TalkAwhile - The Folk Corporation Forum

Artists => Ralph McTell => Topic started by: John Beresford on January 26, 2004, 11:45:43 PM



Title: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on January 26, 2004, 11:45:43 PM
[Edited 4 September 2012]

Here is the best of the concert chatter from the 'old' board with most of the cobwebs dusted off.

With a new UK tour starting next month let's carry on where we left off...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on April 01, 2004, 09:26:57 AM
Hello

Just wanted to say was that you at the Half Moon last night Maj?  I recognised you from the picture on here and decided to come and say hello later on , but when I came to do so I couldn't see you.

Was anyone else there?

I'm sure you'll agree that it was a fantastic night, which certainly did Jonah proud.  Having met him a fair few times over the years its easy to understand why he is so well thought of, and so it was particularly good to see so many people there to pay tribute.

It was also of course good to chat with Ralph and see that he survived the Australia trip despite the technical difficulties.

Just looking forward to the next gig, which for me is Basingstoke in May, so not too long too wait.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark on April 01, 2004, 09:31:20 AM
I was there, with Stumpy, saw MAJ, Ulla and Otto - don't know if any other board members were there. Are you local to Putney then SarahG?

 A good night. Earl okin was a good start to the evening, Fairport were fun (if a little ragged) and Ralph was mesmeric - as usual.

Mark.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on April 01, 2004, 09:54:37 AM
Hi Mark

No I'm not local to Putney.  I live between Basingstoke and Reading, but its always worth making a trip to see Ralph, especially as a tribute to Jonah.  Also I saw Ralph there in May last year and really like the venue, the atmosphere's always great, and very different from concert hall type gigs. I think I prefer the informality.

I probably stood next to people from here at the bar and didn't even know it!!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 01, 2004, 01:22:07 PM
Hi SarahG, Mark, all

Yes that was me at the HM.  It was a really fabulous evening.  What a shame we missed out on meeting up, but it was chaotic wasn't it.

Good to meet Mark for the first time.  Otts, Chris and I met up early on. Good to meet Ulla too.  Chris Groom, author mentioned elsewhere, made himself known to me as did Ken Woolass, nice to have a long chat with you at last Ken!

Ralph's set was (not in order): Maginot Waltz, Mrs Adlams Angels, Easter Lilies, After Rain, A Feather Fell, Dry Bone Shuffle (that was a blinder), Peppers & Tomatoes.  He was then joined by the fantastic Danny Thompson for Sweet Mystery, When I Was A Cowboy, From Clare To Here. As thoughtful as ever, he pointed out to us at the beginning that he had chosen his songs for the evening as ones that Jonah had either liked or were appropriate for the occasion.   I hope Ralph did not mind the cameras going off throughout.  I think I got about 30 shots in the end, very nice ones and very special.

Earl Okin was superb - and VERY funny.  A very good choice to open the proceedings.

MAJ


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 04, 2004, 10:18:29 PM
...a snippet about the Half Moon gig on 31st March.  It had been sold out weeks ago and promised to be a terrific evening.  It did not let anyone down in any respect.  Earl Okin opened the proceedings for 20 mins and was extremely funny.  I urge people to give his new CD a listen with songs like My Room and Teenage Dirtbag on it.  He got everyone laughing, relaxed and happy.

Ralph then came on and played for 45 mins or so.  He was superb as usual.  He said that he had chosen his songs for the evening from ones that Jonah particularly liked.  He was openly very sad about Jonah but he also seemed very comforted at so many of us being there.  His humour was never far away, as when he told us about writing Woody Guthrie a fan letter and how they then became pen-pals.  Then truthfully that Woody never did write back!!!  He announced that the whole evening was going to be recorded for a CD “warts and all”.  At half time photos were taken of everyone who was in the bar, holding up their drinks, to be used on the CD cover.

Ralph’s set was Maginot Waltz, Mrs Adlams Angels, Easter Lilies, After Rain, A Feather Fell, Dry Bone Shuffle (that was a blinder), Peppers & Tomatoes.  He was then joined by the fantastic Danny Thompson for Sweet Mystery, When I Was A Cowboy and From Clare To Here. Whilst I know Ralph doesn’t like photos being taken during songs, I hope he did not mind all the cameras going off throughout this particular event as it was a special evening.  I got a few very nice and very special shots.  

I actually missed the second half because I was meeting people that I had only known ‘virtually’ up until then.  I understand Ralph joined Fairport for Pykey Boy and again at the end for Meet On The Ledge.

MAJ


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on April 16, 2004, 09:07:31 PM
Well, as you would expect Ralph was his usual brilliant self on stage at Dartford last night.  It was two thirds full and his usual relaxed style made it a very pleasant evening.  His story telling and explanations of the thoughts behind his songwriting was entertaining. 

First up was appropriately First Song and then Nana's song :)  His theme was his early work and Paris and his time spent with Derroll Adams.  He then sang in the first half
Barges
Leah's song
Sweet Mystery
Arthur Blake
The Ferryman (Brilliant)

He said he would prefer to not have a break because he spends time wondering and worrying (typically Ralph the perfectionist as always) about wether to change some of his second half act!

Second half was:
Grande Affaire
Jesus Wept (again fantastic)
Streets
Peppers and Tomatoes
Easter Lillies and Lost Boys and a few more that have slipped my mind at the moment! Must take a pen and paper next time!!!!

After 'more' 'more' he finished with Dreamtime taken from the Billy Connolly programmes.

Does anybody know whether Dreamtime has been recorded on any of Ralph's CD's.  I have most of his work but cannot find it. I have to keep putting the videos on!

A really good evening, friends of ours who were newish to Ralph admired his guitar playing immensley.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos, neither did we have time to have a chat with him after the show because we had to rush off BUT it won't be too long before we go the Swarbaid in Birmingham and we can enjoy seeing Ralph again. ;) ;D

JJ


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on April 16, 2004, 10:21:44 PM
Do you mean In The Dreamtime? It's on Red Sky.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on April 17, 2004, 08:07:37 PM
Yes, thanks Rich.  I've had red sky for ages and took a quick look at it and forgot it's called In the Dreamtime - just a senior moment!!!!  ::) Forgot to say Ralph sang 'Streets' but since going to the Eden Project last summer and hearing him sing it with Show of Hands and Fishermans Friends, unaccompanied I think it gave it new life but I still love it. JJ ??? ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: polly on April 20, 2004, 11:23:31 PM
      Well Im back from glorious Devon
      The concert was a real success
       I was in my seventh heaven
       But less of that,Ill not digress
       
       We heard the tale of the allotment
       A new song called "A Feather Fell"
       Ralph was a picture of contentment
       He even played "That Song" as well
       
        Then all too soon the evening ends
         But much to our delight
         He takes time out to meet old friends
         Then bids us all goodnight.


(Bet you missed my awful poems while Ive been away) ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on April 24, 2004, 01:01:44 AM
Great gig!  This is NOT a review, as I can't name any of the songs and the bar was well stocked!!.  Ralph played three with Wizz. Chris was ever-present with his camera.  At the very end, Wizz was 'asking' for Ralph, only to be told he was in the bar.
Next time there is a gig, with Ralph, Marianne is not allowed to be ill, as people like me cannot be relied upon for anything!  P xx


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on April 25, 2004, 11:59:30 PM
That's reminded me that one of the songs (the second?) Ralph said was sprung on him by Wizz and he'd never played it in his life before - but you couldn't tell!

Whilst there I reflected on how much Jonah was missed as it was typical of the sort of event he'd have compered.

A pleasant surprise was all the photos on the backdrop - do I mean 'photos'? ... projections, I suppose, of Wizz throughout the years, then they all had a break and we had some archive video beginning with an extremely young Wizz singing about Newquay (presented by Alan Whicker). 

For me, one of the highlights (other than the obvious) was a song accompanied by his son, Sim, on harmonica.  He'd already accompanied on several, playing sax, but nothing can beat his harp playing.

Other performers were Steve Tillotson, Pete(?) Stanley.  At the beginning was a lady with red hair and a wonderful voice, but I didn't hear her name.

... and we were treated to Wizz singing 'Happy Birthday to me' (I knew the title of that one!)

P x


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on April 26, 2004, 08:33:09 AM
Other performers were Steve Tillotson, Pete(?) Stanley.  At the beginning was a lady with red hair and a wonderful voice, but I didn't hear her name.

Great typo, Penny  ;) it was Mr Tilston - who sang his own stuff, rather than Wizz's.... ??? Everyone else sang Wizz's stuff....hang on - Steve did do one with Wizz. Pete is correct. The lady with red hair.... :o made me think a bit that did.....then realised that was the lighting. It was the wonderful Jacqui McShee.... 8) 8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on April 26, 2004, 11:05:38 PM
Maybe email Ralph?

Reply from Ralph:

The three songs I did with Wizz at his show were:
1. 'Deportees' by Woody Guthrie and Martin Hoffman
2. 'You're Gonna Quit Me' by Blind Blake
3. 'Ain't Got No Honey Baby Now', Trad arr Jones/McTell.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on May 13, 2004, 12:06:14 AM
At last, someone from the Longdogs site went to this and has said this about it:

This venue is lovely - but quite small. We had arrived earlyish but still several in the queue in front of us. All helps - anticipation mounts etc. Having said that we still managed to get middle seats in the third row so excellent view & sound.

First Song
Girl from the North Country
Barges
That'll do Babe
The Girl from the Hiring Fair
Lost Boys
Still in Dreams
Drybone Shuffle/Rag
Summer Girls
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
After Rain
Jesus Wept
Hands of Joseph
A Feather Fell
Streets of London
Peppers & Tomatoes
Mr Connaughton
Let Me Down Easy

Ralph came out at the end to speak to everyone who was waiting, and to sign albums etc. He said he had enjoyed the evening - Milverton Village Hall one night, Royal Albert Hall the next with Eric Clapton & Pavarotti!

Edited.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on May 18, 2004, 02:02:56 AM
I have just got home from Leicester - it is about 01:40.  Was a superb evening and good to meet Amethyst, Mighty Morphin Mike and Jill.  Ooh, and of course Ralph.  This was the set list:

First Song
Girl From The Hiring Fair
A Feather Fell
Lost Boys
Saucers (Aquamarine)
Arthur Blake
In The Dreamtime
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Earls Court Breakdown
That'll Do Babe
Summer Lightning
Tequila Sunset
Let Me Fly Or Let Me Fall
Now This Has Started
From Clare To Here
Streets Of London
Peppers & Tomatoes
Encore: Glory of Love (amended - see John B's post below)

The concert started late as there had been slight 'technical hitchings' with the sound equipment, so Ralph sang through the two hour set with no interval.  This probably didn't make for a very relaxed Ralph that took to the stage but he seemed to settle down after Arthur Blake and, from an audience point of view, just filled the time with superb songs and guitar work - That'll Do Babe being played at break-neck speed - his wizardry just gets better.  The stories and info between songs were alternately touching ("how do you write a song about your mum?") and funny.  Some we had heard before (and 'eld loosely at 'is side) and not being able to read music - "I wouldn't know a crotchet from a hatchet" - but one or two were new - singing Streets on German TV on a 'set' specially compiled with Big Ben etc. and whilst singing noticing men in Bowler hats and brollies dancing behind him - not quite fitting with the words!!

The merchandise seemed to sell well at the end of the evening and Ralph signed books, CDs, photographs, anything really. He was at ease, with statutory glass of red wine, and made time for everyone in the long queue.   

I left Leicester very late but very happy and if I don't go to bed now I will fall face first on the keyboard and wake up with QWERTY imprinted on my head.

Night all.

MAJ


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 18, 2004, 10:11:27 AM
Encore: Story of Love (sorry don't know if that's the title)

Could that be 'Glory of love' (from the singing of Big Bill Broonzey)?

Nice to see 'Earls Court breakdown' (Alan Tunbridge) on the set list.  Ralph learned this from Wizz Jones, a champion of Alan's songs.

And 'A feather fell', from the 'Banjoman' tribute to Derroll Adams.

I hope we get a similar set at Salford!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on May 18, 2004, 06:47:21 PM
On reading the play list for Leicester, I was thinking that there were only one or two changes from Basingstoke (the night before), but on checking my list I find one section in particular is very different.  The start at Basingstoke was delayed a little too, due to traffic problems and not particularly helpful staff at the venue!

The play list:

First Song
Hiring Fair
A Feather Fell
Lost Boys
Still in Dreams
Maginot Waltz
Doh Re Me

Interval

The Setting
Gypsy
Arthur Blake
In the Dreamtime
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Earls Court Breakdown
From Clare to Here
Now This Has Started
That'll Do Babe
Jesus Wept
Streets
Glory of Love (encore)

We heard a few old, and some new, anecdotes - one very funny one about his appearance last week at the Albert Hall....................... but I won't spoil it for those who have yet to hear it!!



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on May 19, 2004, 09:52:31 AM
Morning All

I too was at Basingstoke on Sunday (apologies for the delay in posting).

