Arthur Brown put on two consecutive shows marking the culmination of his career as ‘the god of hellfire’, the first entitled ‘The Perspectives Of The Human Adventure’ and the second an album launch for his latest studio release, ‘Gypsy Voodoo’. Together with his band formed of Dan Smith (guitar, keyboards),  Jim Mortimore (bass, keyboards), Sam Walker (drums) and Angel Fallon (dancer), they put on a spectacular light projection show.

Arriving onstage wearing fluorescent facepaint and goggles singing ‘Bubbles’, Brown quickly launched into ‘Phoenix’, with its thundering funky drumbeats and creeping guitar. After the song, he went offstage to change costume while the band played interval music to which Fallon performed, a pattern that continued throughout the evening seeing multiple costume changes. Brown emerged again wearing a wizard sleeved black cloak and pagan horned helmet, which he wore for just one song before changing again.

He then did his 1968 single ‘Nightmare’, the first track on his debut album, ‘The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown’, wearing a feathered headdress and metallic red toga, performing further tracks off the same release, significantly ‘Fire’, his no.1 UK charting single, a pivotal address to the man who calls himself ‘the god of hellfire’.

Continuing with side one of the record, he moved onto ‘Come And Buy’, this time wearing a huge pair of upside-down golden angel wings, and also playing ‘Time’ and ‘Confusion’ donned in a dragon mask; a sequence that showed an audible contrast in the narrative’s bubbling organ keys and then beating hard drums.

Brown also featured one of his more recent albums, 2014’s ‘Zim Zam Zim’, singing beautifully to the haunting organ-fed ‘Touched By All’, with Fallon dressed in a white wedding dress. Brown said the night was a “multimedia attempt at all-round total theatre of body, mind and soul and whatever else you can think of….”, which he achieved through psychedelic screen projections and visual depths. For the encore and after a final costume change, he performed from his latest album, ‘Gypsy Voodoo’, with the title track, finishing the show on his 1967 debut single, ‘Devil’s Grip On Me’.

25/01/20: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown @ Nell’s, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.