…it’s these little things that mean a lot 😉
      best wishes Steve

  2. Robert Kipp

    Chester Thompson and Phil Collins have both mentioned in interviews that the latter came to this gig and walked away impressed with the former; this in-person check-out combined with Phil enjoying Chester’s work on the Zappa Roxy LP led to the hookup with Genesis after his WR tenure ended.


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