Good that Joe Tex finally made it to the UK. Not so good the way he did it.
The tickets said 7.30. Lee Kosmin's Loose Shoes came on around 8.15 for a solid well-received set of reggae-tinged R&B. A promising band this.
A sparse audience is assured that The Joe Tex Revue will hit the stage in 25 minutes. Fifty minutes after the announcement, a band does hit the stage, though it does not possess Joe Tex among its number.
It's shortly after 10 p.m., and the band is beginning to hit its stride on the second number when... Joe Tex comes on? Well, no actually. Someone off stage tugs the arm of the nearest horn player, and motions of departure are made.
The next half hour is spent by the faithful in discussing possible back-stage scenarios, philosophies of life or the inflation rate in Argentina. Occasionally the female voice which assured us not so long ago that the Joe Tex Revue would be on stage in 25 minutes appears in person to assure us that any time soon the Joe Tex Revue will appear on stage. She is greeted by some 'Money back' calls. The guy behind me starts a chant of 'We want a rational explanation' but soon abandons it as being a little too unwieldy to catch on.
Time continues to pass. The band returns about 10.40, and at 10.45, Joe Tex actually hits the stage. The nearest thing to an explanation the audience gets is on the introduction to the third number when Tex thanks us for our patience for waiting while 'we got a few financial matters straightened out, heh, heh'.
I really don't want to delve into the seedy backstage deals that must have been going on during the evening, or name the guilty men, but I know who lost out. I was one of them.
Joe's show was good tasteless fun — a bizarre mixture of moralising and Louisiana bump and grind. I felt that his faithful supporters would rather have heard more of his own songs instead of Roots, Rock, Reggae (complete with dancers in basket of fruit hats, yet) and his impressions of other people.
Overall, it was boisterous entertainment with occasional reminders of the peaks he has hit on record in greater days.
But it couldn't quite wipe out the overriding annoyance. The show finished at midnight — so much for last trains. The tickets said 7.30 — so much for the famed punctuality of the rock biz.
Trusting souls would have spent four and a half hours at Hammersmith Odeon for two and a quarter hours music: the sort of fun/boredom ratio that only gets dumped on rock fans.
Sound Reports & Views
Music Review by Rob Mackie
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