Selby Abbey rocked on its
foundations last night and well into Saturday as Pink Floyd, Jon Hiseman’s
Colosseum and Eire Apparent hammered out the last night of the festival.
About 2,000 young people from all over Yorkshire poured into Selby and
then into a large marquee to hear music like Selby has never heard before.
And it was Jon Hiseman’s Colloseum [sic] who took the place over. Let’s
not call them a pop group, jazz band or anything. Call them a quintet or
call them fantastic. Drummer Hiseman, with that LOUD double kit was firmly
on the driving seat as the band kicked off with a driving “Walking in the
Park”. There was bespectacled Dick Heckstall-Smith, dressed in black down
to a pair of fur-topped black suede boots, charging along on his sax,
crouching over his microphone, often blowing two horns together. Colosseum
didn’t indulge in any mind-blowing, sky-high solo improvisations. Each man
knew his limits, and despite the wild, ranging mood of the band, the tight
and changing arrangements demanded that each member respect the others.
The band’s manager Gerry Bron, is now finalising details for two lengthy
American tours and he reports that he is confident that Colosseum will be
the top British concert attraction in the States this year. But as long as
Jimi Hendrix is grossing over 100,000 dollars a night across the Atlantic
I will have my doubts! Exciting.
By the way, Mr Hendrix’s protégés, Eire Apparent, displayed more volume
than talent at Selby - a bit disappointing after the champion’s name has
been linked with the group. In fact, Hendrix produced their recent record.
But the enthusiasm was there in their performance. Pink Floyd produced
some lovely sounds, and those crashing supernatural chords could be heard
a quarter of a mile away from the marquee. The Floyd didn’t have the time
or stage space to do some of their recent works such as “Man”, so they
concentrated on shorter, more exciting pieces like “Interstellar Overdrive”.
The group can be very gentle too, with things like “Green is the Colour”
and know the art of building up the mood. Add to that a whole roast ox to
feed the hungry and a bar until midnight to satisfy the parched. The whole
festival marks the 900th anniversary of the Abbey. I hope they have
another in 100 years’ time!