I ALWAYS get the impression that the American Soul Singers visiting this country are graduates of the ‘National Soul Factory of America’. Garnet Mimms at the Saville last Sunday proved my point. He was professional, polished, and made some nice sounds — but that’s all.
I can’t understand why so many people say he’s underrated in this country — he isn’t — he just gets the recognition he deserves. A good performance by a good singer with a pleasant personality, but, really, nothing to rave about. He was very ably backed by a Scottish group called The Senate.
Nevertheless, it was good of them to step in at the very last minute to replace Denny Laine — a singer who will make a resounding impact on the pop scene, as soon as he finds himself the right backing group. He had to make a few changes to the line-up only a day or two before the show, which was to have been his first appearance in London in his new role of solo singer, and although I thought they were making a great sound at rehearsals, Denny decided that they weren’t ready to appear before the public. Pity.
It seems to be all the rage for groups to have a line-up of only three people. There were two such groups at the Saville last week — The 1-2-3, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience — the 1-2-3 should take a lesson from Jimi Hendrix — you’ve got to be very good musicians if there are only three of you to make the sound.
Jimi Hendrix lacked nothing. He’s really out of sight — he gave a knock-out performance, wilder and better than ever before, with a very controlled noise — and I mean noise in the best possible sense of the word. So much so that I couldn’t even hear the sound of his fans screaming while he was playing — and assure you, they WERE screaming — despite Hendrix’s announcement that screaming fans are like a herd of little Piglets squealing. He played all his hit numbers brilliantly, did a great version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, and finished off his act with a fantastic wild rendering of ‘Wild Thing’.
© Derek Boltwood, Record Mirror, 13 May 1967