I have successfully completed my first month of Ironman training. Over the past four weeks I have run 171.8k (all at a faster paced tempo, or interval), spun the equivalent of 429k, swam 44,4oom and acquired an accumulation of 3286 TSS points in doing so. All this has come as the result of just over 51 hours worth of intense training; pass the “Hero Biscuit”.
I’m doing sweet fuck all.
I’ve had my breakfast, invested a few wasted hours in front of the boob tube watching ‘Bigfoot Captured‘ (because I do love my early morning shit television) and later I’ll help with the food prep for this upcoming weeks meal plan. Right now though, I’m investing a little time on my mat downstairs with Tina the Cat to give my sore, fatigued muscles a little yoga stretch and roll out with my foam roller to some beloved dusty gold as part of the Vinyl Sunday tradition. My listening pleasure while doing so is ‘The Stax/Volt Revue, Vol.1: Live In London‘ album.
This is another recent Record Fair find. It’s very coincidental of course that I just finished reading about this particular series of shows in the ‘Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion‘ (Robert Gordon). The premise of the performances is that the powers-that-be at Stax/Volt Records – similar to the management of Motown artists at the time – upped the ante by taking its stable of artists overseas in the spring of 1967. This album is a 10-pack of selections by the label’s most notable names performing their biggest hits in London, UK at the Finsbury Park, Astoria*.
Instrumental house band Booker T. & The MG’S and house horn section the Mar-Keys (featuring future Memphis Hornsmen Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) – who open the show with ‘Green Onions‘ and ‘Philly Dog‘ respectively – provide tight accompaniment for their singing label mates throughout the show. Among the highlighted performances are Otis Redding delivering a paint-peeling cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Shake‘, Carla Thomas playing to the natives with a soulful take on The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday‘, and Eddie Floyd killing with a thumping rendition of his smash ‘Knock On Wood‘. Sam & Dave, (aka Double Dynamite), grab the lion’s share of this performance, turning ‘I Take What I Want‘ into a sizzling shuffle, draping ‘When Something Is Wrong With My Baby‘ in maximum pathos, and bringing the house down with a raucous ‘Hold On, I’m Comin’‘.
Stellar performances aside, this European Tour (also including shows Paris, Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen) from which this show was taken, was rife with doubt, anxiousness and in-fighting amongst the performers. Despite all this, this concert depicts some top talent at the very cusp of their eventual greatness. Long since forgotten Carla Thomas is an incredible liste and Eddie Floyd is as good – if not better – than anything James Brown would aspire to later on. Sam & Dave’s show-closing set is absolutely spectacular and not to be outdone, Otis’ mid-set performance of ‘Shake‘ captures the legendary showman just as he was beginning to discover his true “stage legs” that would define him later on.
Once again, it might not be the mellow “Yoga Music” that you would typically plan for but it is an awesome listen not the less and those extra bounces during the poses themselves, well, that’s just added fuel for the restorative fire baby.