Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance -
One For The Road
by Staffan Solding in the Swedish LARM #2, May 1976
If you hadn't heard and seen Ronnie Lane's Slim
Chance before, you wouldn't believe it's true, what you heard on "One For
The Road" as their new is named. Because among forever riffing guitarists
and stone pillars as musicians, the bruising, swaying and joyful musical
creation that Slim Chance express, seem like lunacy.
"Anymore For Anymore" and "Ronnie
Lane's Slime Chance" have given us a premonition of what would be coming,
but deep within we were a bit afraid and insecure if Slim Chance now give it
Ronnie's place in the English sixties rock scene
were as know as bass player in Small Faces. This together with the differences
with Ruan O'Lochlainn (Which lead to him leaving the group) would very well
leave deep negative traces in the music of Slim Chance. Apparently it wasn't so.
The experiences from the time with Faces have lead to a new attitude musically
and ideology with Ronnie. This, and at the same time the resolving of
differences within Slim Chance, and the music reached a qualitively higher level.
Are we seeing this form of music that Slim Chance
express as a reaction against the strongly promoted mastodon-rock or is it a
natural development in the English music tradition? With no doubt there is much
English in Slim Chance, but at the same time they aren't just reaction as form
of music, but also as a music distribution, a form of life. A reaction against
the gigantic tours, against falsehood, against carrying apart the musicians from
the listeners - both in a musically and a sensitive way.
From this point of view it isn't hard see how
Ronnie have worked together Slim Chance with material and musicians. Charlie
Hart with his small ingenious piano-playing and swaying fiddle accompaniment.
Steve Simpson with his sensitive powerful mandolin, guitar and fiddle. Colin
Davey and Brian Belshaw with their heavy, steady in beat rhythm-markings. There
probably still is a little craziness, but on "One For The Road" it's organized. Where have we ever before heard a string-section as on "Don't
Try 'n' Change My Mind"? Instead of calling for the BBC Symphony Orchestra,
Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson jump their worn-out fiddles and scraping
Where have they ever used a more wonderful chorus
then in "32 Street"? It isn't a soft cold disco-choir, no. It's sounds
like Charlie, Colin, Steve and Brian were locked out and with a last effort
managed to enter the studio and in wild disorder throws themself over the
Where have we ever heard a more soft irritating
mandolin as on "One For The Road", put together by Steve Simpson?
Where have we ever heard bass and drums that in a
rumbling, noisy and sensitive way keeping spirit and pace? Ronnie Lane's Slim
Chance still dreaming of a comercial success, but it's hard finding, traveling about the English countryside with a tent-show and not entering those big
concert halls and without that enormous commercial-machinery a' la Bruce
Springsteen, but then there is a hell of a big difference musically too.
by Staffan Solding May 1976