First class versatility
 Dave Berry `Memphis... In The Meantime' Blues Matters Records - BMRCD20037
 Although pop was the basis for his hit­making Sixties career, Dave Berry has always been a fervent R'n'B enthusiast.
And this new album - his first since "Hos­tage to the Beat" in 1987 - allows him to indulge his passion in magnificent fashion. The first has him striding straight into a slick, assured groove - and all 11 songs are delivered with the panache of a com­mitted aficionado with the talent to match his devotion.
Longevity speaks for itself and the quality of the distinctive Dave Berry voice tells its own story, even when he's away from his more familiar domain - reprising his stage theatrics on the pop nostalgia circuit.
Here he is joined in his endeavours by a first-class team of musicians whose readily apparent versatility allows them to bring unflagging creative support to a studio set encompassing a variety of moods.
The repertoire - which includes two com­positions apiece from J.J. Cale, John Hiatt and Arthur'Big Boy' Crudup - covers rollick­ing power blues and more laid-back material­al. Berry's cohorts are the Junkyard Angels, and his genuine affection for the genre is evident throughout an album which is en­hanced by a thoroughly contemporary feel.
One real highlight is a rendition of Tony Joe White's "Taking The Midnight Train which has a poignant stately beauty - and is punctuated by a guitar solo heartbreak­ing in its intensity. The final track is a ver­sion of "My Baby Left Me", harking back to one of the minor Berry hits in 1964 which preceded his dramatic chart emergence with "The Crying Game".
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Extraordinary Wounded,Vunerable Delivery
Dave Berry / One Dozen Berrys - BGO RECORDS BGOCD643
It's now 40 years since Dave Berry's ' eponymous debut album was released and it resounds with the distinctive vocal style It's now 40 years since Dave Berry's ' eponymous debut album was released and it resounds with the distinctive vocal style still sustaining him today as a cornerstone of the Sixties performing scene
Of course this is most obviously the case with 'The Crying Game', the extraordinary recording which introduced the wounded, vulnerable delivery that became a Berry trade mark. Ethereal and chillingly haunting, the song was a high-quality add­ition to the 1964 singles charts, and proves a devastatingly powerful opener to a CD comprising two original Dave Berry LPs.
That first album also included a rendition of ' Memphis Tennessee' - the number written by his namesake Chuck, which had brought him a first minor hit the previous year. But you can visualise Dave's moody stage charisma seeping from the grooves as he confidently dips his brush into an extensive palette and daubs the canvas with a colourful mix of contemporary material.
There are examples of the same kind of r'n'b as his Decca label-mates the Rolling Stones were tackling at the same time but elements of folk, country and skiffle-blues are among other diversities.
A crucial role is played by session guitarists Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page, each of them shining with an inventive display of technical wizardry. 'One Dozen Berrys' was released in 1966 after he had become a well established figure in the pop currency of international record sales, live shows and TV appearances and the LP duly rein­forced his evident popularity. 'I've Got My Tears To Remind Me' a song written by Jackie DeShannon and Jimmy Page showcases Dave at his melodramatic best. With other tracks having been drawn from a variety of sources, including Chuck Berry again, Bobby Goldsboro and Burt Bacharach-Hal David ( Berry's hit 'Baby It's You), an­other wide sweep in content and approach is assured from the outset.
 
by Russell Newmark ( The Beat Magazine )
Newly-released on the Uni­versal label, it is available through The Beat magazine's BeatShop, or HERE priced at £14-00 and also in stock in most record stores

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DAVE BERRY Dave Berry/One Dozen Berries
The Beat Goes On BGOCD 643 (69:56)
A diverting first album and its lesser follow-up
 
His co-headlining
of an ongoing nostalgia package tour makes this retrospective expedient for the charismatic Berry, whose surreal stage act is still executed with the spooky deliberation of a dream in slow motion. Moreover, the wounded baritone is as potent as it was in 1964 when he metamorphosed from worthy R&B exponent to heartbreak balladeer, notably with The Crying Game, his first Top 10 penetration - and the opening track of a maiden LP that demonstrated that the chasm between, say, Rosco Gordon's Just A Little Bit and the fairy­dusted folk of Girl From The Fair Isle was not unbreachable. In between, the boy from Sheffield made no overstated pig's ear either of The Drifters' I Don't Want To Go On Without You and even God Bless The Child, signa­ture tune of vocal dare-devil Billie Holliday.
After his restless farewell from the charts two years later, Decca issued another Berry alburm on its Ace Of Clubs subsidiary. The formula was similar to the first, but more slapdash - as instanced by inclusion
of items that pre-dated The Crying Game and a reappear­ance of Girl From The Fair Isle. Nevertheless, One Dozen Berries remains entertaining, even if it isn't up to the fighting weight of its predecessor.
 
