Tag Archives: Imelda May

One last look back at 2011

Here’s my 2011 list of concerts.  A little shorter than some years, but I had a lot of work distractions in the past year, so it’s actually a pretty good tally all things considered.  There’s a lot of quality there and a few once in lifetime shows.  I’ll make a few individual notes where appropriate  (But, of course there’s a review of each if you’re so inclined to read more.

Phil Vassar – A nice little private show at the PCMA conference for people with a CMP designation.  Fun and loose show.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Chromeo – A bit of a letdown, but I’m still hoping to see them again and see how they evolve.

Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine

Delgado Brothers

Jeff Beck & Imelda May – Once in a lifetime and one of the best shows I saw all year.

Prince – Another show that for all the hype was a bit of letdown.

Doheny Blues Fest – Tedeschi/Trucks, John Fogerty, Experience Hendrix, Mavis Staples, The Blasters, Funky Meters, Big Head Blues Club, (Plus others) – Two great days on the beach.  A couple misses, but mostly hits. Tedeschi/Trucks being the very best of day 1 and the Blasters the best of Day 2

KSBR Birthday Bash – Brenda Russell, Kieko Matsui, Brian Bromberg, Dan Siegel, (Plus others) – A really cool gift from my friend Eliott.

Eels – Confounding and complex.  It was great in some very unexplainable ways.

U2 & Lenny Kravitz (2x) – Night 2 was the better of the two nights, both were strong but night 2 has the edge (pun intended).

Weird Al

Kansas & Blue Oyster Cult – Not very good, one of the most disappointing shows of the year for me.

Rock Candy Funk Party – Going back in January, a top five evening and surprisingly it’s not once in a lifetime, looking forward to it very much.

Barenaked Ladies – Good, but not great.  More and more I miss Stephen Page.

Return to Forever & Zappa Plays Zappa – I’d say that along with Jeff Beck this were the most amazingly talented musicians I saw all year…or in many years.

Frank Turner – My best find of 2011.  Seeing him in February once again!

Fountains Of Wayne – I wanted this to be better, bit it wasn’t up to the pervious levels I’d seen them perform at.

Airborne Toxic Event – Another cool find of 2011 and this was the Filmore show in SF that was really cool.

Big Head Todd w/Ruthie Foster and Charlie Musselwhite – Again, a sort of letdown show and slightly disappointing overall.

Airborne Toxic Event, Tokyo Police Club, Built to Spill – Good headliner, the rest of the bill was hit and miss.

Bob Segar – Just reviewed, the man still has it!  Great show.

So there you have it.  My 2011 in a nutshell.

Looking ahead to 2011 I already have four shows slated.  Joe Bonamassa, Frank Turner, Social Distortion and Roger Waters.  Plus, I know Springsteen is touring.  So, lots to be excited about in the coming year.  Thanks as always for reading!  Happy New Year!

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Jeff Beck & Imelda May w/her band – April 8, 2011

How you describe perfection?

I have no idea, so I’m not really sure that anything I can write tonight can capture just how perfect the show was tonight.  Seriously, this was the sort of experience you always hope for when you buy a concert ticket.

I have an old story that I’ve told many times….basically, when I was a teen I heard the Rolling Stones were the “best” live act ever.  I disagreed with that premise simply based on the fact that I had already seen some amazing acts that I felt were better on a given night than the Stone could ever have been.  Besides, who can be that good night in and night out?  I decided that on a given night the “best” live band in the world could be in a bar in Iowa….the universe just lines up for them and every note falls into place.  So, (I decided) on any given night the “best” band in the world could be any band.  It’s a part of what keeps me going to shows.  The mystery, the chance that for a moment the band before me can be a greater sum than all it’s parts….that the clouds will part and I’ll hear angels singing in front of me.  I’ve seen it a few times, bands I love (Springsteen), bands I simply liked (Lynyrd Skynyrd  or Don Henley) who drew me in and then upped their game right before my eyes…and even bands that were a revelation who I really didn’t expect to be transcendent (Green Day a few years ago).

Tonight, angels sang and they played guitars at the Fox Theatre in Pomona.

