Sunday, March 15, 2009

Brush With Greatness: Chris Farlowe

We met English Pop/Soul legend Chris Farlowe on a night train returning to London Waterloo Station from seeing Van Morrison at the 2004 Hampton Court Festival.

He was a very interesting, gregarious guy, not at all put off by the fact that we had never heard of him. We recognized him only as the singer who had warmed up the crowd with Van's band.

He was the first artist to have a hit with the classic "Handbags And Gladrags", and posseses a big, legendary voice. A little online research shows that he is all over British music history. In fact, if you believe the internet, Paul McCartney offered him an early version of "Yesterday" which Mr. Farlowe declined to record.

This is what he looked like when we met him, complete with the garish shirt.

This is the Stereophonics version of "Handbags And Gladrags". It's the best recording available, and the 3rd time it has been a hit after Chris Farlowe then Rod Stewart versions. Also, this was the version used as the theme song for the UK version of The Office TV series

(I don't know if it's cool to like the Stereophonics, I'm not really familiar with them but they seem a little bit pretty and intense here)

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