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Sound Reports & Views

Miller - Still A Killer

Frankie Miller

Article from Sound International, February 1979

Frankie Miller
Croydon Greyhound

Worried that after a so-so hit single like Darlin' and that awful TV commercial (with a smooth Frankie brushing an imaginary tear from his eye), that a Frankie Miller concert post-silver disc can never be quite the same?

Don't be. Darlin' was tossed into a verse of the encore Let's Spend The Night Together, and no-one complained. And every other number beat it to a place on merit. Miller has clearly accepted commercialism as a means to get better known and keep the right band together to do what he wants, not a formula which must be followed.

With Meal Ticket's Steve Simpson in the band, an extension into country music complete with fiddles or a little additional accordion added to the texture. But most of all, the former Ace rhythm section of Tex Comer and Fran Byrne provided the elasticity needed for Muller's forays into both black Sixties pop (Sam and Dave and Solomon Burke magnificently represented) and the rougher post-Beatles Lennon material.

Jealous Guy has long been a highlight of a Miller set, but this time around it was Cold Turkey that got the treatment (halfway between desperation and redemption) that it deserves. Rock solid rhythm here and a vocal with built-in echo that was frighteningly intense without overreaching into melodrama. A must for the next album.

Lots of new material, most of it good. When last did a current top tenner do a set that virtually ignored their hit and totally avoided the entire last album? Miller has a depth of material to choose from these days and his importance as an influence was proved by his playing a fiery Fire Down Below (the Bob Seger one) followed by a little of his own Ain't Got No Money on which it is so clearly based.

The logical live Miller sound with Memphis horns remains in the mind's ears only, but this was a fine reaffirmation of live Miller. Not perfect yet though: lead guitarist Ed Dean was uninspired and the singer's traditional verbal abuse of his audience seems to be a terminal fault of Glaswegian rockers. I wonder if that could have anything to do with the crowd at the Greyhound being about half the expected size in a vast town where the second most exciting event of the evening was probably the McDonalds.

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Publisher: Sound International - Link House Publications

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Sound International - Feb 1979

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

Sound Reports & Views

Feature by Rob Mackie

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