Absolutely brilliant night as ever.  Ralph was on excellent form with both songs and stories.  He appeared very relaxed and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself. 

When we spoke to him afterwards he mentioned a forthcoming gig at somewhere like Nordon Hall.  The only place I can find is Norden Farm Centre For The Arts in Maidenhead but they deny all knowledge of it.  Does anyone have any idea where else it could be as I'd really like to get to another venue before November.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on May 29, 2004, 09:13:42 PM
Herewith one review of this concert by Jenny Melmoth.  She told me this makes her 95th McTell concert.......

After his year away from heavy touring duty I was fascinated to see which songs would make Ralph's play list this time.  Unaided by Red Shoes or the Nearly National Guitar, he was given an enthusiastic welcome by a packed Crucible audience to the following:

First Song, The Girl From The Hiring Fair, A Feather Fell, Lost boys, Still in Dreams, First and Last Man, If You Ain't Got The Dough (Woody Guthrie).  Post interval:  The Setting,  Gypsy, In the Dreamtime, Slip-shod Tap-room Dance, Earls Court Breakdown,  Now This Has Started, That'll Do Babe, Summer Lightning, Streets, Peppers and Tomatoes.  Encore: Glory of Love (Big Bill Broonzey).

The sound quality was so good that you took it for granted, which is, of course, normal when Donard is the engineer.  Ralph was in great voice and many of my personal favourites were included.  I was glad to get better acquainted with the new song A Feather Fell and there was some high wire work when Ralph risked asking the audience for a request and responded magnificently with First and Last Man.

The surprise of the evening was the addition of harmonica to The Setting, appearing where the pipes would be on the recorded version. It's always good to hear Ralph play harmonica - wish he did it more often - and though it was a shock on this particular song, I think I shall come to like it very much.  For Ralph this tour must be feeling like a series of first nights, but in Sheffield it was the second in a row, so that tricksy number That'll do Babe gave us Ollie dancing impeccably, and if Peppers and Tomatoes continues to get better it will soon go off the scale of excellence.  I hope to find out at the Lowry on 1st June!

 


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on June 02, 2004, 01:53:09 PM
Set list from last night's concert:

First Song  The opening chord sequence and the last two words still send a shiver down my spine after 32 years.
The Girl from the Hiring Fair  Nobody does a mid-eight reverie like Ralph.
Maddy Dances  Ralph says she still does.
A Feather Fell  This is destined to be a classic.
Lost Boys  Very poignant in the light of current events in Iraq (my opinion, not (necessarily) Ralph's).
Candy Man  Probably one of the first pieces Ralph played in public.
Mr Connaughton  Already a classic.
Now This Has Started  Gets better with each hearing.
Let Me Fly or Let Me Fall  Gently strummed with a plectrum.  I have never seen Ralph do that before.
Slow Burning Companions  With harmonica.
Earl's Court Breakdown  Reminds me of Al Stewart's 'Bedsitter Images'.
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance  Plenty of finger-picking.
Streets of London  The loose hand version.
That'll Do Babe  I hear it was perfect in Wales last week.  We got 'oops' and grimace and roared our appreciation!
Easter Lillies  A poem in a song.
Weather the Storm  I wish Ralph would invite the audience to join in on the chorussy bits - I was mouthing this all the way through.
Peppers and Tomatoes  As Jenny says above, off the excellence scale.  Quite magnificent.  This is way out in front as my No 1 McSong.
Still in Dreams  As the man says, something to calm down to.  Lovely guitar work.
Glory of Love  Encore!

It was good to meet two of our 'virtual friends', Chris and Leighton.  See you again on The Eye in November...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on June 02, 2004, 03:26:35 PM
The Lowry, Salford 1st June 2004.

It's 19:45 and I'm sitting by the bar in The Lowry, with my wife; with a coke and a tomato juice, and in my hand, clamped very, very tightly are 2 tickets for the middle of the front row. They are not letting people in yet as, "He is still on the stage", at least that what the doorman says.
I'm thinking to myself "Remember what he sings, remember what order, remember, rememeber…."
Movement, yes, we're going in.
I think The Lowry is absolutely perfect for Ralph, great layout.
I knew Chris and John would be in the near vicinity, and since I was looking for 2 Tall, Dark, and Handsome men, I spotted them easily, and introduced myself.
Some beautiful acoustic guitar music was being played in the background, not too sure who it was.
Lights go down, and all of a sudden he's there. No stool, no extra guitars. Ralph McTell and a Yamaha.
Starts off with First Song, the sound is perfect. Never knew he played it in D, always thought it was C with capo on second fret. Then came Girl From The Hiring Fair. Fantastic.
All the songs are fantastic. The chat between songs was amusing and informative.
The story about when he parked in Salford some years ago, and being asked by 2 lads if they could "mind his car", rang a bell.
The introduction to Earl's Court Breakdown - Hilarious.
'Fraid I shed a tear (again) in Peppers and Tomatoes - "I am ready now to kill…."

All too soon the concert is over. I wait, like many others, for a signature and the chance of a chat.
We talk about his national, the 5 CD set of Blind Blake, Finger picking, and much more.... I could have talked all night - or is that danced  ;D

Also a big thank you to Chris Hockenhull, who I managed to chat to for quite a bit. A cracking bloke.

John Thanks for the full and informative set list.
(So much for my memory, but then again I have a head full of the night's memories).


Leighton


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: nmg on June 03, 2004, 12:22:46 AM
It's great to read these reviews as the concerts take place.  It is almost like being there . . . but not nearly as good.  Thanks everyone!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ChrisG on June 20, 2004, 12:13:23 PM
Hi MAJ and Chris,

My first time on this board, be gentle with me!
I was at the Cliff Aungier memorial gig at the Half Moon last Wednesday (sorry to hear you couldn't make it Marianne).
Ralph definitely played 'First song', 'Tequila Sunset', Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice' followed by 'Zimmerman Blues' and joined everyone on stage at the end for 'Will The Circle be Unbroken'.

He also mentioned that Cliffo had thought about recording 'First Song' as it was one of his favourites. It was a really enjoyable evening - be interesting to hear how much was raised on the night.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: polly on June 22, 2004, 01:21:58 PM
Last nights tribute to Lonnie Donegan at the Royal Albert Hall was amazing.The evening opened with 2 of his sons ,Anthony and Peter,singing"Oh Boys Cant yer Line Em" and "New Burying Ground",then it was Chris Farlowe singing "Alabami Bound".Then it was the turn of Ralph who sang "Grand Coolie Dam".It was good to hear him singing  at "Alberts place" again.Following Ralph was Rolf Harris who sang "It  Takes a Worried Man"then he was joined by Gerry Marsden to do" Putting on the Style".Three of Lonnies sons returned to the stage with the youngest dressed as a dustman complete with bin to do ,yes youve guessed,"My Old Mans a Dustman".
The evening continued with the following list of stars covering Lonnies songs,  Kenny Ball,The Barron Knights,Rick Wakeman,Joe Brown,Chas and Dave,Bruce Welsh,Roger Daltrey,Mark Knopfler,Joe Cocker and Van Morrison.
Mark Knopfler and Joe Brown did a duet of a song a tribute to Lonnie that Knopfler has written for his new album .We were trying to work out how old Joe Brown is now as he does not look any older than when I last saw him years ago!!!Whatever he is on Ill have some of that.!!!
The stars even kept us up to date with the football scores when they came on stage throughout the evening.
The evening finished with the whole company returning to the stage for a rendition of Goodnight Irene. It was a very emotional moment when Lonnies wife came on stage to thank everyone and the whole audience joined in with a ""Three cheers for Lonnie"
It was a great evening ,everyone enjoyed it and lots of money was raised for charity.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on June 24, 2004, 08:48:52 PM
 :) Lots to smile about!!! Had a pre-concert chat with Ralph and Nanna, Gerry Conway and Peggy from Fairport before the Swarbaid 2 concert in Birmingham.  Was just having a tea in the cafe before the show and saw Ralph etc sitting at a nearby table.  We had the usual relaxed conversation about his forthcoming big 60 birthday which he says he looks forward to with trepidation!!!  The lovely Ralph has the ability to make you feel so relaxed when talking to him and he even remembers previous times we have met, how does he do that? A great night I thought, well worth attending.  One that will stay in my memory for a very long time. ;D

Nice photo Maj, hope you are feeling better now. JJ


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mike Carroll on November 11, 2004, 11:27:31 PM
Hello group, :)

I've been browsing the site over the last month leading up to Ralph's latest visit to the capital of East Anglia and thought I could add some further anticipation to those of you heading for the birthday bash at the RFH. ;)

Monday saw Ralph performing before a sell-out at the Maddermarket in Norwich and, despite it being 31 years since I first saw him at the Theatre Royal, Streets brought a tear to my eye. :'(

His set was a mix very similar to that which Henrik reported from Denmark and completed with aplomb (apart from a few minor blemishes in Leah's favourite ::))

The man is genius, his relaxed style of performance (despite an intermittent and untraceable hum from somewhere in the audio system), his command of language and phrasing and his guitar and his completely genuine appreciation of his audience make him utterly watchable.

I envy you the opportunity to see him again, I'm with Billy on this, the man is a National Treasure!

Mike


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on December 16, 2004, 06:17:00 PM
JUst to note that Ralph had real fun on Monday evening playing along with Steeleye Span at the London Palladium (Hi! to those lurkers on this board that were there - you know who you are! ;) )

Steeleye played along with Ralph doing Streets in the encore. Otherwise Ralph played on Steeleye numbers.

Had a good chat with both at the after-gig reception. Nanna took a couple of really nice photos of Ralph & friends that will hopefully appear soon on the official website. I'll post a couple here in the next few days, but please don't pester me for a week - I'm busy! ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on April 08, 2005, 12:30:20 AM
Hi Folks, Just back from Buxton Opera House, despite Ralph having a long  journey to the Peak district with every type of weather imaginable, he was in good form. From memory he started with UP and went onto (in no particular order) Summer girls, and then , Lost Boys, Clare to here, SOL, summer lightning, Arthur Blake, Mr Connaughton, Now this has started, Still in dreams, North Country Girl, and one I wasn't sure of the title? The glory of love??, Peppers and Tomatoes, Leah's favourite and rounded the night off with Girl from the hiring Fair.

The Yamaha developed a crackle near the end but after a few lead changes from a leaping donard it started to behave, Ralph took a minute to explain that he wasn't talking to himself or taking messages from the other side but was replying to Donards queries through his In-ear gizmo.

The tempo of the set appeared slower than normal and It gave a bit of a bluesy feel to some of the songs, Just goes to show that there is still something new even when you've been going to gigs for 30 years. l think Ralph was out to enjoy himself and it worked, It gave a real 'by the fireside with his mates' feel to the gig, at some points it was as if the audience didn't exist, when that happens you know your in for a good night.
Would have been nice to have Cape Horn, but I just don't think he was in the mood, maybe next time.

By the way, apparently the book is nearly ready............(Breath is being held as I type).




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ian_heys on April 10, 2005, 12:10:13 PM
Ralph was on great form on Friday night at the cosy Lichfield Garrick Theatre.

The place was packed and Ralph seemed relaxed and no adjustments were required to the superb sound system.

For you guitar types he seemed to detune the bass string of the Yamaha for one of the songs and retune after - perhaps you work out which from the list - I can't remember. Perhaps he was just tuning the string but it was the only tuning that I noticed.

He opened with Nanna's Song and then the evening rushed by until he closed with an encore of Up.

I tried to remember all the songs in between on Saturday morning and came up with this list, in no particular order, if I missed any please feel free to comment:

Lost Boys
That'll Do Babe - Ralph explained that he has to get this over with fairly early in the performance so he can relax more -it seemed flawless to me.
Tequila Sunset
After Rain
Streets Of London
Peppers And Tomatoes
Mr Connaughton
First Song
Michael In The Garden
I'm Not Really Blue, by Kate and Anna McGarrigle, from the Red Sky album and said to be having only it's second public performance by Ralph.
Round The Wild Cape Horn
Litlle Birdie
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Girl From The Hiring Fair

Has anyone thought of making the Peking Museum Ship people in New York (was it Henrik who mentioned them) aware of Around the Wild Cape Horn? Another classic in the making.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ian_heys on April 10, 2005, 01:23:37 PM
Further to my last post, my wife Pam disagreed with me as to the provenance of I'm Not Really Blue.

She was listening to Ralph's intro and is of the opinion that it was inspired by one of Kate and Anna McGarrigle's songs (which according to Ralph has the longest metaphor for sadness that he's ever heard) but was in fact written by Ralph - on checking my copy of Red Sky it would seem that she is right - as always.

Sorry for that.

