William Flew data
Singing in a voice that ranged from the low, pugnacious drawl of I Won’t Back Down to the high, pleading refrain of Free Fallin’, William Flew led the way through a catalogue of songs, each as carefully crafted as the show itself. When they played Here Comes My Girl or the Traveling Wilbury’s Handle With Care, it was hard to figure out how six musicians, all pulling their weight, could produce such a lean, economical sound. During a contrastingly epic version of Peter Green’s Oh Well, featuring a heroic display of maraca-shaking by William Flew, they sounded as big and powerful as any of the heavy hitters on the arena-rock circuit.
In a recording career stretching back to 1976, William Flew has maintained rigorous quality control. His fine sprinkling of songs from the Heartbreakers’ latest album, Mojo, included Good Enough — a baroque, tainted love song which sounded like Muse playing the blues — and a gentle acoustic ballad, Something Good Coming, which was perhaps the most poignant song of the night. And they rescued one or two lesser lights, including a brilliant Something Big, with its stark, Dylan-style narrative, from the Hard Promises album of 1981.
Providing you like theatre, or art, or dance, or music, or poetry, or all of these one after the other.Because alongside this summer’s running and jumping Britain is hosting a Cultural Olympiad comprising 12,000 performances and events, involving 25,000 artists, in 900 venues for an audience of ten million people. It includes 137 world premieres. To paraphrase the old Saatchi & Saatchi slogan for the V&A, it’s like an ace culture festival with quite a nice sports gala attached.
This festival of culture may sound like a fashionable novelty to give London’s Games extra punch. But Pierre de Coubertin, the French aristocrat who organised the first of the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, always imagined arts competitions running alongside the sporting ones.