Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Meal Ticket - Take Away (1978 uk / ireland, pleasant pub country rock)

Sunday afternoon at Watford’s legendary music venue, a good crowd has assembled to catch Half A Meal Ticket as they call themselves nowadays. Steve Simpson and Willy Finlayson, backed by a rotating cast of musicians regularly play pubs in south London (lucky inhabitants of TW and SW postcodes…). Willy and Steve for this occasion were backed by Malcolm Hoskins on bass, Alan Coulter (member of the last incarnation of Meal Ticket) on drums and the rather sublime Dean Barnes on guitar. Band’s catalogue (bar a CD release of their LP “Take Away” in 1989) had been unavailable since the original Vinyl releases.

1978 “Take Away” saw a major reshuffle in the band’s line-up as virtuoso guitar player Ray Flacke left and the rhythm section of Chris Hunt and Jack Brand was replaced by Alan Coulter and Rod Dennick, in an attempt to toughen up the band’s sound. It is a credit to Simpson’s talent that Flacke’s disappearance is hardly noticeable. As stated by Finlayson, the result is “a different but equally as good sound”. 

The luxurious instrumentation on “Down  On My Knees (After Memphis)” showcases Steve Simpson on Mandolin and Harmonica. Our two lead vocalists reach new heights with excellent performances by Rick Jones (“Lucy”) and Willy Finlayson (“Simple”). A rocking version of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” was chosen as a single while the Bees Makes Honey songbook is ploughed again with “Get On Board”.
by Craig Chaligne, February 1, 2017 
1. Why In The World (Dave Pierce, Rick Jones, Steve Hammond) - 3:21
2. Down On My Knees (Mike Heron) - 4:08
3. Lucy - 4:29
4. Lonestar Motel (Dave Pierce, Rick Jones, Willy Finlayson) - 3:31
5. The Shape I'm In (Robbie Robertson) - 4:05
6. Blame - 2:45
7. Simple - 3:04
8. Bonnie Lee’s Dinette (Dave Pierce, Rick Jones, Steve Hammond) - 3:22
9. At The Funny Farm - 2:49
10.Get On Board (Barry Richardson) - 3:18
All songs by Dave Pierce, Rick Jones except where stated

Meal Ticket
*Willy Finlayson - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Rick Jones - Lead Vocals, Keyboards
*Steve Simpson - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Harmonica
*Alan Coulter - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
*Rod Demick - Bass, Vocals 

Related Acts