I had the great pleasure of seeing Patti Russo tonight in Tunbridge Wells, as part of her UK Tour, with The SAS Band. SAS (Spike’s All Stars) is the brainchild of Spike Edney, who plays keyboards and is Musical Director for Queen. On tonight’s bill are Graham Gouldman (10CC), who wrote a string of hits including “Bus Stop” for The Hollies, Mel C of the Spice Girls, Cheryl Baker (Bucks Fizz) and Madeline Bell (Blue Mink). With a band of professionals to die for, The SAS Band must be seen on tour this week in the UK. They rarely play public gigs so check the dates below and don’t miss out.
I first met Spike perhaps 10 years ago at the ancient village of Chiddingfold in Surrey, after my sister Sheila invited me to the gig. It turned out that Sheila’s sister in law used to do Spike’s book-keeping and I went along not really knowing this. I remember meeting him afterwards backstage and having no idea who he was! :-) Spike organises a complex and extremely professional show, having brought together a great list of talents over the years from Cozy Powell, Brian May, Leona Lewis, Jeff Beck, Toyah Wilcox, Fish, Annie Lennox – the list goes on and on. Perhaps not that surprising as he is Queen’s Musical Director, but impressive nonetheless.
Everyone was on top form. Madeline Bell was simply fabulous at 73 years young, doing a sublime version of “I heard it on the Grapevine”. What a great bundle of joy she is. The surprise of the night was Cheryl Baker who performed a superb version of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. Graham Gouldman of 10CC delivered with ease some of the many hits he wrote “For Your Love”, “Dreadlock Holiday”, “Rubber Bullets” etc. Mel C surprised with a great version of “One Vision” alongside “Too Much”. Spike led one of their legendary mashups of 29 classic riffs, beautifully arranged into one seamless whole.
Of course I particularly enjoyed Patti Russo’s performance, having had the honour of working with Patti a couple of times myself. She performed her new release “When it Comes to Love” amongst many other favourites. I’d strongly encourage you to attend one of the dates on her UK tour. A couple are solo dates and others with The SAS Band, with special guests on different nights, including Roger Taylor of Queen.
Tuesday 1st December – The Pheasantry, Pizza Express Live, London – Solo
Thursday 3rd December – Watford Colloseum – SAS Band
Friday 4th December – Salisbury City Hall – SAS Band
Saturday 5th December – G Live, Guildford – SAS Band
Tuesday 8th December – Portsmouth Guildhall – SAS Band
Saturday 12th December – Pavillion Hall, Buxton – Solo
Contact us at The Academy of Rock to discuss corporate events with Patti, from New York to London to Milan and anywhere besides.