Take a little bit of 10cc, a Buggle, a backroom genius and then Squeeze some. The result is not so much a re-union (so 2007) as a union — The Producers, a pop supergroup, and an uplifting live band.
When the line-up includes supreme pop-smiths Lol Crème (10cc and Godley & Crème) and Trevor Horn (Buggles, Yes, Art of Noise, producer of Frankie, Seal, Grace Jones etc), as well as Stephen Lipsom (worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pet Shop Boys, Frankie, Simple Minds, Whitney Houston, Natalie Imbruglia, Paul McCartney), Ash Soan (Britian’s best drummer for hire) and the great Chris Braide (writer of “This Is The Night” recorded by American Idols Clay Aiken which became the biggest selling single in the US in 2003) you’re guaranteed a smile or two, whether from nostalgia for the oldies, appreciation for the new material or just feeding off the fun that the guys are having playing.
And what began as a bit of fun has now become a recording project, with 4 original songs — including the driving rhythmic “Freeway”, the awesome, epic “Your Life” and the lovely “Barking Up The Right Tree” (think Travis with smiles) interspersed between some inspired covers and a handful of their own number 1s.
This was the 3rd Producers Camden Barfly show and it must be a great weight off not having to impress A&R men and not having to flog product because The Producers just have a great time on stage with no pressure. Previous shows have included guests such as Anne Dudley, Jamie Cullum and Will Young and a number of famous faces in the packed audience but all eyes remain to the front.
A blistering instrumental Two Tribes was followed by Chris Braide’s Invisible. They also played Rubber Bullets and I’m Not In Love, Video Killed the Radio Star and Slave to the Rhythm. Covers included Space Odditty, Tom Petty’s In To The Great Wide Open and an amusing false start to Get Back.
The oldies on-stage have been there, seen it, done it, but there is no cynicism, only sciatica. Chris Braide writes some beautiful songs and has a fabulous voice and it is a mystery why he has not had huge success as a solo artist. However, as a writer, either solo or with artists of the calibre of Beverley Knight and Glenn Tilbrook, his tunes will be familiar to you, even if the name may not (yet). And it takes a lot for me to will the lead guitarist to move so that I can see the pocket dynamo that is Ash Soane on drums.
It is hard to see the Barfly containing The Producers for much longer, but wherever and whenever they play, I urge you to go and see them.