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One of those weekends..... Options
Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 7:44:06 PM
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A definite highlight of a weekend music-wise since I landed in the UK.

Friday night was my beloved Flaming Lips hitting all the right spots in playing The Soft Bulletin in full. Having first started listening to the Lips after the original release of this album, it was brilliant to have the chance to see everything on it being played (except Buggin'.....). The show is fantastical as ever, and maybe it's a personal bias, but I can't think that anyone with even a fleeting interest in live music wouldn't be able to find something to enjoy at a Flaming Lips show. Arrived a little late, so only caught the 2nd half of Dinosaur Jr playing Bug in full as support.

Saturday, had another festival, with the re-formed Magazine, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Iggy & The Stooges and Morrissey playing in succession. What a day. First time seeing all of them (well, I'd seen Lou twice, but he'd been doing concept shows both times, so first time with a "mix" of material).

Magazine were tight, but suffered from a lack of familiarity by the audience. Fans would enjoy the comeback though.
Patti was incredible. Short set, of which I accidentally missed half due to misreading the schedule. Her voice was just far far better than I'd expected, and the stripped back band worked a treat. Handy to have multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wolf on board too
Lou was also better than I expected. Like Dylan, he has played with phrasings and key in a lot of his material, but he may have the best band since his Velvets days at present. Ecstacy was monumental, pushed out to near 10 minutes. Lou was playful, at least for Lou, and gave it a bit extra in Femme Fatale, to wind back the clock. Small Town, Temporary Thing, Sunday Morning and the Rock and Roll Animal version of Sweet Jane for a triumphant finish. Wow, didn't think I could be a bigger fan.....
Iggy's boundless energy is utterly admirable, but The Stooges also remain a force of nature, even after Ron Asheton's early departure. They just leave the throttle on full for more than an hour and leave with everyone shellshocked. Thank God I finally caught them and made up for past transgressions.
"How do you follow Iggy and The Stooges?" A fair question from Morrissey, who was in his typical, iconic, "Woe is Me" mood. Also hugely satisfying for a big fan like me, who had waited for too long before getting the chance to see Moz live.

All in all, a pretty special day.

Backed up for Lou on the Monday night, for a (largely) identical set list, played with equal proficiency and energy as a few days earlier. Venus in Furs had me misty eyed with excitement. A total joy for me.

Warren Haynes followed on Tuesday, and was the tower of power I expected. His current band are pretty damn sharp. I take it the same band was in Aus - the keyboardist with the glasses was fantastic and a deft hand on backing vocals. I suspect that backing vocalist Alicia Schools (I think that was the name he said?) is the daughter of Gov't Mule bassist Andy Schools? In any case, a strong set, but maybe would have preferred a couple of jams to be shortened in favour of some Mule material, or a couple of his typically excellent cover selections.

Oh, that reminds my, saw Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi last week too. Wow. I expected to be impressed, but it was above expectations. Knew what to expect vocally from Susan after the BB King drop in the night before, but she was better still. Derek looks like a guy who just genuinely loves playing the guitar and wants to do nothing else. That's a good thing. I'd say I preferred this set to the Derek Trucks Band stuff I've heard, mainly on the back of Susan's voice. What a weapon.

So a pretty good run, all in all.
Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2011 10:41:26 PM
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Thanks for the review - always nice to live vicariously. Never caught Dino Jr, despite an early obsession from Bug through to Where you been, so envious there. Morrisey after Iggy? Like sitting down to luke warm tea and a bowl of spotted dick after shagging someone on a roller coaster. Patti is special - reckon she qualifies as a 'roots' act, too.
Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 12:19:55 AM
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oldbilly1 wrote:
Patti is special - reckon she qualifies as a 'roots' act, too.

Based on the acoustic band set up - definitely. And totally at home in front of a big crowd, without ever being showy about it.

I remember the reviews of the White Stripes trying to follow Iggy on the Big Day Out tour. In Morrissey's case, there is probably a bit more variation in his catalogue, which helped keep people interested. Plus he is virtually royalty in the UK (he would no douobt loathe that comparison), so it wasn't like the crowd excitement bombed.
Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 1:28:56 PM
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When Patti Smith last played the Opera House she was supported by the Drones. They joined Patti and her band on stage for Smells Like Teen Spirit. Lots of Banjo. Patti, at Bf under the southern cross would definitely be memorable.
Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 4:11:28 PM
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I've been asking for Patti Smith to be invited for years. She's an amazing woman who is just as relevant and challenging today as she was back in the 70's. And, if anything, she sings even better now than back then. When I last saw her in Melbourne she was brilliant.

Hangin' out on Frenchmen
Posted: Saturday, July 09, 2011 12:43:03 AM
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I'm a big Magazine fan,and did not know they had reformed until viewing a recent Jools Holland show.

Unfortunately the much admired John McGeoch is no longer with us,but Barry Adamson was back.

The one point I did note was that Howard has lost a bit in the vocal department,but that is an inevitable result of age for most caucasians.

With John McGeoch in mind,his guitar skills with Siouxie & the Banshees were critical to their sound.

The last time I saw Siouxie was on Jools Holland with Budgie performing as the creatures.Great stuff.

In terms of BDO,from an audience demographic viewpoint,it was logical to have the Iggster as second to last,followed by the White Stripes.

In terms of Morrisey's popularity,the same call would have been made,though as with the Stripes he is a mite tame by comparison.

You could put the Iggster and Fishbone back to back.

That would be a top match,though Fishbone have an unfair advantage in having more crowdsurfers.

Lou Reed doing Rock N Roll Animal Part 1 in 1974/5 was one of the top handful of gigs I have ever seen.He has toured out here only twice subsequently that I recall.

He toured with what I recall was all or almost all of the studio band,with the twin guitars of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter,and Prakash John ex Parliament/Funkadelic on bass.

Naturally it was straight off the vinyl.

The seminal songs are always appreciated.

Though I recall Nico & The Faction doing a uni tour out here in which repeated calls for her to perform "Heroin" were embarrassingly naive.

"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
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