The term “guitar god” gets tossed around pretty liberally, but if it applies to anyone…I’d cast a vote to for Mr. Beck to be included on the shortlist.  It wasn’t just that his playing was technically perfect, and that note-for-note covered the bases of the material he was playing.  But, it was in the way that he could wring emotion from the guitar within the context of the song, never over-stepping or falling into excess.  It’s a fine line I’ve seen many fall brutally across in an effort to impress with speed and/or prowess.  Instead, his playing simply served the song and showed the confidence in his skills that any need for flash was cast aside.  Whether on a Strat or a Gibson…strumming a hollow body or or playing bottleneck blues…he presented a master-class in early pop/rock guitar playing that was amazing see in person.

I had one sort of sad thought near the end of the show.  I doubt that I will ever be able to do any single thing in life anywhere near as well as he plays the guitar.

Of course, it took more than one player on stage to create such magic for me.  Imelda May  and her band were one for my very fun memories of both Glastonbury and Hop Farm.  Tonight they stepped up a level from “fun” to somewhere near “awesome”.  Darrel Higham (Imelda’s husband) provided confident rhythm support and lead vocals on songs like “Rockin is our Business” and “Hound Dog”.  Yes, the old Elvis chestnut that you’ve doubtless heard millions of times.

See, that’s one of the coolest things about the show.  Taking a bunch of old songs that you’ve heard bar bands butcher a dozen times and bring them back to life.  “Hound Dog”, “Rock Around The Clock”, “Train Kept a Rollin” and “Walking in the Sand” were firmly grasped and then pulled from the oldies bin…lovingly restored and played not as some museum time capsule, but as vibrant current rock and roll songs.  This wasn’t the fair circuit-oldies act recitation of “dusty old hits” that everyone knows.  This was a band of world class musicians paying tribute to the pioneers who had blazed the trail that so many (including the folks on stage) had followed.

The middle section of the show featured a tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford.  With Imelda May pre-recording her vocals as Mary had years ago to accompany herself they ran through a classic series of hits from the 50’s.  “How High The Moon”, “Sitting on Top of the World”, “Bye Bye Blues”, “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise”, “Vaya Con Dios” and “Mockingbird Hill”…But, they saved the best for last with a thrilling version of “The Tiger Rag”.  No camp, no sly hipster winks…they had a real love of the songs that clearly came through each note.

Swapping the Les Paul Guitar for his more familiar Fender Strat and joined on stage by a horn section, they did a series of rock instrumentals.  “Peter Gunn”, “Apache” and a transcendent version of “Sleepwalk”, which was another of those very familiar songs that you’d have sworn you had no interest in hearing…until you actually heard them play it tonight.  They closed the set with a couple of movie songs: “The Girl Can’t Help It” and then “Rock Around the Clock”.

The encores were…A muscular version of the Shangri-La’s “Remember Walking in the Sand”, followed by “Hound Dog” with a slowed down vamp of an extra chorus and the Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s (and covered by Elvis) version of “Up Above My Head (I hear music in the air)”….Pop, rock, gospel and movie soundtracks….where do you go from there?

How about a ballad from 1910?  Unexpectedly (but in a way not really, seeing Imelda and her band are from Ireland)….they did one of the most moving versions of “Danny Boy” that I’ve ever heard.  Seriously…if I were Irish, I’d have been crying my eyes out…And, as it was I seem to have gotten a speck of dust in there somehow near the end of the song that made them water slightly anyway….wow…

As I said, hard to describe perfection….and I’m out of words to try tonight.

Here’s a taste:

 

An someone posted Danny Boy already on You Tube….gotta love this new technology…

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How do I top last year?

Well, it’s already been a couple weeks and I still haven’t really figured out how I can ever top the amazing year I had last year.

