On November 21 2013 Red Box Studios, Belfast, hosted a multi-faceted live event before an invited audience to promote Colin Harper’s then-forthcoming book ‘Bathed In Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond’ (Jawbone Press, March 1 2014).
BBC Radio Ulster personality Linley Hamilton compered and was among 10 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians – from the worlds of jazz, blues, pop/rock, bluegrass and traditional music – tackling music associated with John McLaughlin: three pieces originally recorded by the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971 and four songs co-written with British R&B legend Duffy Power in 1966. A joyous rampage through Sonny Rollins’ ‘Tenor Madness’ concluded the two and a half hour event.
The musicians involved were: Pat Gribben (guitar), Linley Hamilton (trumpet), Scott Flqanigan (piano), Ali McKenzie (bass) and Sean Randle (drums) – in the Mahavishnu unit; Ronnie Greer (guitar/vocal), Ali McKenzie (bass), Scott Flanigan (piano), Sean Randle (drums) plus Tíona McSherry (vocal) and Triona Carville (vocal) – in the R&B unit; Janet Holmes (vocal/guitar) and Colin Henry (dobro) – performing as a duo.
Author Colin Harper took part in sections of discussion about the book with Linley and Horslips legend and RTÉ Radio personality Jim Lockhart gave four readings adapted from the book.
The event was filmed, vision-mixed and sound-mixed by Cormac O’Kane of Red Box Studios – truly, a wizard of sound and vision – with help from studio partner Donal O’Connor and a splendid team of volunteer camera people.
An audio version of the ‘videocast’ is also available (split into a mere five sections) at SoundCloud.