Brian Thomas and the Power had the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) rocking at their November 17th meeting at the Holiday Inn. If you haven’t heard Brian Thomas and the Power Play, you need to. They are good. Until their drummer recovers from a recent motorcycle accident, its Brian Thomas’ strong vocals and guitar play, along with Noi Shampoo’s saxophone that is the Power. And they do give a powerful performance of classic soul, rock and blues, with a little Latin thrown in.
The duo started off with James Brown’s classic “Papa’s got a brand new bag”, and followed with Percy Sledge’s “When a man loves a woman”. The set included songs by Otis Redding, the Blues Brothers, Madness and the local favorite “Pattaya, Pattaya” (with Noi on vocals). All this driven by Thomas’ intense guitar work and that voice “made for the guitar” (as someone commented after their performance).
Growing up in the 60’s and raised in the heart of Motown (Detroit, USA), Soul and Blues music came naturally to Brian. According to Brian’s narrative, which accompanied his performance, he had an interest in music starting at the age of 5. Right about when the Beatles and Motown took over the airwaves. At the age of 8, he got his first guitar and by 13 he was playing in a band. A factory job earned him enough to buy a van, and with $200 in his pocket, Brian was off to make a name for himself in Los Angeles, California.
He did flirt with success while in Los Angeles. His band teamed up with a young Helen Reddy, but, as Brian says (with a wry smile) she was fired from the band after just a few months. It was something about her style that just wasn’t right for Brian’s band. Of course, that was not a tragic career move for Helen, who went on to record several hit songs in the 70’s. Soon after there was a stint with Ike and Tina Turner, and four months of working in the studio to get an album recorded. Nope; personalities just didn’t mesh and nothing came out of that effort and Brian went his way and Ike and Tina went theirs. Of course, Tina’s unique and powerful voice led to a few classic albums.
After his California experience, Brian found himself back in Detroit at the age of 28, where his creative talents turned to woodworking, jewelry making and sculpture. During his presentation, Brian showed some slides of his custom tables and desks. His furniture style tended towards the classic (can’t get any more classic than roll-top desks – a Brian specialty). After ten years of concentrating on his woodworking business and away from his music, Brian was back at his music, and somehow ended up in Pattaya performing at the premier venues for the past nine years.
Brian’s life is as interesting as his musical style, and you might want to find out more by going to the band’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/thepowerpattaya/. The general consensus of the PCEC attendees was that Brian Thomas and the Power is one band in Pattaya you should not miss. And if you get a chance, ask Brian about that guitar of his – he claims he’s been playing it for some 55 years. You can view his presentation to the PCEC by visiting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc1usvwbiWk.
After Brian Thomas and the Power’s performance, the MC brought everyone up to date on the upcoming club events and others of interest. This was followed by the Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. A special appeal was also made for donations to the Christmas fund as more is needed to purchase gifts for the children from Pattaya orphanage and Human Health Network who will be providing great entertainment at the PCEC’s Christmas Program, which will be on 22 December this year.
For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at: pattayacityexpatsclub.com/.