Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hatcher-Briggs- Bring It Home!

The last time I saw Jeffrey Hatcher perform was with his band, The Big Beat back in 1988 at the Hotel Fort Garry (in Winnipeg) in one of their ballrooms. I had seen the band many times downstairs in the bar, Broadways, so a concert in the big room was a step up. Around this time their album, Cross Our Hearts was receiving much attention and the band toured the country and rode the commercial success of the record, as Jeffrey Hatcher And The Big Beat created quite the buzz. A second album never happened, but Hatcher formed the Blue Shadows with Billy Cowsill and that band developed a devoted following before the band disbanded in 1996. Hatcher relocated to the west coast and has kept a low profile performing with Wendy Bird (who recorded an album of all Jeffrey Hatcher-penned tunes called, Natural Wonder) and a career in music therapy.

When I heard the Briggs-Hatcher band was playing a two night stand at the Pyramid, my first question was, is Jeffrey Hatcher part of this project? This was also an opportunity for the band to launch a CD of new material with original members from the early days when Hatcher and his brothers, Don and Paul as well as David Briggs performed as The Fuse, The Six and later, The Big Beat. The answer was yes, and I rushed off to buy my ticket for night #2 (I was committed to a Moose game for night #1), and I knew hearing the old songs again would bring back fond memories. When I saw the band in the early and mid-80's at socials and small clubs, they inspired me greatly and they were the first local Winnipeg band that I followed closely. Their sound recalled bands like Rockpile and Hatcher reminded me a little bit like Dave Edmunds. Their sound is roots rock, even a little rockabilly and they were a great dance band!

These reunion shows brought back a lot of sweet memories and I saw a lot of familiar faces. They can still draw people to the dance floor and the effortless magic is still there for Briggs and the Hatchers. The new material is good and it's apparent that Don Hatcher and David Briggs have taken a much more active role in the band. Even during the show, for many of the songs from Cross My Heart, Briggs took the lead vocals instead of Jeff, which seemed to me a little odd. Technically, Briggs played only a bit part on the album (keyboards on, In My Hand), though 4 of the songs were co-written by Briggs/J. Hatcher in 1983. My only disappointment was they didn't play a couple of my favourite songs, World Radio, Coming To Collect, but the band was impressively tight and they dug deep in their catalog to include a couple of songs from the Fuse days, along with some classic covers.

An amazing show!

Pyramid Cabaret

Winnipeg, MB

November 13, 2010

Set 1
01. Intro/ That's the Trouble (?)
02. Midnight Trains
03. Goodnight Mrs. Brown
04. Is Anybody Here *
05. Before The Fall
06. Natural Wonder *
07. Satin Sheets
08. The Simple Things
09. My Elizabeth
10. I Believe
11. Never Heard Of Midnight

Set 2
01. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding
02. Deliver Me *
03. If I Were You (?)
04. Don't Expect A Reply (Runaway Train)
05. St. Enoch's Road
06. (?)
07. (Born To Be) Riding Only Down *
08. In My House Of Darkness
09. Sad Eyes
10. Writing On The Wall
11. Out Of Time
12. The Last Ones
13. Man Who Would Be King
14. encore crowd
15. band introductions
16. Route 66 [lead vocals- Colin Bryce]
17. encore crowd II
18. Coming On Strong
19. Slow Down
20. Twist And Shout [lead vocals- Luke Kennard]

(?)= unknown song or I'm not sure of the title (help?)
* = lead vocals- Wendy Bird

HATCHER-BRIGGS- 2010-11-13 set 1. rar
HATCHER-BRIGGS- 2010-11-13 set 2. rar


Anonymous said...

For some reason I could have sworn we saw this band together at the Pyramid but I don't know if it was in 1988? A year or two later maybe unless that was some other local band.

IIRC I had a copy of their CD at one point (lost when a thief climbed in the 2nd floor window and looted my cd collection).

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