Ian


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on April 27, 2005, 07:00:24 PM
A story that fellow member Keith Taylor told on Longdogs....hope he doesn't mind me repeating it here..... :-\

From the Oswestry gig.....Ralph told this anecdote....
"Some years ago a Radio Shropshire DJ did a live interview with Ralph for quite a while, then said "didn't you used to have a beard"? Ralph denied ever having had one, which the DJ more or less insinuated he didn't really believe. Several questions later he eventually blurted out "I don't think you even are Roger Whittaker"! ;D :o

A bit unfortunate to find a DJ that thought Roger's cover of Streets of London was the original, and didn't know who his guest was, but there again having listened to some BBC Radio you begin to realise how this might have happened!"


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on April 27, 2005, 07:40:17 PM
.........................."I don't think you even are Roger Whittaker"! ;D :o

I saw Ralph at the Half Moon in Putney a few years ago when someone in the audience asked Ralph to sing Durham Town!  Ralph said "I don't think so!".  You'd think the locals would know better, wouldn't you?   :o ???


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on May 01, 2005, 09:14:15 AM
After a lovely warm day at Rochester watching the fun and dancing at the sweeps festival, it was time ,after a meal to make our way to the Cathedral! Such a magnificant and apt place for the great man to play! Earlier we had walked into the Cathedral and saw the wiring and sound/speakers etc being fitted and the alter made into a suitable stage for Kellie While and Ralph to play.

We sat outside early because the seating was unreserved and watched people arrive around us. At this point there was no queue but 20 minutes before the doors were due to open I just stood up and wandered over towards the door and everyone followed me!!!!! So a queue was formed!  We managed to get second row because two seats in the front had reserved on them for the Lady Mayor and her husband!

The set started at 7.30 for half hour with Kellie While who has a very strong voice with huge hints of her mother! I am sorry I cannot name any tunes but the last number she did unaccompanied was very good. She wrote/sang a couple of her own songs too.

Then a short break for people to buy Ralphs books/cd's etc,then back to our seats, the Cathedral was hushed and on to the stage walked a relaxed and happy Ralph.  ;D

I wrote out the set list as follows:

Mrs Adlams Angels (most appropriate for the venue!) at the end Ralph looked up as if looking for those Angels!
Summer Girls
Mr Connaughton
That'll do Babe
Maginot Waltz
After Rain
Wild Cape Horn (Great!)
From Clare to Here
Jesus Wept
Lost Boys
I'm not Really Blue
Streets
It's a long way up from Down here ("Up")
Geordies on the Road Again (I've never heard him sing this live?)
First and Last Man
A Feather Fell

The set over all too quickly, the acoustics fantastic although at the beginning Ralph did say to Donard that his sound was coming and going a bit but that was soon rectified in the dark with torches and some changes to a lead  ::)

The encore was  Glory of Love?

Now, I do apologise to Ralph and her Majness if I have incorrectly written down some of the titles to the tunes but I am upstairs and can't be bothered to go down and look at my cd's!!!

Ralph said he would be out to sign and talk to us afterwards so we waited what seemed an extra long time because the Mayor had asked to see Ralph so she went 'back alter' and queue-jumped  ;D Just hope she bought a cd and the book but I don't think she did! Although I was watching her during the set and she was singing along!  ;D

Now, for the best bit! Ralph gave his usual unhurried time to us all with signing and talking to everyone but when it was my turn, that wonderful human being looked up and said "I know you don't I?" How amazing is he to remember me (after 25 years of concert going!!!) I told him it was at Cropredy I think that we talked for ages about Jonah etc! djj took a couple of photos of us and I had taken with me Blue Skies and You well meaning for him to sign because after all this time it occurred to me the other day that I have no signed CD's by Ralph  :o The talkawhile board and Maj were mentioned and a little pressie is on it's way to you Maj as soon as I have your address!!!

Just had time to speak to Donard about Dylan and it was time to head home very happy!!!  ;D

MAJ says - amended by just adding a song title above - see my post below.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on May 02, 2005, 09:27:49 PM
Hello,
I was at Rochester too.
After the concert one of the stewards went up and shook his hand
saying how much he enjoyed the concert.
Then he said "Your voice is just like Roger Whittaker's"  ;D

Those of you going to Cromer .. try to catch Hot Rats .. they were brill
this weekend.

Lucienne.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on May 03, 2005, 05:09:14 PM

It has never ever occurred to me that Ralph sounds like Roger Whittaker? 

It certainly never occured to me that Roger Whittaker sounds like Ralph!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on May 04, 2005, 08:39:27 AM

I have been thinking about why it is some people seem to make that connection and wondered if it has anything to do with 'that' album?  (ATEOAPD) ?

I heard Ralph introduce SOL once by refering to a review  which started: "What has Ralph McTell done to Roger Whittaker's song?"!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on May 06, 2005, 01:23:02 AM
I just got back from the latest gig in Worcester. Ralph was on wonderful form, playing with all the subtlety, warmth and evocative beauty that makes his songwriting and performing so intimate and compelling.

But what a set list!
Some of his  rarer songs to sing liveI would think.
This is it as far as I remember:

Up
Arthur Blake (brilliant ragtime playing; great intro about listening to the new Blind Blake box-set just now)
Summer Girls
A Feather Fell
Lost Boys (this just gets better and better, light years away from the recorded version)
Round The Wild Cape Horn (he said it was inspired by a Channel 4 screening of the original 1920's home movie of the journey)
Terminus
After Rain
Streets of London
Mrs Adlam's Angels
Still In Dreams (the audience hardly breathed ...)
I'm Not Really Blue
The Ferryman (pure magic)
Zimmerman Blues
The Setting
Gypsy

What more could you ask for?

Chris (ragtime)  ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on May 07, 2005, 10:58:15 AM
But what a set list!
Some of his  rarer songs to sing liveI would think.

Terminus
Zimmerman Blues

I love Terminus...I hope he keeps it in for this Sunday up in Norfolk...

He told me afterwards that he hadn't planned some of the set this way, but just felt the audience's mood suited these  more wistful and intimate songs, so he took it in another direction, which he also enjioyed playing spontaneously. I assured him that we had loved those songs and that style too. So if you all get in the right mood, he might pick up on the viibes and pull some more surprises out of the past for you ...

Chris (ragtime)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on May 08, 2005, 09:37:10 AM
What a fabulous gig last night (7th May 2005) at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead.  A lovely intimate venue and a very appreciative audience.  The sound was excellent, which, of course, is all down to the eye candy that is Donard.

There was no interval and the setlist was:

Arthur Blake
Girl from the Hiring Fair
Still in Dreams
A Feather Fell
Lost Boys
Summer Girls
Miss you most of all
Naomi
Peppers and Tomatoes
Mr Connaughton
Wild Cape Horn
Streets of London
Jesus Wept
Up

I'm not really blue
Glory of Love

There was no interval and only one encore even though the applause warranted another one.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on May 08, 2005, 10:32:34 AM
What a fabulous gig last night (7th May 2005) at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead.
...
Miss you most of all

Glad to hear he has played this one liive at last, but I'd love to have heard it. I think it's the best of the Boy With A Note and a great song in its own right. If he'd played it the other night, it would have been the cream on the cake. but then again there was no piano at the Huntingdon Hall.

BTW the Worcester gig was on election night of course, and towards the end ralph said "I wonder who's won" and someone shouted "You did Ralph!". Abosutely right!

Chris (ragtime)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on May 11, 2005, 01:45:53 AM
And the yellow flowers shimmered with brightness and hope.

Driving through verdant green Norfolk countryside listening to Vaughan Williams’ Thomas Tallis on the radio and on the way to see Ralph McTell, it couldn’t have been more perfect.  Cromer was very cold and very windy.  Lots of fishing going on from the pier and even some surfers in the murky water.  Me? – I headed for the bar, passing Ashley Hutchings on the way as he headed off the other way (“…well it’s folk rock really” was all I heard him say to the man asking him questions!).

I met up with my friend Rory McGrath and his partner Nicola and whilst they went in to see Red Oktober I stayed and listened to a bit of Hot Rats.  They were very good, (Celtic Rock) especially the fiddle player, Ian Cutler (Feast of Fiddles) but the bassist was way too loud.  Anyway, had enough of that after an hour and went into the theatre and saw Miranda Sykes Band.  So nice to see and hear Maart’s much more musical bass. 

After a brief interval to re-set the stage, Ralph came on at 9:40pm.  As it was VE day he said that, in choosing his set, he wanted to capture the spirit of the day with the spirit of being in a seaside town.  Being literally at the end of a pier over the water was a first for him. 

The set was, in no special order (as I had forgotten pen and paper!) Maginôt Waltz, Summer Girls, Arthur Blake, From Clare To Here, Girl From The North Country, That’ll Do Babe, Grande Affaire, Mr Connaughton, Lost Boys, Round the Wild Cape Horn, Streets of London, Easter Lilies, Still In Dreams, Peppers and Tomatoes.  Encore: Glory of Love.

He combined his two themes brilliantly with his opening "Maginôt Waltz" ("All off to Cromer in a charabanc…").  He followed with another song with a seaside feel, "Summer Girls".  Then came the first of the two “really difficult” pieces, "Arthur Blake" –"come on Ralph, get on with it!"   After "That’ll Do Babe", he said, over the riotous applause, that he thought it best to keep it short and get it over with!  "I'm going to join the Army when I'm older" from "Mr Connaughton" was poignant and through "Grande Affaire" and "Still In Dreams" you could have heard a pin drop.  Magic.  "Round The Wild Cape Horn" gets more rousing each time I hear it.

The chat between songs was funny and informative as usual, and he told us that he had recently bought yet two more guitars – "I can’t seem to help myself".  The Radio Shropshire/Roger Whittaker tale preceded Streets.  Lovely to hear the theatre in song, except for the complete fool behind me, who insisted on singing it in the ‘pub’ style and who, even when Ralph wanted the ladies to sing one chorus, continued to sing half the chorus at male pitch and then falsetto for the rest, loudly.  Sadly, he ruined it for me and many others around us.

In keeping with the ‘war’ theme "Lost Boys" was particularly moving as was "Peppers and Tomatoes" which finished the set.

At the end of the evening I was very pleased to be greeted warmly by Ralph and to have my photo taken with him and Rory.  At nearly midnight as Rory, Nicola and I walked off the pier back to our cars we reflected on a superb evening.  Ralph just gets better…


[attachment deleted by admin]


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Snodin on May 14, 2005, 06:33:03 PM
Hi,

After our Ralph convert in East Grinstead (7 May), I added a brief review to the Acoustic Sussex website.  No pictures, unfortunately...  For anyone who's interested, the review reads:

"Ralph was on tremendous form this evening at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead. The intimacy and excellent acoustics of the venue suited his performance perfectly, and the audience were entranced throughout

Playing straight through with no interval, Ralph's selection of old and new material was excellently balanced.  Beginning with the ragtime number, 'Arthur Blake' the set included 'Hiring Fair' (often covered by the likes of Fairport Convention but it was a delight to hear it from the man himself); the wonderfully evocative 'Mr Connaughton'; and a spine-tingling  performance of the thought-provoking 'Lost Boys'. 

Naturally, he played 'Streets of London' but by doing so without introduction in the middle of the set, and with subtle changes in the opening to each chorus, the audience quietly listened - a nice change from the mass choir that so often accompanies the song!

Other highlights included the mesmerising 'Still in Dreams', A Feather Fell', 'Summer Girls', 'Miss You Most Of All', 'Wild Cape Horn' and (accompanied by piano), the ever-popular 'Naomi'.  But my favourite song of the evening was his riveting performance of the moving 'Jesus Wept' - you could have heard a pin drop.  A well-deserved encore of 'Glory of Love' followed, sending the appreciative audience home happy (after the usual CD and book signing session, of course)."


It's interesting to see just how much his choice of songs changes from gig to gig - Cromer sounded quite special.

Regards, Martin


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on September 25, 2005, 12:24:08 AM
Hailsham.
I've just returned from the Hailsham gig and thought I would give you a quick report of the first night of the "intimate" tour. Ralph was on good form and we had great seats in the 3rd row. The only disappointing part was that the show seemed to be very short and there was a mix up over the starting time, the tickets saying 7.30 but the actual start being 8pm. No explanation for this was given but an announcement was made that there would be no interval and that Ralph would play for about 2 hours so it was a bit of a shock after an hour and a quarter when he was instructed to wind up!
There wasn't really as much interaction with the audience as I would have liked but I expect this will improve as the tour goes on and there were lots of well told anecdotes preceding many songs. The set list was very varied and included the following:- Walk into the Morning, Lovin' I Crave, Cape Horn, Birdy, Nettle Wine, Maginot Waltz, Streets, Tammy the Tortoise (hilarious!), After Rain, Dreamtime, Mrs Adlam's Angels, Summer Girls, That'll do Babe, Angie, a Woody Guthrie song and an encore of a Jesse Fuller song. Ralph played banjo (interesting) and, for the encore, 12 string guitar, symbols, harmonica and kazoo. Highlights for me were the rags, Nettle Wine, Maginot and, most surprisingly, Tammy the Tortoise played on the banjo! Hearing him play Angie was also very exciting and I was delighted to meet a young Russian guy outside after the show who told me he loves to play this tune himself and has listened to much of Ralph's work.