They just announced the Coachella line up….do I finally take a stab at it and go?  The headliners don’t look that interesting, but the rest of the bill has some great bands….hummm, stay tuned on that question.  I snagged a ticket to see Jeff Beck for the first time with Imelda May (who I saw at Glasto and Hop Farm).  Small place and a cheap seat at the back, but it’ll be cool to finally see another legend that I’ve never seen before.  I have to be more cautious after the expense of last year, so I suspect that this year will be more smaller shows  Frankly, those are often better shows to see.  So, we’ll see how it all plays out.  I’ll miss Glasto when it arrives and likely wish I could be back there….maybe someday?

I’ve seen one show so far, however it was a private concert at a trade show I attended in Las Vegas.  Phil Vassar, a country artist.  I have to admit that it was a heck of a show.  In a smallish ballroom at the MGM Grand with just Phil and  piano.  I wasn’t familiar with his music, but he played some hits (I’m told)….Little Red Rodeo, Six-pack Summer and My Next Thirty Years are all songs I recall hearing and listed on his greatest hits CD.  But, more than that…he was a heck of an entertainer.  He played so many covers, I can’t even bring them all to mind.  But, there was an awesome sing-along on his version of the Billy Joel song Piano Man.  He seemed genuinely happy to be on stage and really had a lot of audience interaction.  He even signed CD’s for everyone after.  And it wasn’t the quick “hurry them through” method.  He took time to chat and pose with everyone, asked questions and discussed things like where we were from and really seemed to be having fun.  A terrific experience and a cool guy.  I plan to check out more of his music, simply based on having such a positive experience.

Really buried with work, but it looks like I may see Robert Randolph and the Family Band in Orlando in a few weeks.  I’ll have more more to say about that I’m sure.  In the meantime…here’s some Robert Randolph as a bit of a tease…Hope you all enjoy it!

 

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Finally, the Glastonbury Report Continues with Saturday!

I know that there haven’t been throngs of people waiting at the dock for my next installment to see if “Little Nell” lives or dies.  But, it’s been an open loop that I need to close.  So, with no further ado…I present, Saturday at Glastonbury!

As I’d mentioned in my “Friday” post, it was a fitful night of sleep often interrupted by shouting idiots.  But, I did finally manage to drift off for long enough to get a decent nights rest.  So, I awoke Saturday and climbed out of my sleeping bag to find both of my legs covered in red bumps…hummm?  Having no idea what it might be, I headed to the medical tent.  There I learned it was a heat rash set off by the large quantities of pollen and dust in the air (I was told it’s fairly common when it’s that hot.)  They wanted me to get antihistamines and keep them covered.

A brief note about the medical staff at the festival…they are awesome.  Apparently they volunteer and work shifts in return for seeing the festival.  What a great system, and what a credit to those folks who give up their free time to work in a tent in a field looking at a manner of ailments in a crowd of that size.  All things considered, it was a really good experience and put my mind at ease.

But…now I was limited to not wearing shorts in the heat and sun.  I struck out for the pharmacy…a very long walk and bought some antihistamines as they suggested, I also took the one they gave me (more on this later).

I swapped my shorts for long pants and and headed out.  First up was the Other Stage and a band called “Two Door Cinema Club”…who were awesome.  I heard the last part of set (after I got home I bought their disc, which I was playing just this week…good stuff).  From there I headed to West Holts and caught Brother Ali’s set as it started.

Who knew I could like a rap concert?  Brother Ali is an Albino, Muslim from Minneapolis who raps (it seems) about mostly positive stuff.  I liked it so much I sat down and listened to his whole set.  A real surprise for me and something I never suspected I’d enjoy.  Do you sense a theme about Glastonbury so far?  The magic happens when you least expect it.  You can’t force it, you can’t set out to create it…you just have to open your mind and amazing things happen around you.

I’d postponed lunch to hear Brother Ali, so I grabbed a huge baked potato and topped it off with a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  I decided to hit the acoustic tent, since I knew it was shaded and I did have the long pants issue going in the midday sun.  I guess it was good that I did.  You may recall that I took Gandalph an antihistamine a while earlier, and was somewhat tired from restless sleep.

Well, I got to the acoustic tent in the dark shade and lay down on my pad to listen to “Leisure Society”…and fell fast asleep.  Vague, restless half-sleep, but sleep nonetheless.  I heard snatches of “Leisure Society” and then “Gandolph Murphy”.

