You Never Needed Water
Ringing Down The Years
The Winter And The Summer
Live Inside Your Hell Tonight
Tears And Pavan
The Hangman And The Papist
There Will Come The Day
On My Way
Not All The Flowers Grow
The Golden Salamander
Flower And The Young Man
Remembering/You And I (When We Were Young)
River/Down By The Sea
THE WHITE BEAR, HOUNSLOW, 16 AUG 2001
A quick review only, as I'm typing this at nearly 1.45 am on 17 Aug and the taxi's coming to take me to Kings Cross to catch the Edinburgh train less than 7 hours from now and I haven't packed (or slept) yet.
A brisk start with Dave C striking very much a folk club atmosphere as the club host, just how it must have been way back when. Two songs from the "residents" Dave & Brian, two from Dave Lambert and Brian, then a great set, lots of humour from Derek Brimstone (who I haven't seen perform for nigh on 25 years since he performed at the folk club I ran; Derek warned me not to leave it so long next time or he'll be dead!). Present in the audience, veteran folkie Fred "Oldest Swinger" Wedlock, Robert Kirby.
A lengthy break, then Acoustic Strawbs back on stage. A few tuning difficulties with Dave's dulcimer then "Benedictus" opened the set, followed by "Witchwood". (From here on in, I may not have got everything in the right order, folks!). They played pretty much all of the new album. Highlights for me: "Flower And The Young Man" - can't get over how powerful that still is with just two voices; "Ghosts" - the keyboard line taken by Brian's fluid acoustic lead; "Not All The Flowers Grow" - a very powerful and emotional song indeed, previously performed on a memorable night at this very venue, but on very few other occasions. "Josephine, For Better Or For Worse" also has particular affinities for the White Bear - Dominic Behan used to pop in frequently - as does "On My Way", with Dave recalling memories of Sandy Denny.
Second set was nearly 25 minutes over the hour they will have in Edinburgh, so some paring down of the setlist is inevitable. Still, two more pre-Edinburgh gigs to go to tighten things up even more, and the capacity crowd at the Bear weren't in the mood to complain about either quantity or quality.
Been there, got the dated T-shirt (is it really a one-off from that night?). Also got the new Baroque and Roll CD (signed by all and dated by DC)
Concert:- brilliant. About 2.5 hours of excellent music with the trio looking like they were having as good a time as the rest of the audience. Not a bad track there. Only one that doesn't work for me was 'Ghosts' which I much prefer with full band. Down By The Sea worked amazingly with the now usual and expected lead guitars alternately playing riff and twiddly bits for a few bars at a time (I'm no musician so I can't explain it better).
DC was so tied up with a guitar or dulcimer on his lap that he eventually had to leave the playing to the other 2 on Simple Visions so he could get a bit more expressive and indulge in his trade mark hand waving. :-) And I know I must be sad but I always say to myself 'hey, me words have blown away' as soon as the intro starts.
Nice to meet up with a few Witchwooders again (Hi, Lindsay). The concert was also a good showcase for the new CD, missing only 2 tracks - Alice's song (shame) and Evergreen, now with DC on lead vocals (bigger shame).
Also, Derek Brimstone (support and unknown to me) was very entertaining. A great raconteur ("back in the 50s, when I was a negro") and a fine solo singer/guitarist.
It was great to be able to say hello to Robert Kirby (and Helen) at the White Bear gig - I think the string arrangements on the CD work really well. I hadn't seen him since, I think, the Deep Cuts tour, and it was interesting to hear about some of the bits and pieces he has been up to. I knew he worked with Elvis Costello several years ago, but didn't know he had recently been working with Paul Weller.
Also had a chat with Derek Brimstone who I saw support Strawbs several times on the Deep Cuts tour also. I actually went and saw him at a folk club in Leigh-on-Sea a couple of years ago for nostalgia's sake, and he was just as funny as he had been way back in the last century.