Alan Clayson
Record Collector 2005

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Mojo Magazine January 2005
Dave Berry *** (Three Stars)
Dave Berry/One Dozen Berrys
Two on One from one of the great underateds. Berry’s unique on-stage approach was later ripped off by Alvin Stardust but, during the 60’s he utilised a line in fine material – The Crying Game, Memphis Tennessee etc. FD

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Mojo Magazine February 2005
Roots of the Sex Pistols (Main Feature Article)
15 Tracks that inspired a revolution
Track 6
DAVE BERRY     
Don’t Give Me No Lip Child
(currently unavailable in the UK)
A Stomping slice of 1964 Brit – Beat, this curled lip classic was B-side to Berry’s Cryin’Game single which hit the UK top 5, Thirteen years later Sid Vicious delivered his snotty take on this song.
Impossibly hard to find, this version was supplied by Sugarbush Records who can be reached at www.sugarbush.u-net.com
Meanwhile Dave Berry’s website can be located at www.cryinggame.co.uk

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Excellent review of January 31st at Borderline by Darius Drew of 'Beat' on-line magazine

However much of a genial, enjoyable and straight down the line entertainer Phillips may be, though, nothing steals the audience for the immediate change of mood that descends once Dave Berry takes the stage. The minute he appears, partially obscured as ever by mike lead, black glove a-pointing, the crowd are captivated: and while it’s quite commonplace during London gigs to hear people gasbagging away, even through their favourite bands, the minute he leans his lithe and bony frame (so ephemeral you fear it could crack at any moment like a twig) into the mike to croon the opening verse of “Just Want A Little Bit”, a hush falls upon the Borderline’s wooden eaves. This, ladies and gents, is a rock’n’roll star. Not, I should stress, that Wee Willie and Ray P aren’t stars: it’s simply that until you’ve witnessed Dave in action, even if only for the duration of an eight-song set, you can’t possibly comprehend how important, influential and instrumental this bloke has been in defining the British “rock frontman” as we know it.
From soon-come 60s icons like Jagger, Daltrey and Rod Stewart to 70s glamsters such as David Essex and Alvin Stardust (the latter actually a contemporary of Dave’s under his original name Shane Fenton) and again, even down to the initials and similar-sounding surname, the mighty Bowie, half the UK’s most revered performers began as Berry disciples: the fact that he disappeared (entirely of his own choosing) into comparative obscurity at the height of his fame, only to resurface two decades later like nothing had changed and then keep going for another thirty years, is if anything further evidence of his legend and mystique. At times, it’s like watching one of the Verne Brothers from Hammer’s classic rock’n’roll horror Black Carrion playing live before you, and, accordingly, his choice of material from actual hits he enjoyed (“Memphis Tennessee”, “Little Things”) through songs he now regrets turning down (the Yardbirds’ “Heart Full Of Soul”) to others he admired later (Nick Lowe’s evergreen “I Knew The Bride”) is further evidence of his ephemeral, eerie, always-here-but-not-quite-
there persona.
Even the song that earned him the unique honour of “biggest-selling ever single in the Benelux nations” is similarly odd: written (but not recorded) by one Raymond Douglas Davies of the Kinks, a massive hit “over there” but still an obscurity over here, and featuring one of the most haunting chord sequences known to man. Yet it still has “This Strange Effect” on us. And we like it. Still youthful at 75, he’s not afraid to divest himself of his natty black jacket either, revealing his see-through black silk blouse to the ladies with a sly wink: and, though I’m sure he gets tired of singing it, he nails “The Crying Game” (what the hell, regardless of all dodgy covers by Boy George and, er, Keith Allen, it’s still a great song) in note-perfect fashion. For me, he was the undoubted highlight of the show: much as I was looking forward to every act today, I didn’t actually want him to finish. I guess I’ll have to try to catch him playing a full set soon: maybe, if I persuade him nicely beforehand, he might even do “The Coffee Song”…