Next up was Michael Eavis being interviewed and telling the history of the festival.  But, the bad leg cramps returned and I finally got up to walk around.  I could hear “Dead Weather” in the distance, but had no desire to fight the Pyramid crowd in my current state.  I desperately needed a chair and appealed to a kind warden at the handicapped area that was mostly empty.  He allowed me to go up and sit down on a real chair they had placed there.  Another thing about Glastonbury, almost everyone working there is really nice.  It made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the afternoon.

Al Stewart was up next and he did a show not far off from the last time I’d seen him at the Coach House, except this set was electric in comparison.  He seemed really fired up to be playing the 40th.  (He was one of the original acts in 1970 at the first one, so a cool story there.)  He brought out some guest singers (their names escape me at the moment) for “Night Train to Munich” and even did a sterling version of “Carol” as an encore.  It was one of the best Al shows I’ve seen, and I’ve seen him lots (maybe 15 times).  It seems Glastonbury really does inspire the best in musicians who play there too.

Imelda May was next with her cool retro sound.  Sort of a female “Brian Setzer” with a nice bluesy growl.  Her band was very tight and she had a nice charisma as a front woman.  Here’s a look at her:

She did a rockin version of “Train Kept a Rollin” and closed with a rockabilly version of “Tainted Love”.  Good stuff.

Next up at the Acoustic tent was one of my “must-sees”, Nick Lowe.  If you don’t know Nick Lowe…you should.  He’s a legend not just for writing the most amazing power pop, but also as a producer, bass player and singer.  Here’s a little reminder:

This was only my second time seeing Nick, even though I’ve been a fan for over 30 years.  All thoughts of leg cramps, heat rashes and anything negative was now washed away.  The triple punch of three great bands in a row had me back in the Glasto spirit and the antihistamine had worn off.  I had one more must see for the day, so now that it was dark I struck out for the next band, Midlake.

I stopped for a second at the Queens Head Stage and heard a completely forgettable band called Cherry Ghost.  So, forgettable that I can’t recall much about them except that I stopped for song or two.

Next, I took a detour past the Other Stage and watched a little of the Pet Shop Boys.  It was the same show I’d seen in Atlanta last September, very fun (and I owe them a debt for ripping off their stage look for one of my corporate shows…)  But, I really wanted to make sure I saw all of Midlake at the Park Stage.

Not really a danger of that I found, since I arrived to a long delay while the band tuned, fiddled with amps and generally mucked about for a really long time…half an hour?  Come on boys, get it together….

They were good, but honestly…I think better on CD.  Maybe it was the long day, maybe it was the spirited sets I’d just seen?  But, they have a sort of low-key sound.  Kind of “Prog-folk” and after a long day it was more atmospheric and lulling.  Not a bad thing, if that’s what you’re looking for.  But in my tired state I found it hard to really get engaged by the music and my mind wandered.  To be clear, it wasn’t bad.  It was quite good technically.  Just quite chilled out for that late at night after a long day.

This is one of their more upbeat tracks:

Near the end, I shot a few more photos and headed down to my tent, which was mercifully very close to the Park Stage.

All in all a fine day with a few bumps.  I was able to see the main acts that I had in mind and only really regretted missing out on a couple hours due to sleeping in the Acoustic Tent.

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Friday – Hop Farm

Sorry, I’ve been a little lax on my updates for a few days.  I’ve dealt with a combination of full schedule and being tired.  As this is technically a vacation…I took a couple days off from posting.  But, now I find myself well behind and need to start catching up.

Well, the day after the Laura Marling show I last reviewed I was off to Hop Farm in Kent.

Because of the distance to Kent I spent some time trying to work out the logistics of my return late that night.  London has this odd quirk of public transport in that the Tubes shut down just after midnight.  They have night buses, but those can be ram packed and take forever.  My departure and return point was from Waterloo Station, so I had a long distance to cover at 2am.  I finally decided that things would just sort themselves out and headed for Waterloo Station to catch my outgoing bus.

