Norman Baker’s Reform Club band plays London

Norman Baker hit the stage in London recently with his band. Buzzfeed, and a whole load of Lib Dems, were there.

“Where are all the Lib Dems?” one bearded fan heckled at him at one point. Baker replied: “He’s over there.” That prompted some wry chuckles from my Lib Dem companions, perhaps tinged with a hint of sadness. Baker didn’t shy away from politics during the gig. “We wrote this one before May 2015 but it’s a good song to play afterwards,” he said, introducing “Never Yesterday”.

“But the road to the past is just another dead end / And so, my friend, think about today, never yesterday,” he sang with feeling. The band also enjoyed belting out “Give War a Chance”, an incredibly unsubtle takedown of Tony Blair. It begins: “I am an envoy for peace / But I’ve got war on my mind.”

After a rather baffling blues section where Baker covered Nina Simone’s “I Put a Spell on You”, the crowd was getting restless. “Play ‘Piccadilly Circus’!” shouted Phil Reilly, an adviser to Clegg and, coincidentally, a former Our Price shop assistant. “Yeah, it’s coming, don’t worry,” Baker replied wearily.

This was the one they all wanted – an upbeat, breezy tour-de-force widely known in Westminster for its shaky video filmed in the heart of London, and its sage advice: “Don’t get caught in the rain.” Some of the crowd even stood up from the stools they had dragged on to the dancefloor to wave their hands in the air.

As an treat for those of you who couldn’t be there, here is the video:


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One Comment

  • Mark Smulian 16th Apr '16 - 12:00pm

    The original of I Put A Spell On You was in fact by Screaming Jay Hawkins, a 1950s blues singer who, I gather, used to arrive on stage in a coffin amid swirling smoke and was aided by ‘Henry’, a cigarette smoking skull.
    I can’t somehow imagine Norman replicating this performance.

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