All Right Now: The love of the Irish

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Las Vegas Showband (John Redfern middle left) Credit: Hobo (band publicity shoot)

OKAY my sun-seeking fans that hopefully lap up my music stories. It’s John Redfern, the bass man from Lady Godiva’s patch Coventry City, where Peeping Tom always keeps his beady eye on you (actually Tom was a bit of a pervert)

Anyway, congratulations to the Ambassadors of Coventry City and a special thanks to a great friend of ours (Astrid Clarke who is part of the Ambassadors committee) Coventry City was recently awarded “The City of Culture award “! I was chuffed to bits.

Give me a second, as I need a glass of the red stuff to toast this great achievement to the City of my birth and on the night of November 14, 1940 the Luftwaffe bombed Coventry which was regarded as the biggest test of British resolve at this time of the war!

OK let’s get on with my story;

My pop trio after ten years had come to an abrupt end and I had a head on me like a bulldog chewing a bee! Was bored as my group was my life so my life had come to an end, I started to watch the box! Dossing on the sofa with my new best friend. The ruddy hand control.

One night I was just getting into Emmerdale farm with Joe Sugden trying to milk a cow which happened to amuse me! I was now at the end of my tether after six weeks of being bored, bored really bored! In fact, I was that bored I picked up my old Yuke and strummed Cleaning Windows by George Formby very badly).

The phone rang, I picked it up and it was a call from the gaffa of an Irish showband called The New City Sounds.

This band, in the day, had won a TV talent show called Opportunity Knocks. The host was Hughie Green  (“I really wanna tell you folks” ) so after winning this prestigious famous show on TV  this band like most bands hadn’t read the small print on the contract which resulted in them breaking up.

The gaffa of the band decided to form a new six-piece Irish showband called The Las Vegas Showband and he wanted me to turn up for an audition to complete the formation.

I arrived at the given time at the empty club and prepared for battle. Clutched my guitar case like a woman clutches her handbag when she hears the sound of a moped ripping past her while shopping in the high street in the UK.

Three bass players arrived including me for the audition. On stage was a sax player, trombone, trumpet, drummer and guitarist.

I went straight to the bar while my two competitors fought their corner! Had a stiff one followed by a pint of Carling. My name was announced over the PA, I strapped on my bass and with my Dutch courage and no fear walked onto the stage and plugged in my lead to the combo amp and shouted to the band:- All Right Now (by Free).

A complicated bass line and a challenge for the guitarist. The drummer tapped in on the side of his snare drum, 1 2 3 4. I exploded on full bass, No treble: – This song requires a bass solo followed by a guitar solo then the bass joins together with the guitarist.

I knew at the end of the song I was about to join an Irish Showband, The craic was good yer man. Craic is an Irish word that originated from the English which was spelt crack in the 20th century, the craic was good in Cricklewood and yer man wouldn’t leave the Crown.

There were glasses flyin, and biddy’s cryin and the Paddy was going to town (Dominic Behan).

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1 COMMENT

  1. Mr Redfern I read your article with great delight about the MIAMI SHOWBAND…. I was living in Dundalk Co LOUTH at the time of their popularity. Sat and Sun nights were the highlight of my week going to the dance halls and dancing to all the different showbands. The Miami were my number one and the Royal showband with Brendan Boyle were my number two choice. Happy Happy days. The demise of the Miami band was tragic to say the least. Regards Pauline.

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