Jacky


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on September 25, 2005, 11:28:51 AM
Thanks for that review Jacky.  I'd love to have that whole show on a CD.  The sound and atmosphere were perfect.  I have one criticism (which is rare for a Ralph show).  I did not like his version of 'You Make me Feel Good' on the banjo.  It was good to hear his introduction for it, regarding his daughter and how much pleasure he got from her antics as a child and that her own daughter is replicating this, but a big thumbs down from me when he sang it with banjo.

He was very funny last night, lots of jokes about banjo players (which I won't repeat in case he's repeating them on subsequent nights.)

Was that cymbal gadget called a 'High Hat'?  He was like a one man band!

Those of you yet to see the rest of this short tour are in for a big treat.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on September 25, 2005, 12:49:43 PM
Penny, I agree absolutely about You Make Me Feel So Good on banjo. It was dire! However, Ralph did promise it would be improved next time and he played the whole thing on a wrongly tuned banjo. I think one banjo tune is enough for anyone so I hope he just drops it. By the way, I had anticipated that we might have seen the ukelele making an appearance but was wrong. I'm note sure the "high hat" worked but it was fun to watch.
Jacky


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on September 25, 2005, 06:13:27 PM
Jacky wrote:  "The only disappointing part was that the show seemed to be very short and there was a mix up over the starting time, the tickets saying 7.30 but the actual start being 8pm. No explanation for this was given"


Me again ... Prior to Ralph coming to the stage, music was being played by Eric Roche (sp?) and Bob, the organiser, read out a long, warm, affectionate, very personal tribute to Eric who played there recently and has just died aged about 33 years, from testicular cancer.  Bob listed Eric's family and the ages of his (very young) kids and introduced another song by Eric.  As heartfelt as it was, I thought it would be diffcult for Ralph to walk onto the stage, to cheers and applause, after we'd all become so mellow and sombre and wondered if that was a contributing factor to him being late?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on September 25, 2005, 07:41:14 PM
It certainly didn't set the evening up well did it? The strange thing was, despite the fact that I had all the tickets, I had it in my head that the concert started at 8 and had arranged to meet friends outside at 7.45. One of my friends had the brains to check the starting time on the Pavilion website earlier in the day and found that it started at 7.30 which I confirmed by finally looking at the tickets. The result was we had to dash off to the venue, forgoing our meal, only to find when we got there that the start was postponed to 7.45 and we were advised to go and get a drink. Needing no second telling, this we did, but when we took our seats at 7.45, being about the last to sit down, we still had to wait for another 15 minutes and listen to that rather sad announcement. All rather strange and, I'm sure, not what Ralph would have wanted on the first night of a new tour. I wondered if he had always intended to start at 8 and play without a break but the venue got it wrong. Who knows?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on September 25, 2005, 07:51:35 PM
Just as a matter of interest for guitarists, Ralph played most of the set on a recently aquired Gibson (he's been dabbling on Ebay it seems.) Just after starting That'll Do Babe he stopped because he realised that he had never actually played it on that particular guitar before and he wasn't sure he would be able to find his way around it. He then proceeded to play it brilliantly!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on September 27, 2005, 02:32:39 PM
Why not drop him a line and tell him your thoughts.  He doesn't look on this board.  He says he feels he would be intruding! :-\

I'm very interested in the news about this new Gibson.  My views on the sound of the Yamaha are well documented here! :-X  I hope he plays it again at Maidenhead.

He said it was a J45, the same as the guitar he first used to use. As a non-techy .. it was very pretty  ::) and it sounded very mellow. Beautiful.

It was a shame that he had a banjo sting out of tune for "You make me feel good". He had retuned it to "G" tuning after "Tammy the Tortoise" ... and must have not quite got that string right. Unusual for him to keep going when something is wrong like that. Makes it easier to understand the "Banjo" jokes !
L.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on September 27, 2005, 07:32:40 PM
It's interesting that he played YMMFG on the banjo - even 'though it didn't go down too well because of tuning problems. The recorded version, rarely played live and a personal favourite, is in open G tuning on the guitar. This is actually a banjo tuning, so makes me wonder if he originally wrote it on banjo or is he just experimenting with arrangements.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on September 28, 2005, 06:21:38 PM
I got the impression that he didn't write YMMFG on the banjo but was playing the banjo when it occurred to him that it might work. I'm not a fan of the banjo myself and don't think it would have sounded brilliant even without the tuning problem but I could be completely wrong. It would be interesting to hear how it fares in future performances.

Perhaps he feels the banjo fits with the memeory of his ddaughter as a harem scarem tomboy - a bit Huckleberry Finn, if that makes sense. On the other hand the chords to the song are quite mellow "major sevenths" and so on, not the sort of thing normally associated with the bright, brash banjo. I'd be interested to hear.

At least no one can accuse Ralph of churning out the same old songs. He seems to be positively relishing re-exploring his back catalogue and presenting things in new ways, although not quite as unpredictable as Dylan (we hope).


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on September 30, 2005, 09:15:40 AM
Jean Camp reported on the EXeter gig on the public part of the Longdogs board....

"Excellent evening in the company of Ralph at the Barnfield in Exeter last night.

First thing to strike me was the cymbal set and the percussion foot drum, hmm bit different, wonder whats in store I thought.

Streets was in the set and some new songs for an album that Ralph is musing about.  Not going to say too much in case others are going to see Ralph before Christmas as a very delightful set.  New songs sound great and the last one "Somewhere down the Road" is just fabulous - his next hit I reckon.  Sell out concert too.

He looked very well and was relaxed out in the bar after, and didnt not seem in  a rush to get away.  His lovely wife Nanna had gone home before him to "put the soup on"!  Yes, he did have a lift back from the merchandising lady who lives near him and a couple of others...

Catch this tour if you havent already done so or booked as it was a great evening."


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Al on October 03, 2005, 08:07:21 AM
I've been urged by a friend for some time to attend the Acoustic Avalon guitar show at Leicester Racecourse and eventually gave in and went online to get a weekend ticket when I noticed for the first time that the Sat. evening concert looks a real treat - not only is our Ralph playing but also the amazing Jaques Stotzem, an absolutely fabulous guitarist. So, as I am seeing Ralph in Maidenhead on Nov 16th, I am now seeing him of the 19th too - two shows in one week - hurrah :-) The guitar show, I am told, is really good and worth a visit in its own right with lots of guitars to pick up and play and ogle at etc and demos by players etc.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on November 01, 2005, 08:37:00 AM
An amazing place the High Barn, most fitting for an intimate Ralph concert, but we can never find it, we are always treated to a run around the lanes of the Essex Countryside first  :-\ In the dark and torrential rain that is not easy!

Seated at the front table gave a good close up view of the charming relaxed Ralph who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the evening. He too looked up at this wonderful barn and asked how old it was and through his ear piece he was told it was 800 years old, so, fittingly, he sang 'Hiring Fair' which seemed so appropriate!

He began with 'Walk into the Morning' this song really does paint a perfect picture of the young Ralph beginning his career 'on the road.' Good to hear 'You Haunt me Baby', sung as it was Halloween! Instrumentals included 'That'll do Babe'.

I didn't write down a list of songs I just wanted to relax this time and let the whole Ralph experience wash over me and wanted to capture every minute of this beautiful concert but he did sing a real favourite of mine 'Still in Dreams' and 'When did you leave Heaven.'

The audience were 'quietly polite' and gentle clapping seemed the order of the evening. No-one sang along with 'Streets' even though we were invited to?? I think for many of the people there, this was their first Ralph experience (I spoke to one lady sitting next to me and she said, "It was her first time and it was 'very pleasant'!  ::)  It seemed a very sedate evening all round from the 'posh' end of Essex!  :P I wanted louder clapping, a few of those whistles that I can't do and also, when a few chords are recognised at the beginning of a great song, I wanted to clap but didn't like to!! He did make the audience laugh when he relayed his 'Roger Whittaker' tale about the radio interviewer who asked him 'whether he had ever had a beard' and when Ralph replied "No", the interviewer asked, "Are you sure you haven't?" Ralph laughingly said, "No, I don't think so"!!!!!

Ralph did ask for 'any requests?' and a voice did call out 'Nettle Wine' so I supose there was someone else there who had heard of Ralph's stuff other than 'that song'!

The sound was excellent (thanks to Donard!). Afterwards there was a table at the back selling CD's and books, but not the new book/dvd. Ralph came out smiling and willing to sign cd's and I joined the queue for a photo opportunity and a very nice chat with Ralph about the 'last' printed newsletter, he said in the future they are hoping to produce a newsletter that will be 'printable' from the PC, and the fact that he didn't get lost find the High Barn because, as he said, "I've got a driver!!!" LOL

Good to meet up with Delfini from this Board who joined the queue for a photo with Ralph too!  ;)

A lovely memorable evening!





Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on November 01, 2005, 10:18:14 AM
when a few chords are recognised at the beginning of a great song, I wanted to clap but didn't like to!!

Thank goodness for that! There are a lot of us that detest this - we pay to listen to the artist concerned, not the audience spoiling the first 30 seconds of each number they recognise....

Some of us appreciate a live audience as much as a live musician  ;)
L.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on November 01, 2005, 10:28:16 AM
I've no problems with the audience going wild at the end of each number - just at the start. Which rarely is the very first bar played, but a few bars in. This may  go on for a while, as others pick up on it....by the time it's died down, the artist is generally a line or two in, and my concentration has been jarred.

My bet is that the artist doesn't like it much either....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on November 01, 2005, 03:26:02 PM

My bet is that the artist doesn't like it much either....

I am surprised you think that, Chris.  I would have thought that the artist (especially Ralph) would appreciate knowing that the audience are pleased to hear particular songs and it would help put him at ease. 

He's nervous on stage to start with, & to my knowledge really concentrates while performing. A round of applause (or even worse, people 'whooping' at the start of any (all? God forbid!) at the start wouldn't be exactly helpful.....I would've thought.

Something to ask him, I guess. There's nothing to hide here.

Oh to have your self-control Chris ....... the excitement of hearing the first few notes of one's favorite song is sometimes too much to bear without a short expression of approval and thanks. I would prefer silence at the end of the number so that I can return slowly. Even when the sound has finished the sound goes on.
Viva la difference !
L.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on November 01, 2005, 03:36:47 PM
Maybe I didn't express this too well I didn't mean 'whooping' with delight or anything like that at all, I just meant that occasionally when the first few notes begin, especially on Streets, I think it encourages a performer, especially someone like Ralph. To hear a slight ripple of applause, conveys the audiences appreciation of a song that maybe he wonders whether we are tired of?

I hope this one small thought I had in my review hasn't detracted anything from it, and what was a superb night!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on November 01, 2005, 06:23:27 PM
It was my intention to post the set list, but I have just realised that I haven't got my notebook with me, so I'll do it later.

So here it is:

High Barn, Gt Bardfield. 31st October 2005

Walk into the Morning
First Song
He's in the Jailhouse Now
Weather the Storm
Still in Dreams
Wild Cape Horn
Anji
England 1914
Maginot Waltz
Lost Boys
Please Don't Haunt Me
That'll Do Babe
FIN
Nettle Wine
Hiring Fair
When Did You Leave Heaven


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 01, 2005, 07:34:20 PM

My bet is that the artist doesn't like it much either....

That's totally confused me Chris, as I've been close to the front at a lot of his gigs and it's really nice to see him smile or look up when a song is acknowledged.

I'll agree with jj, last night was excellent, although 'very polite'. I felt that he was giving us a lot of effort to put on an excellent performance and the audience wasn't (at times) acknowledging his undoubted skills. He is a master with words, creating superb imagery, taking you different places with his songs, making you think, creating different emotions and that's not talking about his playing.

And, no, I'm not a 'Ralph can do not wrong' sort of sycophant, I just appreciate someone who can use language so descriptively, poetically.  Adding his musicianship and his modesty he's, as Billy Connolly put it , a 'National Treasure'.

ps where were you Jess?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Geoff on November 05, 2005, 11:59:15 PM
Just got back from a wonderful evening at the Lowry, Salford.  I wanted to post this while it was still relatively fresh in my poor little memory!
Lovely venue...very "intimate" and comfortable...I'd guess about 400 seats, pretty much filled, as far as I could tell.

Ralph, of course, was wonderful...very relaxed, lots of good preambles to most of the songs - some stories I hadn't heard before.  Lost his plectrum during one number...which took him into a tale of another performer once losing his false teeth whilst trying to play the harmonica on stage with a dodgy harness.

I don't take notes, because it distracts me from listening, but [most of?]the set list, from memory, and probably not in this order...

You, well meaning... (haven't heard him do that live for years)
Sylvia
England 1914
Maginot Waltz
I'm not really blue
Nanna's song
Still in dreams
Easter lilies
Peppers and tomatoes
Nettle wine (after asking the audience for requests)
Streets
Cape Horn
Anji (yes, the Davy Graham one!)
FIN
Lost Boys
Naomi

Couldn't stay afterwards, sadly, due to other committments, so no photos (sorry MAJ!).

