Live: Ian McLagan & the Bump Band, Houston
A few million people in Houston were holding their breaths Thursday night for a cool front. Rock and roll legend Ian McLagan and his Bump Band arrived in advance of the front, bringing the cool to a sweltering city. Performing against the backdrop of skyscrapers and fountains, McLagan and the Bumps rocked Discovery Park with a handful of gems from the Small (and plain old) Faces and some glittering gems from McLagan’s solo career.
“Never Say Never,” the title song of the newest album, was a highlight, as was the rocker “You’re My Girl.” The Bump Band is a crack band that even leaves behind peers in Austin – McLagan’s adopted home town. Comprising “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb on guitar, bass player Jon Notarthomas and drummer Don Harvey, this awesome lineup is professional but loose, appropriate for the bandleader’s boozy-bloozy goodtime tunes.
Some of the songs performed Thursday were either written or co-written by Ronnie Lane, bass player for the Faces and McLagan’s mate, who died in 1997. McLagan talked about how he slaved over a tune and played it for Lane, who then whipped up some lyrics “in less than an hour” then played it, the Faces classic “You’re So Rude.” McLagan told another story, about being stuck in London while making a record and craving a pint of Guinness. So he found an Irish bar full of tourists, and wrote “Been A Long Time,” because he was homesick for Austin, Texas!
The crowd couldn’t help dancing when McLagan dusted off a Small Faces classic, “Get Yourself Together,” written by Lane and the also-deceased Steve Marriott. McLagan reminded fans he’s winging over to London next weekend for a mini-reunion of the Faces with Ron Wood and Kenney Jones – “but Rod Stewart won’t be there,” he said. “We’ll get along, somehow,” McLagan added somewhat sarcastically.
McLagan and Co. closed the night with “Temperature,” appropriate for a slightly sweaty evening of great rock and roll. We would be remiss not to mention the surprisingly excellent opening act, Houston’s own Sideshow Tramps. This ragtag bunch of rockin’ folk hippies won us over with their musicianship and great humor – check ’em out if you can.