Ronnie Lane | John Pidgeon 06 Jul 2009
It may well have been his Song Of A Baker on the Small Faces' Ogden's Nut Gone Flake that first had me believing that Ronnie Lane was wise beyond his years. The opening line caught my attention. “There’s wheat in the field and water in the stream,” he sang, which had me wondering, 'A song that opens with the basic ingredients of bread? That's not something you hear every day'. Then, as the theme unfolded, I realised that it was about more than baking.
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Jon Griffin | 19/10/12 | Birmingham Mail
“The Slim Chance class of 2012 captures
the wandering minstrel spirit of
a man who rejected the trappings of
celebrity to tour with his own circus.”
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Review: Slim Chance - The Show Goes On | Leicester Bangs Blog
“The tunes still sound delightful of course, and the playing is appropriately lush, with a bank of fiddles, mandolins and accordions weaving gently in and out of a hazy-lazy folk-rock fog.”
Warmly rollicking romp down memory Lane
Review The Show goes on: Songs of Ronnie Lane (Fishpool)****
Kris Needs, Record collector June 2012
By the time Rod Stewart the high road to LA wealth and fame, his old Faces buddy Ronnie Lane had already followed his own hear to explore more rustic traditions. Releasing solo albums, collaborating with Pete Townsend or working with his band Slim Chance, Lane presaged the folkier elements that would increasingly pepper popular music in ensuing decades.
For his last 20 years, Lane battled with multiple sclerosis which claimed his life in June 1997 but, like the travelling lifestyle he celebrated, his songs remain timeless. Recently, former bandmates Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson reunited Lane’s 70’s musical associates (including bassist Steve Bingham, drummer Colin Davey and guitarist Alun Davies) as a new Slim Chance to play those songs around the UK, basing this summer’s activities on this warmly affectionate set of career highlights.
The album straddles songs from The Faces (You're too rude, Flags and Banners), 1977's Rough Mix collaboration with Townsend, solo albums (Anymore for Anymore, One for the road) and Slim Chance outings including Kuschty Rye, Lads got money and heart tugging ballad Don't you cry for me. Displaying uncanny empathy with the original Honest Ron’s rare joie de vivre spirit and humility, Slim Chance are still deserving of their place in the modern world – perhaps more so.
Legend Lane's music lives on
Slim Chance The Robin 2, Bilston
Jon Griffin | 12/03/12 | Birmingham Post
THE late, great Ronnie Lane tragically died from multiple sclerosis back in 1997, aged just 51 - but his music will live on forever. Ronnie was the creative Iynchpin of the Faces,one of the all-time great singer-songswriters. Rod Stewart may, have been the on-stage star but Lane's melodies and musicanship were sublime.
When the Faces broke up, Ronnie went back to his roots playing pubs and toured circus-style with his band Slim Chance, and the spirit ,of those times has been lovingly recreated by a latter-day version.
Charlie Hart, Colin Davey, Steve Bingham, Steve Simpson and Alun Davies are 64 carat gold musicians, with a new retrospective CD, The Show-Goes On. There's also a new DVD re-telling the Ronnie lane saga with all the 10s legends - catch this band live while you can. One For The Road, Kuschty Rye, Flags and Banners and Ooh La La were gloriously true to the genius of Ronnie Lane.
Slim Chance, London Borderline 23/09/2011
View: from the bar
Joe Geesin, Record Collector 7th October 2011
This sold-out show saw the launch of the band's new single, One For The Road, an
old Lane classic, backed with Flags And Banners, co-written with Rod Stewart.
The show mixed Faces and Ronnie Lane/Slim Chance material with aplomb; the band
were clearly tightly rehearsed and enjoyed it too. The enthusiastic reception
ensured that Last Orders and You're So Rude went down as well as Anniversary,
Don't Try To Change My Mind and You Never Can Tell. From mod to blues to
rock'n'roll, the sound was solid, yet smooth. The underlying feel of
R&B-meets-Americana meant everything across the two sets ran seamlessly. Charlie
Hart's accordion bolstered the sound nicely, and bassist Steve Bingham nodded
along as if they were playing in your front room.