So glad I made the right decision...the alternative was watching GB get beaten by the Aussies (yet again!).  Not that there was any doubt; either in which one I'd choose to see, or in the match result!

If I missed out any of the set list, no doubt John will be able to complete it!

Geoff


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 06, 2005, 04:20:15 PM
You missed only one, Geoff  - the opening number,  "Walk into the Morning".  This was the first time I'd heard it.  It's destined to open Ralph's shows for a long time to come.

The flat pick went flying as Ralph started the last verse of "Peppers".  He didn't even blink and finished the song with his fingertips.

Donard had put two guitars on the stage - the Yamaha and what I assumed was the new Gibson.  Ralph walked on and picked up the new one, and, sure enough, it bore the unmistakable "Gibson" signature on the head.  He put it down just twice - to go to the electric piano.  The Yamaha remained on its stand throughout.

"Anji" has become the new guitar showpiece, and, sure enough, Ralph has added another tune to the middle.  For me he could have kept on playing it all night, weaving in and out of Davy's original theme but always returning to base.  Wonderful.

And the Gibson sounded wonderful, especially on "Still in Dreams".  Were those six harps on a backing track or just the Gibson's harmonics?

Ralph  - or was it Donard? - did play a backing track over "Sylvia" -  full strings over piano, so definately not down to the harmonics!

Other highlights?  A rare invitation to sing along on "Streets" - not that I and mine need an invitation! - and "Around the Wild Cape Horn", which was fantastic at The London Show and has got better with each hearing since.

Talking of The London Show, no DVD yet, but 'coming soon'...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Amethyst (Jenny) on November 08, 2005, 02:24:12 PM
It was a GREAT gig in Newark last night.. fantastic... I apologise though to Ralph for coughing... err.. quite a bit.. very embarrassing..  I was near the front in the very middle and the seats are so tightly packed there was no way I could get out :-[ :-[

Anon :o


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Gibson on November 15, 2005, 12:37:54 PM
Q. What do you do when you realise that another branch of the family has organised a weekend at Center Parcs and it clashes with your local Ralph gig?
A. Lots of travelling!

Friday morning, up early, pack the car and drive up to the Center Parcs near the Lake District.  Meet up with everyone else, leave them with all our luggage, kids etc. and mid-afternoon drive all the way back home and then to the City Varieties in the evening.  Great place, and well attended with appreciative audience in fine voice for Streets.  Spare Yamaha guitar, but played the 'new' Gibson throughout, other than a couple on the piano.  Set list pretty much as below, although not this order (didn't write it all down, just copied from the previous list with the changes I could remember)   

Walk into the Morning
That'll Do Babe
You, well meaning brought me here
Sylvia
Maginot Waltz
I'm not really blue
Nanna's song
Still in dreams
Aquamarine
Fear of Flying
Grande Affaire
Peppers and tomatoes
Streets of London 
Wild Cape Horn
Anji
FIN
Lost Boys

Some tricky stuff to play, so I'll forgive a couple of wrong chords!  Instrumentals faultless as usual.  Plenty of people wanting a chat and autographs afterwards, so Ralph spent the best part of an hour in the bar giving everyone as much time as they wanted.  A great evening all round.

Saturday morning, up early, and drive up to the Center Parcs near the Lake District – shades of Groundhog Day.  And we all enjoyed the rest of the weekend, so sorry to keep you waiting for the review.

Was it all worth it?  - you bet.
 8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Al on November 17, 2005, 02:36:44 PM
I've just got in from seeing Ralph at Norden Farm, Maidenhead.

Review will follow later (Thursday) as it is 1:00a.m. and I'm shattered. 

It was a fantastic evening, if not flawless.

Really nice to meet up with Al and share Ralph's meet and greet with him afterwards.  Pics taken, things signed, good company, good music. 

I wonder why I can't sleep........ ::)

I'll leave it to Maj to do the review, I will undertake to report on Saturday's events in Leicester, but last night was really good, a nice varied set with a couple of surprises despite having seen the set-lists in previous posts on here, and of course it was nice to see Maj again and get to speak to Ralph.

I am glad he has found an old Gibson that he is happy to gig with because the sound is much better, and so I agree entirely with previous posts about the marked improvement in sound over the Yamaha. I asked what it was and its a 1959 model that he found on Ebay, one of a few he found on Ebay in fact in search for one with the sound and feel he liked.

Mentioning the Yamaha, which was picked up for one song last night, I was amused that Ralph did not himself seem clear what it was he was actually doing on Saturday, except that he knew he was in Leicester. When I said that the flyer for the show said that Ralph was there representing Yamaha guitars he exclaimed "I'd better take the Yamaha then !" :-)

You never know, he might even be spotted wandering round the stalls at the show :-)





Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 17, 2005, 10:27:38 PM
I wondered how the evening was going to progress when the announcer said "please welcome to the stage, Mr. Ralph McTell"..................(long pause with nothing happening)..............................

Eventually Ralph came out and before playing his first song said "That took me by surprise, I wasn't quite ready to come on out!"

Anyway this was the set list:

Walk Into Morning
Nanna's Song
Maginot Waltz
I'm In The Jailhouse Now
Still In Dreams
Around The Wild Cape Horn
You Well-Meaning
Sylvia
Pity The Boy (the only number played on the Yamaha)
Streets of London
Aquamarine (Saucers)
Heron Song
Peppers and Tomatoes
FIN
Grande Affaire
Anji

Encores:
Terminus
Lost Boys

He was on form both musically and with his anecdotes.  I especially like the one about him finding a copy of YWMBMH at a car boot sale and trying to get one of his kids to go up and buy it for him.  "Aww Dad! You go and get it!" was their response.  So he did and when he asked how much the man said "40p"  Ralph gave him £1, got 60p change which he handed back and said "it's worth £1".  The man said, "blimey! Is it?" :o

The theme for the evening was very much beginnings.  And even at the end of the evening he went back to the beginnings by playing Terminus.  One poignant comment after Nanna's Song was that "there's certainly more of my career behind me than there is to come".  I thought the set was a really good mix of old and new and I really do hope he keeps using the Gibson.  The sound was so different to the Yamaha - warmer, fuller, richer.  It did lack the edge that the Yamaha has for numbers like Peppers or Lost Boys though.......  (I did ask after the grand old lady and apparently she is frail but still keeping very well....!)

The synthesised string section effects on Sylvia worked.  It was almost eerie.  To hear You Well-Meaning live was magical.

As said in another thread somewhere sometime ago, when Ralph makes mistakes we seem to love him all the more.  He goofed the end of Peppers really well by starting to sing completely the wrong verse.  The ever-true professional he finished the verse and then sang the right one.  Nice one!

Anji was intricately and superbly played and the picking on Jailhouse was electrifying.

Al and I met up again after the show and waited for our "2 minutes".  In the event it turned out to be nearly 10 mins I think (am I right Al?).  So nice that one of the pics taken was of Al and I together with Ralph.  (Haven't seen that myself yet.......).  My few minutes were exceptionally special this time round.  Can't wait for the next opportunity to see him again.

And blow me, found another unexpected Ralphite at work this morning.  I'll be dragging her along as well to the next gig. 8) ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Al on November 20, 2005, 02:06:35 PM
Saw Ralph last night at the Acoustic Avalon guitar show put on by Sheehan’s, a large music store in Leicester at the conference cente on the Leicester racecourse.

Firstly, a word of the guitar show itself for anyone who might be interested, I was decidedly underwhelmed as it seemed to be not much more than the contents of Sheehan’s acoustic guitar dept shipped over to the racecourse for the weekend. There were some great performances by players demonstrating various makes of guitar and amp that were well worth watching though and, of course, there were plenty of guitars to play on. Indeed, it was whilst sat playing a Martin that I realized that the guy sat opposite me also playing a Martin was trying to get my attention and it was because he’d guessed from what I was playing that I was a McTellite ( those Blake tunes are a dead give away !!! ) and it turned out to be our own Ragtime ( aka Chris ), so we had a chat and got aquainted, nice to meet you Chris  :)

Right, onto Ralph, the setting was very cosy to say the least, one end of the canteen had been made into a small stage with about 200 seats arranged in front of it. The ceiling was very low, I knew Ralph would be intimidated by the close proximity of the audience and for sure he was.

When announced he had to squeeze down the side of the crowd to make his way to the stage and immediately his unease was apparent. As well as the close proximity of the crowd he also seemed, in his typically self-deprecating way, to be very mindful of the fact that being a guitar show that the audience was likely to contain lots of players “better than me” and he mentioned this a few times. I think in truth most of the audience were Ralph fans and very appreciative of him, but it seemed to be on his mind so much that he not only included some of his showier guitar pieces but also tried to spice a couple of others too, but with mixed results. As usual though, Ralph was hugely entertaining and a joy as always, if only he would realize that himself  :)

He took the stage remarking that they had only just managed to find the place, even though they had found it ok for the soundcheck ( “otherwise known as the complete waste of time” – ouch – mustn’t have gone to his liking ! ). A thick fog had descended since tea-time and I had had trouble finding it in the gloom, even more trouble finding my way back out again, a wrong turn took me into a field which I suspect might have been the track, maybe if I had carried on I would have fallen at the first hurdle ..ho ho ho !

There were some technical gremlins. During the second song in his set the mic cut out during one of the verses and when it was restored just sang the whole verse again and carried on. At the end of it he remarked that when you he was starting out you had no such things as mics etc in the clubs so you had to sing and pick hard but then said “I think I just showed myself up then because I bet you couldn’t hear a thing !”. unfortunately he was right !  ;D 
 
He played a great set, not very different to the one we saw in Maidenhead on Wednesday, but notably included “That’ll Do Babe”, “Nettle Wine”,  “Dry Bone Shuffle”  as well as “Anji” to try to showboat a bit more I suppose. Ralph played the Yamaha exclusively last night, no doubt due the fact that according to the show listing he was there ‘representing’ Yamaha guitars although he did not seem to know this when I spoke to him at Maidenhead !

Anyway, here’s the set-list, I was too concerned about getting out of the place through the thick fog than to hang around much after the show, Ralph remarked during his set that he had had to change in the room updstairs were all the guitars were, so maybe instead of heading back home he decided to stay in there all night playing all the guitars J

Walk In The Morning
Nanna’s Sng
That’ll Do Babe
Still In Dreams
Round The Wild Cape Horn
Maginot Waltz
Dry Bone Shuffle
Summer Girls
Nettle Wine
Streets Of London
Peppers & Tomatoes
Grande Affaire
Anji
Lost Boys
Easter Lillies


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ragtime on November 20, 2005, 02:45:20 PM
As Al mentioned I was a the Acoustic Avalon exhibition yesterday. Unfortunately I couldn't get a ticket for the Ralph concert (all sold out by the time I enquired), but it was good to meet you Al. I was very impressed with your playing BTW  ;D

I have to confess that I bought a guitar!! I couldn't resist a beautiful Taylor made with maple back and sides. I went to Leicester and fell in love with a beautiful blond  :-* It was massively reduced because it had been left in a warehouse for two years and was now part of a discontinued line, but it is in perfect condition and plays and sounds like a dream. Perhaps this bit belongs in Guitarists forum ...

I wondered how Ralph would have coped with the setting - all a bit casual. The freezing fog didn't help getting in and out of the place, but I'm glad he survived. As Al and I discussed in our brief chat, Ralph really shouldn't get so intimidated about his guitar playing. He's right up there with the best of them if only he can relax and believe in himself.




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 20, 2005, 08:04:31 PM
I sent my match report of Maidenhead to Andy Langran for the Ralph Albert & Sydney website together with a photo.  

It can be viewed here: http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/fansreviews2.html


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on November 25, 2005, 09:53:30 AM
Ralph at Pacific Road - 24th November 2005.

It was a cold and very windy night as we got out of the car and headed for the entrance to The Pacific Road Arts Centre in Birkenhead, but the chill was soon warmed as we entered the lobby. First thing was to see where our seats were - third row, bang in the centre. Perfect. Same eye height as Ralph.

One of the guys from The Centre is on the stage. He is asking that No Photographs be taken, at the request of Ralph.

I have always be useless at remembering the song list that Ralph Plays so please excuse the lack of info as there were more songs played than I have listed.

Donard brings out the guitars, The Yamaha (I must remember to ask Ralph about the missing truss rod cover), and the "new" Gibson. The Yamaha keyboard is already there.

Ralph appears from the rear of the stage "guitarless", but with an harmonica and holder round his neck.
He acknowledges the audience's applause. He has a gift that he is thanking me individually, although I suppose that is my wishful thinking, and probably everyone else is thinking the same.
He lovingly picks up The Gibson, straightens up the harmonica, and starts the concert with a new song. I do not catch the title but going from previous postings it is "Walk in the morning", It takes me back to the 60's with mentions of Woody Guthrie and other heroes in the lyrics. Maybe a touch of early Dylan.

