Nine Below Zero – Live In London (1995)

FrontCover1Nine Below Zero started life in South London during 1977, in the midst of the punk rock boom in England but their sound and inspiration were so totally counterintuitive to what was going on in punk rock that they scarcely seemed to be part of that movement, apart from their extremely energetic attack on their instruments. Rather than noise for its own sake or auto-destruction, their inspiration lay in classic Chicago blues (though John Mayall’s early music and that of the Who and the Kinks from early in their careers also figured into their sound). Dennis Greaves (lead vocals, guitar), Peter Clark (bass), and Kenny Bradley (drums) soon joined by Mark Feltham (who actually replaced a teacher of theirs who had sat in on the early gigs) on vocals and harmonica were schoolmates and friends who shared a love of blues; all had all come into the world in the early ’60s, and might well have resigned themselves to having missed the boat for the British blues revival by virtue of having been born in the midst of it. Instead, they reached back to that era and found themselves pegged as part of the “mod revival” in the midst of the punk era.

Originally billed as Stan’s Blues Band, they made a name for themselves locally in South London, sounding a lot like the Who from their “maximum R&B” days and the Kinks Mark_Feltham01from their early days, and arrived as younger rivals to Dr. Feelgood. A couple of years later, they acquired a manager and a new name, taken from a song by Sonny Boy Williamson II, and cut a debut record on their own label. By 1980, they’d been signed to A&M Records’ British division and took the bold step of making their major-label debut a live album from the Marquee Club in London to judge from the results, one heartily wished that some of the earlier bands that inspired them had displayed similar daring. Live at the Marquee, recorded on June 16, 1980 by which time Stix Burkey had replaced Bradley on the drums was a success and led to their follow-up album. For their sophomore effort, Don’t Point Your Finger, they were determined to translate their live energy into the studio and turned to no less a producer than Glyn Johns, who had worked with the Rolling Stones and the Who in their respective best years. The resulting record reached number 56 on the British charts.

The band’s upward momentum was slowed in the years that followed, with Clark’s departure (replaced by Brian Berhall), though a third album, Third Degree, followed but it seemed as though the moment had passed, as that record never got the attention or recognition it deserved from the press or the public. Greaves’ involvement with an outfit called the Truth, who coalesced as a full-time band in 1984, seemed to bring an end to Nine Below Zero, and that might have been as far as the group got. But a 1990 reunion got them playing before sell-out audiences, and the group has been working ever since, with Greaves on lead guitar and Mark Feltham even returning to the fold in 2001.

And here´s an obscure live recording with no further informations …

… but this another high energy concert by Nine Below Zero … maximum fun … !


Mickey Burkey (drums)
Mark Feltham (harmonica)
Dennis Greaves (guitar, vocals)
Dennis Ratcliffe (bass)


01. Homework (Perkins/Clark) 2.31
02. You Gotta Walk It Off (Greaves) 3.02
03. Doghouse (Greaves/Turner) 2.17
04. Three Times Enough (Greaves/Burkey) 2.14
05. Twenty Yards Behind (Johnson) 2.32
06. I Can’t Help Myself (Dozier/Holland) 2.41
07. Treat Her Right (Head)
08. Ridin’ On The L&N (Hampton) 4.39
09. Stop Your Naggin’ (Greaves) 2.22
10. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 7.59
11. Rockin’ Robin (Thomas) 3.06
12. Can I Get A Witness (B.Holland/Dozie/E.Holland) 2.15
13. Hoochi Coochi Coo (Ballard) 2.19
14. Is That You (Greaves) 2.24
15. Keep A Knockin’ (Penniman/Williams/Mays) 5.35
+ In the studio:
16. Liquor Lover (Greaves) 3.13
17. Three Times Enough (Greaves/Burkey) 2.07
18. One Way Street (Greaves) 3.02



Nine Below Zero – Don’t Point Your Finger (1981)

FrontCover1.JPGFor many discerning fans, Nine Below Zero far outpaced the Jam wannabes that doomed Britain’s so-called mod revival era. They even opened for the Who, whose favorite producer, Glyn Johns, oversaw this second A&M album. (Like other 1979-era revivalist bands, the group has re-formed on an intermittent basis.) Nine Below Zero show themselves as sharp players with plenty of hooks up their sleeves. Stix Burkey and Peter Clark whack out a disciplined rhythm attack without fussiness or flourishes, leaving the interplay to singer/harpist Mark Feltham and the main songwriter, lead guitarist Dennis “The Menace” Greaves. Greaves’ tunes successfully execute ’60s R&B toughness, yet are updated enough to grace a teen scooter fanatic’s good books. “One Way Street” is a punchy, doing-it-my-way anthem (“They told me to go by the book/But look at the time that it took”), while the roughhouse R&B of the title track and “Treat Her Right” come across like a speedier Yardbirds. The feel’s that close, but Greaves and cohorts have the skill to pull it off. The group expresses their bluesier side on “Ain’t Comin’ Back” and the slow-burning “Sugar Mama,” and also dips back into ’50s-style roots rave-ups with a credible cover of “Rockin’ Robin.”


“Helen”‘s trebly poppiness offers another nice diversion, being a working stiff’s plea to his anxious wife (“You’re the one I’m thinking of/When I come home late from my job”). An unpretentious sense of humor also makes itself heard on the title track and “Liquor Lover,” which chides a girlfriend who’s too fond of the fizzy stuff (which is reminiscent of how Rockpile sent up overeating on their own “Knife and Fork”). Greaves’ quest for authenticity occasionally falls flat; “Three Times Enough” is as barely disguised a rewrite of “The Train Kept a-Rollin'” as you’ll ever hear. However, the group’s enthusiasm is contagious in all the right places, as typified by its anthemic closer, “You Can’t Please All the People All the Time.” Don’t let the revivalist tag stop you from putting this album in your collection. (by Ralph Heibutzki)

Wow! What a great album by Nine Below Zero … from the third generation of British R & B / Blues … !!!


Stix Burkey (drums)
Peter Clark (bass)
Mark Feltham (harmonica, vocals)
Dennis Greaves (vocals, guitar)


01. One Way Street (Greaves) 3.42
02. Doghouse (Greaves/Turner) 2.20
03. Liquor Lover (Greaves/Turner) 2.50
04. Helen (Greaves) 3.40
05. Ain’t Comin’ Back (Greaves/Turner) 2.51
06. I Won’t Lie (Greaves) 3.40
07. Treat Her Right (Head) 2.22
08. Three Times Enough (Greaves/Burkey) 1.57
09. Sugar Mama (Burnett) 5.06
10. Don’t Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man (Greaves/Turner) 2.43
11. Rockin’ Robin (Thomas) 2.21
12. You Can’t Please All The People All The Time (Greaves) 5.18




This is another item from the great greygoose collection … thanks a lot !