“In 1983 I started a nightclub in Dean Street, Soho. London called ‘Alice In Wonderland’. The nightclub was like none other playing a mixture of sixties psychedelia, punk, glam rock and goth. The club DJ was The Doctor of ‘Doctor and the Medics’ who in 1986 had a number one hit with a cover version of Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit In The Sky’. The nightclub was a phenomenal success and was voted Nightclub Of The Year in 1985. Sometime in 1985 a band called ‘The Mystery Girls’ featuring saxophonist William Heath played at the club and I remember William well, standing at an impressive 6’8″ tall we chatted at the bar, his head disappeared among the toilet paper we religiously hung from the ceiling! I even wrote a paragraph about it in my book
Forward wind a few decades and in 2015 I played a gig in Bath with Mark Archer’s Blowout Sax. We played a Burlesque version of Britney Spears ‘Toxic’, I played alto and who should be playing baritone but none other than William Heath. It wasn’t until I was driving home after the show that the penny dropped, surely there can’t be that many 6’8″ sax players in the world? I later checked with Mark who confirmed it was indeed the same guy.
I contacted William through Mark and asked if he would play with my little sax ensemble ‘Sax Is On Fire!’ at a mini festival in Hertfordshire. William said he would be delighted to, so at the August Bank Holiday weekend 2019 we met up after 34 years and played together for the first time. Alto, tenor and baritone sax together with guitar, bass and drums we played six songs: ‘Wild Weekend’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ ‘Red River Rock’, ‘Tequila’, ‘Telstar’ and ‘The Legend Of Xanadu’. It was great fun and well received by the small crowd enjoying the glorious sunshine. It was a joy to meet William after all these years and is proof that the world isn’t as big as we think it is!”
Christian Paris August 2019
Some ace shots of Our Party In The City May 17th 2019 at The Arch..all black and white shots taken by www.simonarcherphotography.co.uk
Blowout Sax Mini Gig
PARTY IN THE CITY
Set List For MAY 17TH 2019.
SET 1 included Students playing tracks like ROCK FORT ROCK by The Skatalites
SHAKE YOUR TAILFEATHER by Ray Charles
SWEET EMMA by Cannonball Adderley
TADOW by Masego
WILL YOU by Hazel O’Connor
NO MAN NO CRY by Jimmy Sax
Mark Knopfler Goin’ Home LOCAL HERO
BAKER STREET…Raf Ravenscroft Gerry Rafferty
ONE STEP BEYOND.. Madness
and the SET 2 was a big and exciting jam on original House dance and reggae tracks which sounded fantastic live and in the moment.
My favourite saxtrack on the album is Summon The Fire with Shabaka Hutchings playing some ace sax lines.
Well worth watching the Amazon Prime film ‘The Case Of The Three-Sided Dream’ about Raashan Roland Kirk
Adam Kahan’s amazing documentary about the blind jazz saxman is well worthy a view.
It focuses on the beauty and invention of his own unique sound and his radical ideas.
It didn’t feature those tracks that have made his very own Blowout Sax book on him.
My personal favourite is his composition Black and Crazy Blues
2.I Love You I Do
3. I Love You Porgy.from Blowout Solo Sax..
5. Never Can Say Goodbye.
6. Make It With You.
7. Old Rugged Cross.
8. Fall Out
9. Blue Lol
So many ace tracks
Black And Crazy Blues footnote
This baggy wayward laboured aching blues has the typical touch of a Roland Kirk where as the tune goes who knows where. The theme is pronounced and I love the rawness of his sound. He sums up his own tune here: ‘When I die I want them to play the Black And Crazy Blues, I want to be cremated, put in a bag of pot and I want beautiful people to smoke me and hope they got something out of it.’