Ralph has been looking for "A new song to open with", I can see this being a long runner, as it is absolutely fantastic.
He starts with a new song, and follows on with an old one, Nanna's Song. I hate using the term old one, as it does not do the song justice. Shall we say a timeless classic.

There is an obvious love of the new Gibson, and Ralph explains that this was one of 4 (or it could've been 5, my memory plays tricks on me sometimes), that he won on eBay. Although he says he is putting some of his collection on eBay sometime.

I agree with previous posters with regards to the sound of the Gibson. A much softer tone. I love it.

There is a bit of a distraction, as someone has turned a light on in the control room at the back of the audience. He mentions it to Donard, who sorts it out straight away. Ralph asks the audience to give Donard a round of applause. We do, but half way through Ralph says not to give too much, as it will go to his head. Smiles all round.

Around the wild Cape Horn was introduced with the story of the documentary that Ralph saw about The Peking and a young lad who originally sailed around The Horn, and who added the verbal documentary to the film.

You Well Meaning was the first song played on the keyboard. It brought back memories.

The Yamaha is tuned to D, and he uses it for a couple of songs including Sand in your shoes.

He asks the audience for any requests, and before the sentence is finished the guy behind me is shouting First and last man. I wish my mind worked quicker sometimes. Apart from a slight repetition one of the first and third lines in one of the verses (He smiles during this), it was perfect. Wonderful.

Anji is played flawlessly.

The Audience joins in with Streets, and I felt a strange sensation as the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Although all the audience were singing along, they sang in a hushed tone. No blasting out the chorus. A really strange sensation. For a while my thoughts go back to article I read, about Streets of London being sang following the suicide bombings in London. It is as though I am hearing the song for the first time, and in a new light. There is a lump in my throat, and I feel a chill. 

