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Special reports

Kid Creole and China Crisis

Friday November 27th 2009





It's difficult to put this one into words as there probably aren't words yet in the dictionary to describe what we witnessed last Friday night. Simply astonishing. This is being talked about amongst the greatest Friars gigs ever and every bit as amazing as the original 1982 Kid Creole Friars gigs. China Crisis returning to Friars for the first time since 1983 more than played their part too with a brilliant and very well received set. Everything smiled on us.....BBC TV coverage in the afternoon, the party balloons, a big audience, two bands so hot they almost spontaneously combusted and smiles on lots of faces.

So that is it.......the last ever Friars Christmas Party and the last gig in this brief resurrection of Friars Aylesbury in its 40th anniversary year. And in the words of Kid Creole himself.......OH WHAT A NIGHT!!

We'll keep this page updated as stuff comes in.


SPECIAL........including interviews and live footage from the gig HERE


From the bands.....

Kid Creole - All the planets were aligned ..... I had something to prove ..... and I proved it .... thanks to the gods and to the delicious Coconuts and the musicians and to my chanteuse (Elvira Jones) ....and thanks to my right-hand man Bongo Eddie [the only original member still standing - besides me) - a true survivor.  It was, in fact, the apotheosis of teamwork ........
when the show was over .... I returned to my dressing room .... I took a long look at myself in the mirror .... I sighed ....
I admired what I saw ... I admired what I felt .... Yep, my shit is still together! ................Next ..... 


Kid Creole:  As below

China Crisis:   TBC

Kris Needs 1980s Sound System: The Oneness Of Ju-Ju - African Rhythms/Ozo - Anambra/Eddie Kendricks - Girl You Need A Change Of Mind/Aural Exciters - Emile [Night Rate]/Taana Gardner - Heartbeat/MFSB - Love Is The Message/Salsoul Orchestra - Ooh I Love It/Dinosaur L - Go Bang/Erotic Drum Band - Plug Me To Death/Castle Beat - Deputy Of Love/I Shot The Sheriff/Began Czekic - Burnin’ Hot/NYC Peech Boys - Dance Sister [Bio-feedback]/James White & The Blacks - Contort Yourself [August Darnell Remix]/Grandmaster Flash - White Lines/Dominatrix - The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight/Johnny Dynell & New York - Jam Hot/Suicide - Diamonds, Fur Coats, Champagne/The Ronettes - Winter Wonderland/New York Spice - Set It Off/Material - Bustin’ Out/Blondie - Rapture/J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz - Shoot The Pump/David Bowie - Let’s Dance/Chic - Good Times

Additionally, who else spotted Let There Be Drums by Sandy Nelson.....just like the old days!


Some of the feedback we've had!

David Stopps, Friars promoter

Kid Creole's performance was beyond belief. One of the best nights ever.

The webmaster:

I was lucky enough to see both the Friars gigs by Kid Creole in 1982, two of the greatest gigs in my life ever...what would they be like in 2009? I needn't have worried. They and China Crisis were on inspired form and the magic was there. Two amazing bands and we were so lucky...this KC big band does not do many gigs but they were so up for proving that they could be as good as they were before. They managed it effortlessly. Huge respect to China Crisis - a great set and great blokes too.

There is a thriving Friars community on Facebook with hundreds of members!

Here's a selection of comments:

"What a great night, we need more nights like this on our doorstep, have only just been able to get a taste of what you guys had back then."

"Sore feet from dancing too much -sore throat from singing too much -sore head from drinking too much -what and AM-AZ-ING NIGHT!"

"Well done Friars! Kid Creole & the Coconuts were on top form. I was there 27 years ago, KC never changes, the still the main man after all those years, total entertainment. First time seeing China Crisis, Brilliant!'


Christmas started early on November 27 when Kid Creole brought his immaculate hits, some Las Vegas glitz and the unbridled funky energy of New York’s legendary early 80s club scene to the Friars stage in one of the most remarkable shows the town has witnessed in years.

