Slim Chance have just issued On The Move, their second album since reforming in 2010. While the group’s founder and frontman Ronnie Lane, who passed away in 1997, can never be replaced, the reconfigured line-up – featuring original members Charlie Hart, Steve Simpson and Steve Bingham – pay fine tribute, while also looking forward.
“The brief was to record an album very much in the spirit of Ronnie Lane with some of his classic songs,” says Bingham. “But we also wanted to record original material to showcase the talents contained within the band now.”
What prompted the reformation?
Charlie Hart and Steve Simpson were the driving force. Charlie had already been a huge part of the Ronnie Lane Memorial Concert at the Royal Albert Hall and both he and Steve thought the time was right to get Slim Chance back together and to see what could be achieved.
The album is very much in Ronnie’s spirit
What are your memories of working with Ronnie Lane on his 1974 album Anymore For Anymore?
I have a very vivid memory of the first time I arrived at Fishpool Farm on the Welsh borders with drummer Bruce Rowland, who introduced me to Ronnie. He was the most easy-going bloke you could wish to meet, and incredibly talented. I didn’t know much about him as a songwriter but soon realised I was involved in something special. His songs on Anymore For Anymore were, and still are, absolutely stunning, and the atmosphere on that album still takes me back to his old barn, with dogs, ducks and chickens wandering around.
You were also involved in the touring musical circus The Passing Show.
It was a huge amount of fun, but it lacked publicity and sometimes we arrived to find nobody was even expecting us. To take a huge circus tent on tour – along with caravans for the band and crew, plus an assortment of other vehicles – was a major undertaking, and not without problems. But the shows were magical. Ronnie was in his element as a truly great showman, and the band was steaming.
What did you learn from your time working with Ronnie?
Ronnie loved to have fun and enjoy himself on stage and that’s always been what I strive for myself. He loved his audience and in return they loved him. I’ve always admired performers who have the ability to put a big smile on people’s faces and Ronnie Lane was one of the very best.
On The Move is out now via Fishpool