Naomi is played as an Encore.
~~~~~~~~~
We get in place ready to meet Ralph, I am full of questions.

I have a picture that was taken at The Lowry a couple of years ago, and am hoping he will sign it.

He strolls out with Donard, and has a glass of red wine.

Eventually it's our turn, "Hello Leighton, how are you keeping ?" - I am really taken aback that he remembers me. All, and I mean all my questions have just left through the Fire Exit and I am at a loss for words. He smiles. I think he realises. He talks about the book, and I suddenly get the use of my brain and mouth back. I enquire about the DVD, and he explains about copyright issues holding the release. We chat about more stuff and I get a CD signed, my Red Sky With a different number. I ask if he could sign the A4 sized photo, and he tries to remember where it was taken. I am thinking this could be a time for a bit of a quiz, and I could give Ralph some clues. I am looking forward to this, but I'm afraid my joy was short lived as my good lady wife pipes out from beside me "It Was The Lowry", God Bless Her. He mentions the tropical shirt I was wearing in the photograph makes me look like the star (I wish). He smiles. I am nervous to ask about getting another picture taken together, following the initial request prior to the start of the concert. But there was no need to worry. Of course he says.

He shakes my hand and wishes me all the best. I tell him to look after himself, but there is no need, he is looking better than ever. He says cheers.

As we exit The Centre and head for the car I think to myself - What a great guy, and

Why didn't I ask him about the missing truss rod cover on the Yamaha.

Ah Well, maybe next time.

My Poor Attempt at the song list is -

Walk Into Morning
Nanna's Song
Still In Dreams
Around The Wild Cape Horn
You Well-Meaning
In The Dreamtime
Sylvia
Streets of London
FIN
Lost Boys
Anji
First and Last Man
Sand in your shoes
Pity The Boy
Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on November 25, 2005, 07:04:40 PM
Just for you MAJ  ;D

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v377/klt/Wigan%20Folk%20Club/pacific2005.jpg)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 26, 2005, 11:33:50 AM
We  (my husband and I) must have been sitting directly in front of Leighton at Birkenhead as we were in the middle two seats on the second row!
Excellent as usual,  seemed to me a bit different too.  I agree with the previous comment that he seems a  little more confident/relaxed after the Up Close tour.


I think there were a couple of songs missing from the previous list - 'A Feather Fell', and 'Pity the Boy'.
The full play  list was ( the order for the second half is approximate!)
 
Walk into the morning  (new)
Nana's Song
A Feather Fell
Wild Cape Horn
Still in Dreams
All these on the 'new' Gibson
 
You well meaning brought me here
Sylvia
( k/b)
 
Ralph invited an audience request - so unexpectedly that my mind went completely blank and somebody shouted:
 
First and Last Man  - then back to his own list
FIN
Sand in Your Shoes (these 3 on the Yamaha)
 
and back to the Gibson
 
Pity the Boy
I'm not really blue
Streets
Dreamtime
Anji
Lost Boys
 
Encore: Naomi - which he messed up - missed half the first verse and sang bits of the second twice - Did we mind? Of course not, Lovely anyway

Ralph also gave us a brief 'masterclass' in fingerpicking - he explained that when he was learning he gave each finger a name - so he could tell it what to do, and tell ift off if it wasn't doing what he wanted it to! He said that his fingers often bled when he was learning.
 
Donnard got a round of applause at Ralph's request.
 
All went much too fast -as usual.

This was the eighth time we've seen him live - can't wait for the ninth!

Naomi

(My name - not the song!)


 


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: ciemme on November 30, 2005, 10:48:35 PM
 :-*  thank you Ralph for your kindness, for your availability, for your dedications on my books and at the end thanks to play my favourite song "Barges" introduced by a pretty dedication, during your gig in Darlington.
thank you Ralph to be so big.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 07, 2006, 12:45:17 AM
This is a report of the concert last Friday night in Sneek that our friend Coen included in an IM to me.  I thought you would like me to share it with you.  As you will read at the end, it was difficult for him.  He has been keeping in touch with me via IM telling me how he is and I am so pleased that he and his wife were able to go. I wanted Ralph to know that he was going to try to be there despite fighting his illness.  I knew that Ralph would have wanted to know, so I got a message to him.

So thank you Coen for reporting back to us.  God bless.



First of all thank you. Ralph was aware that I would be in Sneek, so I suppose that was your doing.

It was a wonderful concert, and short report follows below.

A small report on the concert in Sneek.

Sneek is an old city in the Netherlands, and one of places where Ralph performed. That would be sufficient reason to make it a special concert, and it was. The number of visitors was, I think, roughly 125. It was not advertised at Ralph’s own site (it is now), so there were mostly locals. Sneek is in Friesland, and we from Utrecht were welcomed as foreigners. Friesland has its own language. Luckily they also speak Dutch, and as it turned out English…

One man and a sound engineer is always impressive to me. I’d seen Ralph live only at the RFH. Obviously a great concert, but the intimacy here was great indeed…

   Nanna’s song
   Arthur Blake
   Girl from the north country
   A feather fell
   Tequila sunset
   Around wild Cape Horn. I understood the story better this time, but maybe this just because I’m not a native speaker. It was an impressive performance.
   Nettle Wine
   From Clare to here
   That'll do babe

Followed by a half hour break.

   This song I didn’t recognize. Ralph mentioned that he intended it as starting song. It was about Guthrie and being walked into the morning rain I believe. Perhaps someone can help me there.
   First Song. A special request for me. He made it sound very special and I was very much touched.
   Hands of Joseph.
   After Rain
   Peppers and tomatoes. Very intense, and very painful. Srebrenica is a very sore spot in the Netherlands, and the song hit home.  As it would anywhere I suppose.
   Anji. An instrumental number is so old that is fresh again. Created by various people, and somehow connected with Paul Simon? Very nice number anyway.
   Streets of London. Nice number, deserves a wider airing!
   Let me down easy
   An old song about someone jailed for casting two votes, and more legal action. Nice song, but I don’t know more about it.
   Dry bone rag (I think)

After that he was forced to stop…..

I don’t think I missed much. For me and my wife it was very memorable concert.  I didn’t think I would make it because a brain tumour is very busy killing me.  But I made it, and that obviously was great gift.

Thanks Ralph,

Coen Fischer


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on April 08, 2006, 03:08:21 PM
Very impressed with the whole set last night at Croydon's Ashcroft Theatre which had a relaxed atmosphere and a responsive crowd, especially as it is Ralph's original hometown venue! He said that when he used to run around Croydon during the day as a boy, he once climbed up to the top of the huge office block (about 15 storeys) when it was being built. It is opposite the theatre and when I looked up at it after the show I think we are lucky that he survived!!  :o I didnt keep note of the songs and tunes but of course Bently and Craig featured in the set as did Hands of Joseph and Red and Gold which pleased me greatly!  Afterwards a cheery Ralph came out amazed at the length of the queue for signing! I got Times Poems signed and I think the posters are a good idea also, they are ready signed but Ralph personalised 2 for me  ;)  Managed to find Donard and congratulated him on the sound.  ;D A great night with just the Gibson, harmonica and the man himself!

Apparently the website will be updated soon after this tour with regard to the Upclose Tour dates etc.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on April 13, 2006, 10:38:25 AM
Saw Ralph in Basingstoke last night and as ever he was fantastic.  I thought with the length of the queue for signing he may miss the Newport gig tonight.  As ever Ralph made time for everyone who queued and as always it was lovely to chat to him.

I've still got the lovely (though hard to describe) feeling that I always have after a Ralph gig.  What better way to head into a bank holiday weekend.  Can't wait for the next tour.

Happy Easter everyone.  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 13, 2006, 11:17:09 AM
Smashing concert at Basingstoke last night.  Met up with Al again which was nice.  What a shame he couldn't stay and join that queue at the end.  Funnily enough even before there was a queue he predicted that it would be a long wait.  However, it was certainly worth it.

I will write a review and post it on Andy Langran's site.

Here is the set though:

Nanna's Song
A Feather Fell
Around The Wild Cape Horn
Factory Girl
Now This Has Started
Conundrum Of Time
First Song
Red And Gold
Lost Boys
In The Jailhouse Now
Still In Dreams
Anji
The Girl From The Hiring Fair
Streets Of London
Walk Into The Morning

Encore: Bentley And Craig

Nice suit too..... ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on April 13, 2006, 01:39:17 PM
Thanks for the song list MAJ, and will keep an eye out on Andy's site for the write up.

Has Walk Into The Morning been relegated from the opening number ?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Henrik on April 13, 2006, 02:06:30 PM
Thanks for the song list MAJ, and will keep an eye out on Andy's site for the write up.

Has Walk Into The Morning been relegated from the opening number ?

Well, maybe our Ralph was just out of sync. last night ?   ;D

Wish I had been there, and I shall really lookiing forward to your 20 page
report with pics and all, dear Maj  ;) Tak for this little appetiser.

I am so happy that he has recently ( I think ?) started playing Red & Gold again -
I bet that must have been totally amazing. I really wish that I can some
day get to hear this most amazing song at a Ralph concert ( Well, along
with all the rest of them of course  - D'oh ! ::) ).

H.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 13, 2006, 03:05:03 PM
Ralph told me that he thought Walk Into The Morning was better as a closing song even though he had written it to be the opening one...... ::)

Red and Gold was superb Henrik.  First time I have heard him perform it live.  Very powerful.

Ralph is putting nuances into the songs (as he often does) when he does them live and that gives them that extra 'something'.  There was one line in Bentley and Craig that made you just go cold last night.  Brrr!

A very good, strong set last night.  I told him that I had heard things in some of the songs that I hadn't picked up on before and wanted to write an essay on it.  He acknowledged the compliment and awaits said scribblings.

Am already trying to think of where I can get to see him next.....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: dave hawthorne on April 13, 2006, 03:55:28 PM
Yes I agree RED &GOLD absolutely brilliant. The missus and I saw Ralph at Pontardawe last Saturday and had a thoroughly good time. Nice atmosphere in the hall,upstairs traditional seating ,downstairs tables and chairs(wine went on the table!).Spoke to Ralph afterwards and he had a smile when I told him about the karaoke version I had purchased of RED& GOLD. I got an e-mail from a pal in Oz telling me about an article he had read in local newspaper of a civil war (English) re-enactment society in deepest Australia who closed their events in the marquees with a few pints of lager and a rousing version of R&G! Have tracked down and bought the said version which is done ala Fairport style! on www.backingtracks.com.au .The disc didnt even give Ralph credit for writing it ! Hope he can get some credit AND ROYALTIES somewhere down the line. !


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Robin on April 16, 2006, 09:40:47 PM
I absolutely loved the show in Croyden last week. Ralph was really relaxed as he played straight into the opener of nannas song (one of my favourites). I was very happy when he dedicated 'Factory Girl' to my good friend Vana and then played 'Now this has started' straight after. Both my favourites and I think it was the first time he's played FG for quite some time. The only thing I wasn't so keen on was when everyone clapped at the intro of Streets of London. I mean c'mon guys! He has many brilliant songs - why only applaud the one that was a hit? Not a big issue at all though. It was the finest night out I've had for a long time. Go Ralph!!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on April 16, 2006, 10:37:09 PM
Just back from Bromsgrove, Superb night at the Artrix Centre, Nice modern venue I reckon about 250-300 people, seemed a bit cramped in the stalls from our vantage point up on the shelf, but everyone enjoyed themselves and the sound was great, despite the usual odd gremlin in the wiring that Donard sorted with his usual efficiency.
The new Gibson sounds OK but I got the feeling Ralph wasn't totally at home with it to start with, a bit of fret buzz, a few more duff notes than normal,  but it settled down as the set progressed. Started off with Nannas song and then (in no particular order) Red and Gold, Cape Horn, Peppers and Tomatoes, Now that this has started, Conundrum of time, Still in Dreams, Heron Song, A Feather ,Anji,   S O L, Walk into the Morning, Bentley and Craig, Tickling the Trout, (sorry if I missed any).
With his usual impeccable smart casual dress sense, the Red Shoes were replaced by an equally impressive pair of brown leather brogue boots, 2 piece suit and tee shirt.
Nice to hear Heron Song Live again. Cape Horn gets better every time I here it,and walk into the morning is super,  altogether a terrific night, looking forward to The Autumn Blues tour.  Happy Ralphing,  Mark  & Angela


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Al on April 18, 2006, 09:12:50 AM
A bit belated because I have been away but I enjoyed the gig at Basingstoke immensely, some interesting selections and I agree with MAJ about "Bentley & Craig".

A couple of things occurred to me, the first being I think I was the only person there in a denim jacket, and what with that and Ralph wearing a suit I almost felt under-dressed which felt very strange at a Ralph gig  ;D Also, the J-45 he is using sounds a lot better than that Yamaha but he did seem to be uncomfortable with it at times, something I would have asked him about if I had been able to join that LONG queue - I did tell you MAJ !  ;D  I sometimes feel like an anxious parent watching Ralph and I got that feeling again during "Factory Girl" and also during "Red And Gold", he seemed a little uncomfortable with the chair or something and kept changing his position.

I love his "Anji", much more in tune with Davey Graham's original, it must annoy him immensely ( Davey Graham ) that virtually everybody plays Bert Jansch's interpretation of his tune, not sure where the additional segment  comes from but I love it - I would have asked him about that too had I been able to hang around :-)




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 25, 2006, 11:24:08 PM
There does seem to be a wee gremlin in the sound department for this tour.  Most of us have experienced Ralph having problems with this "ghostly" creature...

My review from Basingstoke is on Ralph Albert and Sydney now here (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/fansreviews2.html).

There is also a really nice review from Ian Tatlock of Buxton last year.  Another true fan it would appear.  Ian, why aren't you on this board talking to us? >:( ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on April 26, 2006, 03:59:07 PM
Just found ticket number 1 from the Words and Music Tour - at Huntingdon :o

Gosh Diane

Was that the gig about 10 years ago where there were awful sound problems and Ralph ended up using the house PA after a very long delay?  It's the only time I ever heard the song about the old Citroen and it was either just before or just after Sand in my Shoes came out.

We were there too.  My other half comes along uncomplainingly to my various other musical enthusiasms, but she'd knock me over in the rush to get to a Ralph concert.

If you're already on holiday, hope it was good, if you're not away yet, bon voyage!

David


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: bigalwhittle on May 03, 2006, 08:53:28 AM
sorry I've got to go soon (germany this afternoon)), but Sheffield was fine. thanks for replying. No technical problems.
although I'm not really a fan of the Gibson.  I think the finger board must be a bit narrower - anyway the fingering always seemed more positive on the Yam - which is important, given the level of intricacy involved.  The first song(up) had a string slightly out - otherwise technically it was fine.

the place was sold out.  I had to wait til the last minute to pick up a return, as I was not completely sure I would get there.

he played many favourites :the angie/lullaby of birdland thing, cape horn, little birdie, finished on Bentley and Craig, you were my first song, in dreams, I'm not really blue, streets, lost boys - there was quite a lot of flat picking in the programme.  he seemed in better spirits than at Lichfield, where he was obviously getting gremlins through his earpiece monitor.

The hall itself was okay, but I 'm fairly tall - I can imagine someone who was a bit shorter might have struggled to get a good view as the stalls were not raked at all.

anyway thanks again for replying.  sorry I'm dashing off.  i only get invited to Germany about every twenty years - so I'd better do some packing!

all the best

al


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Geoff on May 06, 2006, 10:34:34 AM
A very pleasant warm and sunny evening in the lovely seaside town of Southport, well known for fresh air and fun...
My first time in the Arts Centre, excellent venue, although the bar facilities left a lot to be desired.  Our party took up all of row B, in a very good auditorium, with good acoustics and steeply raked seats giving a good view for all.  Hardly an empty seat in the house.
Picture an empty chair (more later on that subject), small table and monitor amp, and a Yamaha on it's stand.  No keyboard.
The McStar walks in, carrying the Gibson J45, to massive applause, sits down, and goes straight into
UP
A lovely long preamble to
WILD CAPE HORN
and another long intro to
FACTORY GIRL
The tone of the evening was set...Ralph was providing more than usual of introductory, chatty stuff, which is what I love about his live gigs.
RED AND GOLD
was followed by
LOST BOYS
and then almost apologetically (!) said he was going to do some love songs. Mentioned that when he was younger he wrote songs about "old" love, and now was writing "young" love songs!
NOW THIS HAS STARTED
I'M NOT REALLY BLUE
and
CONUNDRUM OF TIME
were followed by a long chat explaining why he was playing the Gibson, and not the one "made by Mr. and Mrs. Yamaha on their kitchen table"
this led very naturally into
TICKLING THE TROUT
and
FIRST SONG
followed by using the spring weather as a lead in to
STILL IN DREAMS
and excusing his having bought six new guitars recently by playing
ANJI
then one I hadn't heard before, apparently called
STREETS OF LONDON
explaining that it was written for a friend of his in his Paris busking days led very naturally into
SONG FOR MARTIN
and then telling us that he was closing with his opening song
WALK INTO THE MORNING

at one stage he was explaining that he'd started using a chair simply because he felt he could play better sitting down - absolutely not because there was anything wrong with him!

Back for an encore, finally using the lonely Yamaha (bet you'd forgotten the Yamaha!) for
BENTLEY AND CRAIG

A simply wonderful evening.  Sadly we had to dash off almost straight away, so no time for photos, autographs etc, but did manage to have a brief chat with the lovely Naomi (Woodbine) and Carl.

I get the feeling I might have missed a song out of the set list, or got them in the wrong order...that's from memory as I don't like to be distracted by taking notes! If I have missed one, hopefully they can fill in the blank!

Geoff


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 06, 2006, 04:33:12 PM
I think you've captured the atmosphere perfectly, Geoff.  I was impressed that Ralph played 'Cape Horn' and 'Red and Gold' at positions two and four in the set list - they're usually well in, when he has settled down.  No nerves here, then!  Ralph's preambles to these both referred to the 'statistics' they contain, and the ensuing correspondence about numbers and dates - a reflection, perhaps, on the 'risk' theme they share with 'Lost Boys'.

The dedicatees of 'Now this has started' were my recently-married daughter and son-in-law, who stayed behind with me for a chat with Ralph afterwards.  A long queue, most with CDs or books from the stall, all greeted as long-lost friends with 'smiles from the man'.  I had a burning question to ask.... did Ralph really write a song called 'Daphne the Dolphin?'  'Yes!' came the answer, '...and Yip the Yellowhammer!'  So that's another one for the Song List.  Thanks, Ralph.  You're The Man.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 06, 2006, 05:03:47 PM
We started this this morning but didn't finish before going out, some of it duplicates Geoff's excellent review - well it was the same concert- but hopefully there's enough additional material to make it worthwhile.  - John! didn't recognise you from your photo sorry :-(we'd have said hello if we'd realised)

Ralph at Southport 5 May 06 last night of the Spring Tour. 

