Undoubtedly mesmeric, Little Richard threw fire into late 50s R&B.
Jack White Stripe is so close to him artistically it may seem timely to return to the source, to excavate the layers of bland homogenised rock piled upon the original raw sound.
It would be unfair to expect a 70 year-old man to substantiate fully a form of music heavily reliant upon the physical vigour of youth, yet Little Richard sang well, shrieking high and playing quick and neat R&B/gospel flourishes on his Yamaha Grand.
Wearing silver glitter pyjamas and shoes, with hair somewhere between a bouffant and a mullet, this extraordianary spectacle delivered good versions of great songs for which he has been famed. What I had not bargained for was his incredibly sour temper.
Firstly, persons selling illegitimate merchandise were aggressively chastised, when in fact no one was visibly selling any. Having created a bad atmosphere from the outset, Richard obsessively chastised the sound man, then singled out a long term fan from the audience, whom he described as nasty, an old man, and a businessman, for simply taking a few innocuous flash snaps.
I spoke with the poor guy afterwards and he was hurt. Little Richard also told us we could collect free copies of his book and photograph, and that Hank Williams was due to be playing at the venue. Well, there were no books or photographs, and isn't Hank Williams rather dead?
Unnervingly, he also pointed directly at my front row face and shouted 'YOU'.
Little Richard's famous records from the late 1950s are undoubtedly among the most exciting and worthy of the era. Competition was fierce, but those sides held up brilliantly and a good greatest hits compilation would easily blow most arrogant current street sounds out of the water.
A shame then to darken the image left behind with an unwarrantedly surly temperament.