Feeling the need for some comfort food, I grabbed a Whopper at Burger King, then headed out to the pick up point in the shadow of the London Eye.  (Still never have ridden the wheel, it’s cool, but very pricey).  Lots of folks waiting with camping gear for the weekend.  At this point I realized that in all my return trip stress I have forgotten my hat and my sunglasses!  DOH!  So, it’s hot as hell and I’m going to stand in a field with no sun protection.

We board the bus (late, as they seem to be a bit disorganized) and head out of London via the twisting roads of the Southbank.  With distance and traffic it literally takes us over two hours!

I don’t have my ticket yet (Outside UK customer), so I’m directed to one set of tents, then on to another, then on to the opposite side of the field!  That alone is a 15 minute walk.  I hear one act (Damien Dempsey) end and Imelda May start.  Saw her at Glastonbury, but hoped to see her again.  I stand in a 30 minute Will Call  line and learn they don’t have my ticket there either…I was supposed to get it at the first place!  ACK!

A series of phone calls are made and I learn I’m not the first person off the bus to be sent on this same torturous path.  They ask me to wait and say someone from the bus company will come to me.  So, I wait another 20 minutes or so.  (The logistics of this trip keep getting more challenging at each turn.)

Finally a fellow arrives with my ticket and asks why I didn’t ask one of the bus reps?  I tell him that I did, and then recount the path I was sent on.  He apologizes.  I also mention I have a ticket for the next day, so he searches that out.  He says they didn’t realize that anyone would order tickets separately for each day.  An odd comment, since the days went on sale at different times…and their website didn’t have an option to combine the purchases?  Anyway…I’m finally in…just as Imelda May ends her set…darn.

The field of not very full, so I walk near the front for the next act, Los Lobos.

I’ve seen them many times, but it’s unique to catch them in England.  They do a tight and somewhat short festival set.  But, it’s a crowd pleaser and includes a lot of older tracks that I love.  “Let’s Just Say Goodnight”,  “Don’t Worry Baby”, “Evangeline”.  I think they realized that being in England called for something special, so they did a sloppy bar-band cover of “My Generation” by the Who.  They wrapped up with a cool mashup of “La Bamba.>Good Lovin>Good Morning Azlan”.  Very nice and put me back into a better mood after all the logistical crap of the morning.

Wandered over and heard a bit of Stornoway at the 2nd stage.

Another of the seeming wave of folkie UK acts I encountered this trip.  Not back, sort of Celtic influenced.  But, I hear Dr. John starting in the distance and decided to split to see him.

Dr. John is (as the Brits say), “Cracking Good”…tight band who tear into a mix of old classics (“Right Place, Wrong Time”, “Blues in the Night”, “Let the Good Times Roll”) and newer material (“Mighty Big Gap”) off his latest CD, Tribal.  I realize that with Dr John and Los Lobos so far this festival skews a bit older and bit more American than Glastonbury.

While they reset the stage for Blondie I head for the 2nd stage to see a British Blues legend, Peter Green and his Splinter Group.  (PG founded Fleetwood Mac and then later in the 70’s & 80’s dropped out of the music business for years.)  He has amazing tone and feel and I’m thrilled to hear “Rattlesnake Shake”, “Black Magic Woman” and “Albatross”.  So, not all American acts after all…This guy is a legend that I”m unlikely to ever hear touring the USA.  During his set, A fellow about my age sits down near me and we begin talking.  Nick has driven for the show and left his wife at home for the weekend.  We find we have many common favorite bands and end up hanging out and talking music.

We opt to skip Blondie after all and listen to another legend, Richard Thompson.  This is the 2nd time I’ve seen him on the trip, but the first show was the “popular song” show and this is his solo set with band.  Brilliant!

He thanks the crowd for choosing “Dinosaur Folk” in his tent over “Dinousar 70’s pop” on the other stage.  He’s quite witty with his banter between songs.  “Bathsheba” and “I want to see the Bright Lights Tonight” both stand out for me as highlights.