Or not since the last time Kid Creole and the Coconuts appeared at Friars in 1982, which David Stopps announced from the stage as perhaps, ‘the best Friars gig ever.’

   August Darnell, aka Kid Creole, was fronting a rare appearance by his entire 14-piece band, including the Coconuts, MC-percussionist Bongo Eddie, horn players, uncannily Hendrix-like guitarist Marc Anthony Jones and stellar rhythm section of bassist Oroh Angiarna and drummer Dave Imby. The Friars stage has rarely witnessed such uncut funk in its purest form as the band set up the sinuous, liquid groove which underpins much of Creole’s work, building unbearable tension with seemingly minimum effort, stoking the crowd for first the entrance of the girls in their jungle outfits then The Kid, sporting pink zoot suit, panama hat and two-tone shoes.

   The atmosphere was euphoric as the enraptured crowd joined in with hits like ‘I’m A Wonderful Thing, Baby’ and ‘Stool Pigeon’, interspersed with songs from Kid Creole’s new ‘Anthology’ CD. He is a star from the old school, mixing Cab Calloway flash while drilling the super-tight band with James Brown precision. The between-song vignettes with the girls and turquoise-suited foil Bongo Eddie added a touch of vaudeville straight from New York’s Harlem Apollo many decades ago

   ‘Of the three 40th Anniversary Friars Aylesbury gigs we presented in 2009, this was the most ambitious,’ said a delighted David Stopps. ‘The Kid Creole big band are scattered all across Europe and August had to pull them all together for this one date in England. We both wanted to recreate the memories of those two amazing 1982 Friars performances 27 years later. It was a risk but we needn't have worried. The combination of the Kid Creole big band and the Friars Aylesbury audience ignited an atmosphere of well-being that if anything exceeded 1982.’

   Earlier in the evening, China Crisis, who appeared at Friars in June, 1983, played a well-received set of dramatic ballads while, as DJ, I played records which were setting fire to New York’s clubs during Kid Creole’s initial rise. Balloons and streamers added to the atmosphere.
   This most spectacular show was the third and last of the gigs held to celebrate Friars’ 40th birthday. There was a tangible sadness when it was over, especially as this historic, gig-perfect venue now only has demolition to look forward to [Rumours were flying that it could become part of the new Sainsbury‘s site].

   David summed it up, ‘Today there are only two types of people in the Aylesbury area. Those that were there last Friday and those that weren't. I think the former group will carry this gig with them for the rest of their lives.

   ‘A big thank you to all those that helped put this together and a special mention to the Aylesbury Vale District Council who have been so supportive of the brief return of Friars Aylesbury 40 years after its inception'


All pictures: Mike O'Connor and © 2009 except where noted

Special thanks to Neale Wareham, Mary Payne

Hey, it's the Christmas party!

Getting ready for the great night out - the scene early afternoon.

Pictures above: Mike O'Connor

One balloon net ready for Operation Christmas Party

Friars legend and DJ for the night Kris Needs with the webmaster.

David Stopps and the webmaster.....aka Mickey Mouse and Desperate Dan!

We met a Friars fan who was there in said so on his T shirt

Pictures above: Mike O'Connor

China Crisis played a blinder:

Pictures above: Neale Wareham

Pictures above: Mike O'Connor

Picture above: Neale Wareham

Picture above: Mary Payne/Radio London

Receiving their Friars Heroes Award at the end of a brilliant set.

Pictures above: Neale Wareham

Here's Mr Creole in full flight, back on the Aylesbury stage after 27 years away.

Don't take my Coconuts

A happy Bongo Eddie

Pictures above: Mike O'Connor

Pictures above: Mary Payne/Radio London




Even the fans got involved!

Pictures above: Neale Wareham

Pictures above: Mary Payne/Radio London

And rounding things off nicely with a well deserved Heroes Award and into the Friars Hall of Fame.

Pictures above: Neale Wareham


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