WILLIAM BELL REPORT |
Togetherness Weekender 11-13th November 2005 Cala Gran, Fleetwood
|Click here for the Soundcheck and Showtime Photos|
met up with William Bell in the hotel at 10am Saturday morning.He'd arrived
Friday midday after a delayed flight and had slept through until shortly before
I'd arrived to collect him.
We had to be at the Gala Gran
by 10.45 for the soundcheck. I called Mike, the security guy responsible for Mr
B's safety, and told him we were on our way.So... off I set for the start or 2
glorious soul-filled days. Snake Davis and the group were ready and waiting and,
professional as they are, were ready to go having practised the songs weeks
before.William said a few 'hi's'..then off we went..90 minutes of mesmorising
moments with only short breaks to check minor details.The last two tracks to do
were 'Man In The Street' and 'Easy Comin' Out`'..both which William had not done
live in years.The verses were a distant memory..'I wrote it as well' laughed
William..So he was over to the CD player, headset on and wrote down the lyrics.
Back onstage Snake and the guys went into 'Man In The Street again with William
reading from the paper he'd
wrote them on.. then jokingly hiding it in his suit.After a satisfying further
30 minutes it was over...12 tracks had been practised and perfected...some fans
had finally arrived after their late Friday night.. and the usual signing of
records and photos etc. took place.Bobby Patterson has also arrived for his
soundcheck. It was now 1pm so lunch was most definately wished for...as William
had not eaten since getting off the plane..24 hours ago!! I asked him if he
wanted to try the best Fish And Chips in the whole area and he readily agreed.
It meant a 20 minute drive.. but was worth it to ensure no greasy mound of
un-edables. He even said the US should learn how to do their 'fries' like
that.The waitress insisted he signed the guest book and we walked out into the
sunshine feeling a lot better. Back to his hotel.. he said he needed to learn
the lyrics. We arranged to meet at the hotel again at 6pm ..go out for a
William Bell and Bobby Patterson Soul Groupies William And Mike
Shortly before 1am Mike was back..'Mr Bell..please put your right hand on my right shoulder as we go through the packed hall...do not remove it or I will think you are in trouble'. I was to follow to cover our backs.
Now.. I remembered this procedure 3 years ago with Phillip Mitchell.. who is a tall guy..and
William managed it as well. I'm just sorry I missed Bobby Patterson going in.cos you ain't the
tallest Bobby!!!..maybe he just grabbed hold of a leg!
Backstage for a short time.. then we could hear the introduction from Richard Searling and then William was out front..and into a memorable hour. Highlights.. well..'Private Number' with one of the female vocalists( a red haired Irish girl with a super voice)..'Tribute To A King'..' I Forgot To Be Your Lover'... yes yes.. this was a Northern Soul weekender..but as someone jokingly said later..some folks learned about real soul tonight. I, for one, loved the slow stuff..he even did 'You Don't Miss Your Water'..and of course 'Happy'...finishing up with Trying To Love Two' which he makes into a tribute to other artists.. doing small cameos of Marvin, Otis and Sam Cooke.He had the audience in his palms now...he came back for an encore continuing with the 'Trying' rhythm and broke into 'Stand By Me'. This was a suprise to me.. as they hadn't practised the variations at the soundcheck..but these musicians are real professional and a nod or a wink and they can adapt.
VIP Lounge Signing Autogramms Tired but 'Happy'
Backstage there were hugs, backslapping, kisses and smiles everywhere. Mike arrived and the three musketeers fought our way back to the VIP room. A quick change back into dry clothes and then the fans were allowed in for autogramms and photos. We left the hall about 3.30... I told him I would be awake about midday if he needed me..and a happy pair said goodnight.
William and Barry Mum And William
I awoke about 11.30 and
jogged the streets to fight off the tiredness. I called the hotel to ask if he
had been seen..no sir..nothing yet. I went off to the Cala Gran to meet up with
a few people.. and got to see Bobby Patterson doing his afternoon show..of his
most recent material. Back at my mum's I called the Hotel..still no sign they
said..so I asked them to put me through to his room.'William'..you still alive
man'?.. he laughed.. 'yeh'.... 'and I'm hungry...can we go to that Thai again?'
40 years difference between
photos...no help from the surgeon said William..now 66 years old
Wears dark glasses when performing to protect his eyes against stage lighting