After his set, Nick and I strike out for the main stage and post ourselves to the right of the mix desk.  Nick has seen Van Morrison between 40 & 50 times…I’ve seen him once.  At 9pm sharp, Van walks on and leads the band into “She Moves on Solid Ground”.  He’s livelier than I’d seen him before and attired in a splendid summer white suit and white porkpie hat.

His band is tight and made up of (amongst others) and couple of musicians from Astral Weeks.  A great version of “Brown Eyed Girl” follows.  from there I really couldn’t have asked for a better set of my personal favorites.  “Help Me”, “Moondance” (which he doesn’t always play), “Philosophers  Stone”, “Baby Please don’t go”, “Tear your Playhouse down”.

Special mention to a couple of songs.  “Have I Told You Lately”, which Van redeems from the pap that Rod Stewart turned it into and restores from generic radio fodder back to a lovely ode on a summers night to a special person in your life.

“Into the Mystic” and “In the Garden”, both again are not traditional rock songs.  Both deal with love and more spiritual connections.  I won’t try to over analyze the lyrics or the meaning.  But, I will say that on a summers night in a field in England they were as close to perfection as anyone could hope to hear.  My friend Nick said that in all the times he’s seen Van this may have been the best one ever.  It was simply transcendent and washed away any of the previous hassles in getting to the show.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve had from this trip is no amount of planning will avoid a few problems…and yet, they great moments are well worth the troubles you have to deal with to get to them.  Much like life, the challenges give resonance scope to the successes.  Generally it seems that the good always outweighs the bad in the final tally.

Buoyed by the wonderful show, the magic of the cool evening and the amazingly great artists I just seen….I head for my bus.  And…it’s not there.

It arrives TWO hours later….

Shivering in the now quite COLD evening I climb aboard for the nearly two hour ride back to Waterloo.  Partway back, there’s a fight between a drunk kid trying to exit the bus via the emergency exit and the driver (a huge man that you’d really have to be drunk or stupid to mess with).  The fight ends with the drunk on the floor beside my seat and the drivers hands wrapped around his throat.

Well….

That’s an interesting finish to the day.

We reach Waterloo about 2am and I decide there is no way in hell I’m looking for a night bus amid all the drunks and homeless.  I grab the first cab and ride in style back to my room in East London.

Long day, interesting day to be sure….but, overall the good (Music and a new friend) outweigh the bad (logistics, bus fights)….

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Saturday “must see” list

So here it sit tonight, worn out from a four mile walk with light pack (trying to get ready for all the walking) and a hard cider in my hand (a festival tradition I’m told, so getting ready for that as well.)

We’ve covered Friday’s clashfinder so now lets move on to Saturday:

The early part of the day has no really compelling acts that I need to see so far.  The openers for the main stage have been announced and it was a little bit of a letdown after all the build up about the 40 anniversary.  Saturday is someone called “Tinchy Strider”…apparently a rapper, apparently a pass for me.  However on the Park stage is someone a little interesting…Candi Staton.  Nothing like a blast of disco to start the morning.

Next up will be the Lighting Seeds or Reef.  Unless something else grabs my attention.  Don’t know much about either band, just know the names really.  Then, maybe off to see Coheed & Cambria?  Listened to a little of their stuff and it’s interesting in a “Rush” sort of way.

But then is my first real clash of the day.  Do I leave Jackson Browne early to see Imogen Heap?  I have three shots at seeing Jackson, but he never disappoints.  Imogen is a wild card, I know a little of her stuff.  So, I guess I’ll just have to see how JB’s set starts then decide if I should slip away halfway through.

Then, comes another slot where I see some names I know, but nothing excites me enough to say that I really have to see any of them.  So, I’ll likely see some mix of Seasick Steve, Kate Nash, Devendra Banhart, Beach House and the Avett Brothers.  I hope something out of that list grabs my ears.  Then, Dead Weather is playing, and I’ve hear lots of critical raves…but the couple songs I know didn’t grab me that much.  I may opt for the National who I have a couple CD’s by and find a bit more to my taste.

