Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Euro Tour 2009: final thoughts

Thanks to Gerald Bamford:

“Bob has been here and gone once more at a time when his stock is as high as it has ever been what with his new album at the highest reaches of the album charts both sides of the pond and all manner of media programmes dedicated to all aspects of his unbelievable career. Must be the end game.

“One thing is for certain: Bob is still the spokesman for our generation gently leading us to understand what it feels like to be getting old.

“But not infirm - the energy needed to sustain a tour of recent proportions must be enormous, so all power to Bob.

“I like to organise my part in the tour by selecting shows where I think my wife might like to visit, so we went off to Tuscany and Florence in particular where Bob and the band played in the Nelson Mandela Forum - which did Bob no favours since the sound, at least where we were seated to the left of the stage, was atrocious - hurtful to my ears at times.

“The acoustic songs were much easier to listen to so these were the highlights of a frustrating experience.

“The sound at the O2 was very much better and even though the set list was strangely similar to Florence and the huge arena makes for a dislocated feel, I really enjoyed the concert sitting in the infamous Block 101.

“So we went to Scotland and, even though we stayed in Glasgow, went only to the Edinburgh Playhouse, which is a fine Victorian theatre at the end of Prince's Street and one of those more intimate venues that Bob seems to like to fit in.

“Of course this was the highlight for me, setting me in mind of the two fantastic shows at the Portsmouth Guildhall in 2000 and a wonderful show in Oporto some years back, also in a small theatre.

“Song tour highlights for me were:

Hollis Brown - Florence and O2
'Till I fell in Love with You - O2
Return To Me - Fl (just a jester's gesture)
Working Man's Blues #2 - Florence & O2
Just Like A Woman - Edinburgh (actually most of Edinburgh from Pill Box Hat onwards)

“Strange how we view and assess the shows - our enjoyment depending on so many external and internal factors (as Leonard Cohen said about the financial and geographical inconvenience of attending his concert at the O2, or simply what we had for lunch having some effect on mood), and our built-in desire to criticise having come out so far with so many expectations.

“Let's hope that familiarity does not breed a degree of contempt, since Bob seems very happy with his current band and sound. I guess most of us were hoping for at least a song from Together Through Life but he saved that for Dublin - the luck of the Irish indeed.

“Still, all things being equal, Bob will be back touting his wares once again in a town near us very soon.

“It's all good!”