Slim Chance - Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
Pioneered by original members Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson the rebirth of Slim Chance has been a long time coming.
The band was originally formed by Small Faces and Faces bassman Ronnie Lane back in the seventies as an antidote to the endless frustrations of the music business.
Slim Chance - a low-key collection of big talents - offered freedom and fun. The chance to hit the road and play a stirring and instantly recognisable mix of country, folk and rock in village halls, tents, clubs and small theatres. They even took a Big Top on tour, creating the legendary Passing Show. There were dancing girls, fire-eaters, jugglers and many hangovers.
Sadly the irrepressible Ronnie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and as his health gradually declined he was forced to give up performing. He died in 1997 but left a considerable musical legacy.
This reincarnation of Slim Chance finds guitarist Simpson and fiddle and accordion player Hart teaming up with other original members like bass player Steve Bingham, guitarist Alun Davies and drummer Colin Davey. Together with the great Geraint Watkins on keyboards they make a formidable team. The Wimborne show, perhaps just a little under-rehearsed, revisited Slim Chance classics like How Come, The Poacher, Ooh La La, Debris and many more.
The result was a delightfully raggedy but nonetheless superb performance from class musicians intent on keeping the faith. They achieve it by delivering the passion without the polish. And in some ways that’s just the way it should be. Slim Chance was always a relatively ‘loose’ band. But judging from their Tivoli performance with its occasional flashes of utter briliance, if they just tightened things up a notch or two, they’d be sublime. And with players like these that level of performance is probably only a gig or two away.