Baroque 'n' roll, man

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The Independent Culture
Alan Clayson, the musician, author and pop historian, and one of the more extraordinary figures to emerge from rock 'n' roll, gives a rare solo recital at the George Robey in Finsbury Park on Easter Sunday. It is difficult to explain to the uninitiated quite what to expect: there'll be Clayson on vocals, guitars and keyboards, plus a selection of tapes, gadgets and audio-visual effects - and plenty of dialogue with the audience. Clayson himself calls it baroque 'n' roll, a collision between the avant- garde and the most hackneyed clichs of cabaret. Despite being a multi- instrumentalist, whose musical career stretches back beyond the formation of Clayson and the Argonauts in the mid-1970s, Clayson boasts a certain "instrumental vulnerability - some people get a vicarious thrill from me messing up solos, riffs et al..." Perhaps this is why latterly he has concentrated on his writing career, producing nine books on the music and musicians of the Sixties which have earned him the title "the AJP Taylor of the pop world". There is even an Alan Clayson Fan Club, which dates from his appearance at a Beatles convention in Chicago three years ago: booked to give a lecture, Clayson left his notes in his hotel room, and found himself delivering an "impromptu stream of consciousness on my life, my soul, my aspirations", backed by an electric piano. It went down a storm.

Alan Clayson is at The George Robey, 240 Seven Sisters Rd, London N4 (0171-263 4581)

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