ONE FOR THE ROAD
UNCUT, July 2010.
It was one of the most ambitious tours of the '70s. A merry troupe of minstrels, travelling the country in caravans, accompanied by clowns, animals and a big top. Ronnie Lane, the beloved entertainer, was taking his music back to the people. From May into June 1974, while the likes of Deep Purple cruised from hotels to concert halls in limousines, Lane and his band Slim Chance snailed around Britain in a raggle-taggle convoy. Wearing spotted neckerchiefs and scarves, they almost begged to be flagged down by a patrol car and asked what century they’d come from.
Ronnie Lane was a Plaistow boy, a Mod, an April fool (born April 1, 1946), a writer of deep-thinking songs and an occasional rogue. “He was a superstar… a wonderful mixture of East End nous and Romantic,” says Bruce Rowland, the drummer on that 1974 tour. Songwriter Graham Lyle, half of the Gallagher & Lyle duo who played on Lane’s album Anymore For Anymore, describes the tour's concept as “irrational but typical of Ronnie. He wanted a troubadour existence. He would turn up at a town, set up his tent and play to the locals.”
It was called 'The Passing Show'. A picaresque odyssey along the highways and byways, it framed Ronnie's love of good-time music within the wider context of a Romany way of life. Viewed through the eyes of conventional rock tour promotion, 'The Passing Show' was crazy. It required the country's least flexible officials – the town councillors, police constables and fire chiefs – to look at life not as a protocol but as an adventure. And deep at its heart lay an intriguing puzzle: Lane himself. Had he given up the jet-set glamour of The Faces for this? To eat his meals round a campfire and wash his body every few days in a municipal baths? To gamble his shirt on a pipedream, a chimera, a circus?
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Summoning Up the Spirit of Ronnie Lane: The Triumphant Return of Slim Chance
100 Club, London, November 26th 2010. By Andy Worthington
Every now and then, amidst all the manipulation of reality shows and youth-based hype, something truly special happens in the world of music. On Friday November 26, 2010, at the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street, that special something was the return of Slim Chance.
In the 1970s, Ronnie Lane, founder member of psychedelic pop stars the Small Faces, left that band's hard-rocking, hard-drinking successors, the Faces, for a farm in Shropshire and a musical vision -- focused on his new group, Slim Chance -- which, as well as sticking two fingers up at the celebrity trappings of rock stardom, was refreshingly original: a melting pot of rock, folk and blues influences, with some Gypsy leanings and a sprinkling of Motown grooviness.
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- Buy The Passing Show DVD
- Download the Tour dates
- Read the bands's anecdotes
- Book SLIM CHANCE
- More links & resources
The Show goes on: Songs of Ronnie Lane (Fishpool)
Rob Hughes, Classic Rock Summer 2012
Fitting tribute to late English treasure from ex-bandmates.
It's fair to say that Ronnie lane’s post-Faces output is probably the least celebrated music of his career. Yet it marked a particularly fascinating time in his life, forsaking the rock star life for a rural existence on a Shropshire farm and putting together a travelling carnival of sould to bring his unique wash of gypsy folk and roots – what called hobobilly – to showgrounds and small venues throughout the land. This warm tribute to Lane was cooked up by two veterans of his '70's band Slim chance – Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson – who tracked down other ex-colleagues to revive a bunch of songs from the era. The vocals might be a bit thin (Lane was a terrific singer after all), but the musicianship is top-rate, especially on an accordion-led version of Anymore for Anymore. More importantly, the whole endeavour captures the indomiable spirit and sheer joie de vivre of Lane himself.
Slim Chance 100 Club London, 26th November
Shindig Jan 2011
I didn’t even want to leave the house tonight. But thankfully, I did, as within the 100 Club’s potentially endangered environs, Slim Chance’s warm, rousing rock n’roll brought sunshine into my November heart, providing the perfect antidote to a cold, miserable week. After all, any band who opens their set with a tune entitled ‘Last Orders Please’ obviously still possesses a wry humour...
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