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Welcome the God of Hell Fire to Twickenham
The God of Hell Fire himself, no stranger to setting himself alight during his eccentric performances, will bring his flamboyant show to the Eel Pie Club tonight.
Arthur Brown, who set himself alight numerous times during his 60s shows, promises a hell-raising show, despite the plan to leave his flaming helmet at home.
The 71-year-old psychedelic rocker says: “Things like that would happen, particularly in the early days when it was a crate of petrol on my head.
“The road manager would often throw things that were alight at it because when it went up it kind of exploded.
“One night I was dancing and I was completely on fire – the audience loved it, they thought it was part of the act.
“Then two guys rushed on with fire blankets.”
Another notable performance from the early days was in Italy, when he stripped naked after he set his hair on fire and was later arrested and deported.
The outlandish founder of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, will play the show with a young band, which he says attracts a different type of audience.
He says: “All of them are under 30. One of them is 23, so we have a more modern sound.
“When the original band was going we experimented with everything we could – electronics, samplers, classical, bits of Indian music, jazz, R ‘n’ B, so it was a real mixture and that has been carried on and the spirit of experimentation is always at the forefront.
“The danger of an old artist is that you go through the motions but in the case of us because we have such a lot of fun it doesn’t fall into that.
“People used to get up on stage and dance but now we have a dancer who travels around with us and she’s brilliant.
“We also have two gorgeous women in the band now.
“It used to be that 90 per cent of the audience was male but since bringing women into the band there’s much more of a female audience so you get quite a different feeling.”
The band are racing through a world tour which has included stops in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Brown, who lived in Austin, Texas, for 16 years, plans to travel to the US with the band to play some shows and visit one of his sons.
The musician says he visits dubstep clubs when in the States with his son and dances until the early hours, which keeps him fit.
Brown, from Lewes, says: “So far I’m still happy doing what I’m doing and jumping up and down and it keeps me fit.
“The other night at a place in Lewes where we were raising money for local arts I was dancing until 5.30 in the morning.
“It was jam packed. There were lots and lots of young people there and it was a great atmosphere.
“A lot of people were there until four or five and I did a set with a group of local people I know, not my band. It was fantastic.”
Brown is calling on help from his fans as part of his latest project, in which he asks fans to pledge money towards the creation of a new album, Zim Zam Zim.
The album will be released exclusively to fans who make a pledge and they could get their hands on one of the original fire helmets.
Brown says: “There are lots of things that people will enjoy. They can have a meal with the band, or a car journey with the band.
“If people do it it’s because they have invested something in the band. Quite often after a gig I spend an hour and a half just talking to people, they’ve enjoyed the energy and the energy is still flowing so it’s a really great thing.
“The Eel Pie is one of the main clubs so I’m really looking forward to it.”
To make a pledge and learn more about the band’s projects and tour dates, visit: arthur-brown.com.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; Eel Pie Club, The Patch, London Road, Twickenham,; September 12; Doors 8.30pm, show 9.15pm to 11pm; £17, members £15; eelpieclub.com, 07732 322610.
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