Ian McLagan at the Belmore, 7/5/13
|Photo by Steve Cohen|
By Steve Cohen
The Belmore/New Skyway Lounge, Minneapolis
July 5, 2013
Minneapolis welcomed Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ian McLagan on Friday for his first ever appearance in the Twin Cities as a solo artist. "Mac" made note of Minneapolis's warm welcome after his leadoff tune "Hello Old Friend," a tribute to his fallen Faces/Small Faces band mate Ronnie Lane.
The Belmore/New Skyway Lounge recently began hosting intimate music events. It was a perfect setting for McLagan's pub-infused storytelling and musical performance. McLagan sang and played piano and was joined on and off throughout the evening by his regular bassist Jon Notarthomas. The set included McLagan originals from his Austin-based Bump Band as well numbers from his former groups the Faces and the Small Faces. He prefaced the second song of the night "Been a Long Time" as a love song to his hometowns of London and Austin.
The night was about storytelling as much as it was about music. Names were dropped, including Paul McCartney, Small Faces singer Steve Marriott, former manager Don Arden, Faces bandmates Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Lane and Kenny Jones, but never once any mention of Faces lead singer Rod Stewart.
|Photo by Steve Cohen|
There was talk between the audience and performer of the final Faces concert (which happened in Minneapolis on November 1, 1975 at the now demolished Minneapolis Auditorium) and how exactly 10 years before, on November 1, 1965 Small Faces manager Don Arden gave McLagan his big break with an opportunity to join the promising young London band as keyboardist and vocalist. Mac knew he'd found his brothers in Marriott, Lane and Jones.
Taking a drink to quench his thirst between songs, McLagan noted that he'd recently seen Paul McCartney put on a three-hour concert in Austin, and McCartney didn't stop to take a drink once. Mac's next tune "Sha La La La La" featured a vocal reminiscent of McCartney.
About newer bands, McLagan also had an opinion. He recounted how when the Faces and the Small Faces were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Green Day opened the show. "They're fucking useless," he said. "I wanted to shoot the fuckers."