Now comes a three-fer on the acoustic stage.  Al Stewart into Imelda May into Nick Lowe.  Two of my favorite songwriters sandwiched around a young rockabilly singer with some great pipes.  Looking forward to settling in and relaxing after all the rushing around in the afternoon.  Now that means I’ll likely miss Shakira, the Cribs, the Editors and the Scissor Sisters…can’t be helped, seeing Nick Lowe is a rare chance I can’t pass on.  And even though I’ve seen Al Stewart many times, to see him at Glastonbury (he played the 1st one in 1970) is another rare treat I can’t pass on.  That means I’ll also miss Laura Marling, but I’ll see her in London the following week, so more about her later.

But, the closer of the day presents a difficult decision.  Muse, Pet Shop Boys, Parliament or Midlake?  Muse is “the next big thing”…seen PSB and Parliament….so while I’d be happy to see either of them again, I have to look to the pair I haven’t seen live.  That being said…Midlake has really caught my ear with their new CD “Courage of Others”.  Great moody prog-ish rock.  Plus, it will be MUCH less crowded and I’m there to see cool new stuff.  So, I’m leaning toward Midlake, but Muse may draw me in.  Or, I may see how Muse starts off and then rush to Midlake?  Decisions, decisions….

So, Saturday really has two big clashes (Muse or Midlake & Jackson Browne or Imogen Heap), the rest is made of of “must see’s” or “don’t cares that much”…

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My Concert Agenda for London

Well, since this is going to be a trip mostly about seeing concerts, I now have most of my shows scheduled and tickets bought…Only one more show to still book, and more about that later.

The Plan:

June  19 – Richard Thompson – “1000 years of popular song”.  I have the CD of this show he did a few years back.  He touches on songs from the 12th century right on up to Bowling for Soup.  This is part of the Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall and he’s one of those guys who somehow I’ve missed each time he’s passed through town.  Critically, he’s names as one of the top 20 all time guitarists.

June 20 – Elvis Costello – Solo Acoustic. Also part of Meltdown.  Really, what can you say about him?  Plus, seeing him in London…should be awesome!

June 23-27 – Glastonbury….MUCH more about this later…

June 29 – Jackson Browne & David Lindley.  Found a great single floor seat for Royal Albert Hall when I get back from Glasto.  They are playing twice at the festival, but knowing I can see them here will free me up for others acts at the festival itself and reduces my potential clash list of bands by one.

June 30 – Jack Johnson at O2 Arena.  Another show I found a great single for.  Love his music and never seen him live.  He’s also playing Glastonbury, but for the reasons above, knowing I’ll see him in London takes another potential conflict away at Glasto.

July 1 – Laura Marling – Serpentine Sessions in Hyde Park.  Honestly, don’t know much about her, but the little I’ve heard puts her into the Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap class.  Close to my hotel (short walk) and I’ve always wanted to see a show in Hyde Park.  She’s also at Glasto and Hop Farm.  But, the setting of Hyde Park is too cool to pass up.  Support acts still to be named…so many be Mumford & Sons who record with her?  One can only hope…

July 2 – Hop Farm with Van Morrison!  Just amazing…a chance to see Van in the UK at a really interesting sounding smaller festival.  Still no idea who else will be playing, but Van is enough draw to get me out there…

July 3 – Hop Farm day 2…No ticket yet, but leaning this way.  Bob Dylan, Ray Davies top the bill….pretty sure I’ll end up going to this.

A small gap with the potential to see Dr John, CSN or Buddy Guy…still not nailed down…and I may need a night off…:)

July 6 – My last night- Jools Holland at Kew Gardens.  An outdoor show in a botanical garden with one of my favorite bands that never tours the US.  A suitable way to wrap three full weeks of music.

So, there you have it.  Less than three weeks that includes pretty much a who’s who of the rock and roll hall of fame (U2, Stevie Wonder, Ray Davies, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan) my favorite songwriters (Squeeze, Nick Lowe, Al Stewart, Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, David Lindley) and newcomers that I’m enjoying already (Muse, Midlake, Hot Chip, Magic Numbers, Imelda May, Laura Marling)…and all to be seen live and in person in less than 20 days in the UK!

WOW, am I excited?…a little, just a little….

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