Music discussions – what have you been listening to, who have you seen? Share it with us…
Joan Armatrading on Tour @ Derngate
Joan Armatrading has been a favourite of ours for over 30 years and as Jane said as we walked away from the theatre, “she never disappoints her audience”. For Joan’s biography click here…
She was supported by an up and coming singer songwriter called Jim Brewer who did 3 interesting songs and was followed by a more experienced modern folk, singer song writer Chris Wood. Both were competent but it was easy to see that Chris Wood has been on the circuit for many years because his singing and guitar playing were very relaxed; many of his songs had a modern political slant.
Joan’s concert was a wonderful mixture of some of her old and new songs which had the audience singing along, clapping and having a great time. The last time we saw her she focussed very much on her guitar playing, which is brilliant, however this time there were more songs when she put her guitar down and just concentrated on the singing. I thought she looked a bit awkward without the guitar but Jane disagreed and thought she appeared relaxed and very at ease with herself and her music.
Her set list consisted of: Show Some Emotion; Single Life, Close To Me; All the Way From America; Crazy; A Woman In Love; Tell Me; Love And Affection; Tall In The Saddle; My Baby’s Gone; Starlight; The Weakness in Me; Cool Blue Stole My Heart; You Rope You Tie Me; Kissin’ And A’ Huggin’; (I Love It When You) Call Me Names; Best Dress On; Me Myself I; Encore: Drop The Pilot; Summer Kisses. Sadly there was no Willow but hopefully next time.
Chris Rea @ Hammersmith Apollo
We frequently keep a look out for concerts to go to but so often we don’t get in early enough to get the best seats and despite picking up on this Chris Rea tour quite early the stalls had sold out and so we were in the circle. The tickets showed a time of 6.30pm which we thought was early, and so it was, because in fact this was the time the doors opened. The concerted didn’t start until 7.45pm with the support act, Nell Bryden starting the evening with a clear, well pitched voice and good acoustic guitar work. She played for half an hour to an audience that spent a lot of the time coming in, going out and generally not paying a great deal of attention. After a twenty minute break Chris Rea and his band walked into the stage to tumultuous applause and without introduction he broke into the first song. For the full set list click here: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/chris-rea/2012/national-indoor-arena-birmingham-england-63de121f.html
To cut what could be a long review short we thought it was an exceptional night. His gravelly voice has lost nothing with the years and he played so many songs that were instantly recognisable. His bottleneck guitar is faultless and his commitment to the blues is wonderful.
Now for the strange bit. We go to concerts to watch and listen; we don’t go to drink gallons of beer, pay numerous visits to the toilet and therefore spend as much time out of the seat as in it; and we don’t go to spend the whole evening using our mobile phones to take photos or video and text our friends about what a great time we’re having. The idea of enjoying the moment and sharing it with the real people around us seems to be disappearing; instead the people around us wanted to share their moment with a virtual world – so why didn’t they buy a video of the concert and watch it at home where they wouldn’t annoy us? The times they are a changing…
We went to see KT Tunstall at Warwick Arts Centre on Warwick University Campus ( a good venue if you get the raked seats).
KT was preceded by two mediocre warm up solo artists who left a lot to be desired and I would prefer to go straight into the gig although I guess it gives young “talent” a chance to get in front of a large live audience. Both of these two were forgettable forgotten them already
KT herself came on at around 9.30 to wild applause and the whole auditorium erupted as she bagan her set. She played quite a few numbers off her last album – Tiger Suit but also played some of her older favourites much to our delight. What a show she put on. This was a one woman show, no backing musicians and so she digitally sampled all the rhythm and backing sections as she introduced each song. It was trully wonderful to see how this simple intro could be turned into something with such depth. She is a really talented songwiter, musician and singer. Her voice has tremendous power, with great control and variety. Why have we never been to see her before?
Take a look at her equally creative web site: http://www.kttunstall.com/
I quote from her web site below – this lady is a deep thinker and it shows in her lyrics – respect!
“Making the album felt a bit like an archaeological dig, digging deeper to uncover what most turns me on,” says Tunstall. “The best way I can describe it is that I felt I discovered the indigenous part of myself by going back to campfire dance music just as much as club dance music. When I grind my boot heel into the floor it’s connected to when I went clubbing in Berlin. Losing yourself in the middle of nowhere around a fire is no different to losing yourself surrounded by hundreds of people on a dancefloor.” KT Tunstall
Illegal Eagles – What a superb evening. I wouldn’t describe myself as a number one fan but I do appreciate the harmonies and musicianship of the Eagles and so it was with some trepidation that we went to see a tribute band. We should have had no concerns because they were really very good and put on an excellent evening’s entertainment. They played all the Eagles greatest hits and if you closed your eyes you would struggle to tell the difference between the Hotel California CD I have at home and the tribute band on stage. Recommended.
Officially A Grumpy Old Woman! – On Friday myself Alison & our daughters Georgina & Abby went to our first Take That concert at Wembley. I was never a particular fan of the band on their first airing but since the 4 members of the group re-formed I have thoroughly enjoyed their music. Getting tickets in the first place was a massive undertaking spending 9 hours continuously on the internet & phone then, each time I was at the point of confirming the booking, I was thrown out of the system. Clearly Alison had the magic touch as after she returned from work we both tried simultaneously & she secured the deal after 2 hours! We were comfortably in our seats when the support act The Pet Shop Boys started & to our girls’ horror we sang along loudly. Then the 4 regular members of TT took to the stage – brilliant – just what I hoped for & this time our girls joined in with the singing but then they left the stage & Robbie Williams took over for his solo slot. What an ill mannered, vulgar man! Note to Mr Williams – it is by people like me buying tickets at vast expense that you have the lifestyle you enjoy. I do not need to be sworn at & gesticulated at & made to feel uncomfortable & I am not impressed that you indicated you had been taking drugs. I gather he has not acted this way at all the concerts but his behaviour on Friday put me on edge & made me wonder if he was going to go to too far or even if he was planning to walk out all together. His music is extremely enjoyable his behaviour is not. Thankfully once the rest of the group joined him on stage I was able to relax again knowing they were in control and had a fabulous time. To sum up – we will NEVER FORGET, not quite the GREATEST DAY of our lives but a memorable day & even though we needed a lot of PATIENCE and nearly had to put out an SOS to be rescued from the car park (which took ages to clear) at least we were not UP ALL NIGHT and so all we will do each night is PRAY that we may get another opportunity to see Gary, Mark, Howard & Jason again but next time please not Robbie, they don’t need him!
(Gather others from the village have also been to concerts on this tour – what did you think or was Robbie better behaved for you?)
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood at the Albert Hall – I’ve waited over 40 years to see these two together. I was either too poor or too stupid to see Blind Faith back in 1969 or perhaps just in the wrong place. It was a great night with them on stage for two and half hours. On returning home I played a Blind Faith compilation just to prove that their talent and voices hadn’t faded with the years. Not only is the music superb they are a tribute to what the over sixties can do if they don’t allow age to get in the way. Click here for details of the set:
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