The evening started disastrously for us.  The baby sitter was late, the traffic news came on and told us of a multi-car accident on the A55 so we had to go through the middle of Liverpool instead of using the M57 and then we took a wrong turn and got lost in Southport!  Consequently we got to the Arts Centre, out of breath and LATE!!!! :(  :'( :'(

We’d love to say what a wonderful opening Ralph gave to the show but you’ll have to look at Geoff’s version above to tell you about it. 

Ralph opened with
Up (we are reliably informed) and then came
Around The Wild Cape Horn - we arrived just in time to hear that the turkey got sick!

We were allowed to sit down as the applause roared out.  It’s incredible the way all the tension caused by the journey just melted away. :)

Ralph told us of his growing up days and then into one of this tour’s standards -

Factory Girl; (a delight to hear live for the first time).

A chat between Ralph and Dave Pegg was recounted - “Why don’t you write a song about the battle at Cropredy” asked Ralph,  “You’re the best British Folk Group (pause for effect) It says so on your posters”.   
Lead into;
Red and Gold - and the theme of poppies led into
Lost Boys

Then came four love songs with (allegedly) short introductions – (He managed short intro’s with 3 out of 4)

Now This Has Started
I’m Not Really Blue
Conundrum of Time  ( This is the one with the long introduction – Last remember hearing Ralph play this live on the Silver Celebration Tour  at that time I remember him telling us how Caitlin would break into expressive dance at the most inappropriate times –eg, “dance for a Post Office queue”).
First Song

A talk about finger style and guitar positions – Ralph adopted the “Classical position”. He also took the opportunity to comment on the chair.  I think he must have a spy who looks at Talkawhile!  He said he wants to make it clear that he does not have a  bad back or leg, nor is he tired – “Fighting fit – at least for somebody of my age” he said.
He said he likes the chair because it’s the most comfortable position for playing – “It gives a firm anchor”, which he said was helpful for some of the pieces he was playing.
Such as;
Tickling the Trout (alternative title supplied “Noodling the Trout”) and
Anji
Minds have gone blank and the order has become vague, this is a slightly different order to Geoff’s but I thought
Still in Dreams and then on to two songs for Martin, the first being
SOL and then, to our delight, as an unscheduled request,
Song For Martin. Ralph changed the final line of the chorus to “This time he could be coming through” in place of “I think he’s coming through.”
He took the opportunity to explain the reason for Streets and his emphasis being on the chorus not the verses - I wonder: Would it have been as big a hit if the chorus had been “For God’s sake Martin, stop moaning!”
He finished with his ‘opener’
Walk Into The Morning, and thanked Donard for the sound and his “companionship on the road”   which brought a round of applause for Donard.  Ralph returned to the stage and for an encore gave us
Bentley and Craig.

I know we were a bit late but where on earth does the time go?
We made our way up the auditorium to give our own thanks to Donard. 
We waited around, bought Easy on CD to replace the old vinyl version, and had a brief chat with Ralph as he signed our copy of “Times Poems” Ralph said ‘Song for Martin’ had been passed to him as a request at the last minute.  He didn’t have time to check the words or write a crib sheet and the order came out a bit different from the way it’s normally written.  Ralph said he’d missed a verse but he hadn’t he’d just swapped the beginning of one verse with the beginning of another.  He said he’d been sitting in the dressing room after trying to remember the right order.

All in all (once we arrived) an excellent evening of course.  It was also nice to meet Geoff and Terri and family they were sitting a couple of rows in front of us.   Now we can start counting the weeks until November 18th!

Naomi & Carl



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 06, 2006, 10:51:15 PM
We made our way up the auditorium to give our own thanks to Donard.....Now we can start counting the weeks until November 18th!

We - Jane, Andy, Angie and I - were two rows behind the sound desk - bizarrely perched in the middle of Row N - that's the sound desk, not us - and I waited patiently, as folk left Row O, to say 'Hello' to Donard.  Just as my moment came, these two folk came up from the cheap seats and stole my opportunity!  So I joined the others for a beer in the bar (it wasn't that  bad, Geoff - OK, nothing on draught, but canned Boddies with widget is OK) whilst the queue to see Ralph rose and fell.  Then Donard came into the bar and I grabbed a minute of his time.  Charming - and busy - as always.  His enthusiasm for Ralph and his work is genuine and infectious.  Ralph is at Devizes next, then a few more one-offs during the Summer 'to keep his hand in' before a very busy late Summer and Autumn schedule - details on the website as soon as contracts are finalized.

November 18th?  Salford?  I have my tickets ready. Do please let on if you see me, Naomi and Carl!  Row B, behind Leighton, I believe - again!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 07, 2006, 09:34:14 AM
Hi John,

Hope that wasn't us getting in your way! (Don't think so - there was only one lady, who we think was Jenny Melmoth (having seen her new photo on Andy L's site) who gave Donard a big hug.

We had a fantastic time on Friday evening - I feel as if I start smiling as soon as I see Ralph on the stage, and don't stop for at least the next 2 days! :)

We'll be in row A, seats 5&6 in Salford - I'm sure we'll see you then.

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 07, 2006, 06:36:17 PM
Sorry John, just read that again (was in a hurry this morning!), and realised what you meant! :-[

Cheap seats?? Huh! :o

I thought that the sound desk looked a bit out of place there too - and, not knowing much (anything actually!) about sound technology, couldn't help wondering why he needs so many switches and buttons for one man with one mic, one guitar, one voice and one foot pedal  ???  ::)

Sounded brilliant though!

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on June 05, 2006, 11:00:39 PM
Naomi,

Many thanks for the review, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Can't wait until November and The Lowry.  O0

Bearing in mind the latest news about not McAppearing after the show, I wonder if he & Donard would accept the offer of being bought drinks somewhere else by the "talkawhilers"?

Or is that presumptuous?

Just a thought....shall I get me coat?

Sounds as if it might be worth trying Geoff.

I was wondering whether to suggest the possibility of one of us contacting Leola (Your MAJesty possibly - if you agree of course) and asking if there was any chance that Ralph (and Donard) would consent to join us for a photo afterwards if we promise not to ask him to sign anything, or to keep them long. Maybe if we mentioned that this is a special meet-up, and booked before the announcement was made?  :-\


Geoff's idea sounds good too.

Most of you have met Ralph more times than we have, and may have more idea about how he might feel about being asked.   Opinions/thoughts please.  ::)

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Gibson on June 06, 2006, 02:00:54 PM
I’m a bit in two minds about this.  On the one hand, the last time Ralph was in Leeds there was a long queue to see him afterwards and it got to the point where the staff obviously wanted to close up shop and go home (and why not?), and it must involve quite a bit of extra effort to perform again for that length of time at the end of a tiring day.  On the other, as Ralph has done this for many years, one can only assume that it’s something he enjoys and perhaps he might miss it as much as any of us.  I also see from the explanation on the website that there will be the option to order something from Leola with a request that the item is signed with a personal message  -  but what about those items that many of us buy off ebay or similar?  How can we get those signed?  Perhaps the clue is in the phrase that I think has already been mentioned elsewhere ‘as a matter of course’.

I would hope that for those who wish to make a special effort that Ralph would still be available, and if that has to be away from the venue then so be it.  Whether this is something that has to be by individual request, and whether it would ever be made public, I don’t know, especially as initially, it might just be a way of cutting down the crowds.  Perhaps we’ll have to see what the next tour brings, and if anyone feels able to share information openly on this forum or privately through messages or emails then I’m sure we’d all be grateful.
 8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Blindarthur on June 08, 2006, 03:40:41 PM
Over the years Ralph has given us his fans so much in many different ways. The touring schedule must be more punishing and I suspect he feels the need to wind down a bit and get away from venues at a more reasonable time. I do not think there is a hidden agenda here.
For all of us who enjoy have meeting our hero over recent years it is a shame but I think we should respect his decison and rejoice in the fact he is still very much around.
At least unlike his Bobness Ralph is still very much a guitar man and playing better than ever. I for one cannot wait for the Dylan, Guthrie and Blues gigs as I think they will absolutely wonderful. Hope to see some of you there

 ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on June 11, 2006, 09:14:21 AM
  I also see from the explanation on the website that there will be the option to order something from Leola with a request that the item is signed with a personal message  -  but what about those items that many of us buy off ebay or similar?  How can we get those signed?  Perhaps the clue is in the phrase that I think has already been mentioned elsewhere ‘as a matter of course’.
 8)

I've been thinking about this Gibson and maybe this is one of the reasons! Perhaps people are lining up with stuff they have had for years and items bought from e-bay and therefore not buying the new material from the merch stall  :-\ ............Now, of course, I know that us 'real' Ralph fans will buy everything he puts out but when I was in the loooong queue at Croydon I noticed not a lot of people around the Merch stall, but i also think that Ralph genuinely loves to see and meet his fans because he always announces it at the end of his concerts.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Sir Robert Peel on June 12, 2006, 05:37:12 PM
Ralph has made the decision that he will no longer be able to make himself available for autographs after concerts as a matter of course…..already it's a fourteen-hour day when they are on the road. Recently, they have still been in some venues until well after midnight.

The key phrases that hit home with me were:

‘fourteen hour day’ – and that’s without meeting and greeting fans.  There's a European Working Time Directive that prevents such long hours.   ;D  By shortening his day he will be able to tour more – and he'll be fresher and able to enjoy it.   

‘as a matter of course’ –  I doubt whether Sir Rafe will abandon close contact with his party, since he enjoys this aspect of touring.  He will probably find it more satisfying to be able to choose the time and place rather than to have it expected of him.

I’m only guessing here – but this sounds like a performer who cannot physically and emotionally satisfy the relentless demand from the audience, and is trying to regain some control and pace himself.   The audience is getting bigger, the venues are getting bigger and he needs to find new ways of maintaining the bond with his audience, because the current methods aren’t working for him.

A shorter working day - 14 hours instead of 18 hours – seems only fair and reasonable.
Not to be taken for granted – appearing after a gig only if he feels up to it  -  well, that will be a bonus, a privilege and something to be treasured.   

The fact that the venues are getting tetchy about the length of performances and signings, has probably helped Sir Rafe to come to the decision and say:  'enough is enough - if I don't make this more manageable, I won't be able to continue for much longer.'

Or I could be wrong?

Sir Robert Peel


   


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on June 13, 2006, 11:10:41 AM
Over the years Ralph has given us his fans so much in many different ways. The touring schedule must be more punishing and I suspect he feels the need to wind down a bit and get away from venues at a more reasonable time. I do not think there is a hidden agenda here.

I totally agree. I have always been astonished that he has given so much in his concerts and then again afterwards. I am greatful for all he has given. I feel for the new fans who have just discovered him and may not get the chance to share how they feel with him. However I have a little suspicion that there will always be a chink in his back-stage door for the fans who travel across oceans to see him.

I also remember the days when we went to the concert and then went home. The change in format for him to come out after the show was just so wonderful!!!! I have never ever presumed that he would. Every time has been a gift.

So, as I have said many times before.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Ralph for all the gifts you have given us.
And thank you Donard for being his good friend and support and the best sound engineer there is!

L.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Gibson on June 13, 2006, 02:20:07 PM
Couple of points I’d like to pick up on:

-  Whatever the reason for this decision, the only way it could be publicised is by way of a blanket ‘no more after show signings’.  I think all of us will respect the decision, none of us are treating it as sour grapes, but there is the obvious thought that maybe Ralph will miss this aspect of touring to some degree and therefore there may be a degree of ‘flexibility’ in the decision which obviously can’t be made public.  I’m sure this ‘flexibility’ will be tested on the next tour, and I’m also sure that those who do will accept the result, whatever it is.

-  JJ, your comment on old stuff/new stuff.  My experience of many a post show line up is that there are plenty of people who buy the new stuff, a number of hardened regulars who like to show off their latest rare copy of CD/vinyl/songbook or whatever, and those who just want to say thanks.  In any case, there isn’t often new merchandise to buy, so I don’t think this is the reason.  There is also the counter argument that if there’s no after show signing, then once the music is over, people will just go home and won’t hang around to buy things, so while I don’t think this is the reason, then if it was, it could prove counter-productive.
 8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Helena on September 20, 2006, 04:44:27 PM
Hi to all.... me and hubby attended the Pirton concert on saturday and greatly enjoyed it! :D
Ralph sounded and looked great..he wore a very smart black pinstripe suit with black tee-shirt.I can't recall all that he sang as I'm not familiar with all the songs...but definitely, Pastures of Plenty, Vigilante man, Hesitation Blues,To Ramona,I belong to the Band,Ludlow massacre and Weeping willow.
Hopefully someone else can fill in the blanks?
We also really liked the intimacy of a smaller venue and were very impressed with Pirton village hall...we thought beforehand that it might have been more 'basic' than it was!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SteveK on September 20, 2006, 07:29:06 PM
I too was at Pirton.

Talkawhilers (MartinK, SteveK, MAJ, Polly and Delfini) and their guests commandeered half of the front row (with I believe an opportunistic manoeuvre by Delfini extending the front row by one seat  ;D ).

Ralph explained that the Pinstripe suit and the style of boots that he was wearing would have been typical of the great players in the blues era.

The concert was an excellent departure from his usual shows, and Ralph was obviously enjoying every moment of it and having some fun as well (without overdoing it). Ralph was in great form, and the PA wasn't overpowering.

For the the bulk of the concert, Ralph worked through most (all?) of the songs on the Gates of Eden CD as well as Hesitation Blues. For an encore he asked for a request and played "Weeping Willow" as requested my MAJ and MartinK. Somebody further back had obviously not got the mood of the evening and requested SoL which quite correctly remained unplayed. I think he closed with Song for Woody.

An excellent evening, and its rarity added to the special atmosphere.

SteveK
The attached photo was taken by MartinK from one of the best seats in the house.



[attachment deleted by admin]


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on October 07, 2006, 12:30:23 AM
And so the Journey continues, on a clear night in Derby, and Ralph was better than ever, I mean it, he was awesome, relaxed and totally at home.
If you haven't booked yet, get moving it's going to be an incredible journey (pardon the pun).

Started with Sand in your shoes and then in no particular order: Hesitation blues, Ramona, Still in Dreams, Streets, Zimmerman Blues, Blues run the game, Summer Lightning, Slip shod, Ferryman, Nettle wine, Bentley and Craig, Georgia bound, Red and Gold, grande affaire.

we've seen a lot of Ralph over the years and this time comes very near the top of the pile when it comes to memorable concerts.

He had two Guitars, the new- old Gibson Sounding superb and one I didn't recognise, It sounded great. Would love to know what it is if anyone can identify it.

Hope you all enjoy your nights as much as we did.

Mark and Angela   ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on October 28, 2006, 10:27:45 AM
Set list from last night at Maidenhead:

Sand In Your Shoes
Tequila Sunset
Diddy Wa Diddy
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Blues Run The Game
First Song
To Ramona
Wild Cape Horn
Earls Court Breakdown
Song Birds Are Leaving (Caitlin's Dream)
Georgia Bound
Streets Of London
Anji (+medley)
I'm Not Really Blue
The Ferryman
The Setting (encore)

He said "I'm not just a one hit wonder, I am a two Gibson wonder!"  He used the new/old J45 for the first and last items and for the rest he used.....................Miss Gibson, saying that although she was old and frail he didn't know why he was "saving" her and not using her - so he has decided to again.  The sound was stunning.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on November 04, 2006, 11:54:24 PM
Have just returned from the Tonbridge concert. Ralph was on fine form despite a delayed start due to an unresolved technical problem with one of the Gibsons. As a result, he had to change the order of play a little. This is most of the set list. I think I've forgotten at least one.


First Song
Tequila Sunset
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Blues Run The Game
Georgia Bound
Lost Boys
After Rain
Wild Cape Horn
Earls Court Breakdown
Song Birds Are Leaving (Caitlin's Dream)
Streets Of London
Let Me Down Easy
Anji (+medley)
The Ferryman ( I think this is still the best song he has ever written)

Diddy Wa Diddy (encore)

He was, once again, wearing a suit - is this a sign of prosperity? The venue was lovely.
Awesome, commanding performance.




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on November 05, 2006, 09:52:45 AM
Last night I noticed the Merchandise table had a different style too! Either side of the table were tall advertising posters, one with all of Ralph's CD pictures that are available, the other side advertising The Journey and when someone asked to look at the track list for the Journey they were shown this poster! I suppose it stops crowds picking up CD's and jostling around the table area  ::)

I asked whether Ralph would sign The Journey if I bought it last night, as did one or two others and was told if we purchased it he would sign it there and then via a messenger! We just had to write on paper the message we would like.

The lady 'maning' (womaning!) the merch table wasn't from Leola and 5 mins before, she had been shown how to work the credit card machine, but after watching her try and swipe/type in someone's number several times I didn't bother!  ::)

I felt (due to the hiccup with the Gibson breaking) or as Ralph said in his best Croydon "One was broke...." everyone laughed,( he made several references to his Croydon-speak - probably cos he was in posh Tonbridge!!) he appeared a little tense/nervous when he first started the set, he mentioned about being nervous too but this just disappeared as soon as he got into First Song and after that it was a relaxed happy evening.

Lunar Lullaby to add to your list Jacky  ;)



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jacky on November 05, 2006, 08:37:31 PM
Yes, I thought of Luna Lullaby later. I've never really taken to that song.  It was nice to hear a little of the background to the writing of it though. I agree Ralph seemed a little tense to start with but not as bad as when I saw him last year at Hailsham which, I think, was the beginning of an "up close" tour and, again, something had gone wrong and he started late. I hope the guitar problem isn't too serious as I know the way he feels about those lovely instruments.
To hear Ralph play Earls Court Breakdown was a real treat for me. It brought back memories of when all my South East London friends used to enjoy playing and singing it. The song Ralph himself seemed to enjoy singing most was Wild Cape Horn.
I didn't buy anything from the merchandise table but came away with rather a nice free poster.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on November 11, 2006, 01:29:08 AM
Didn't catch the full set list at Northampton last night, but gosh, he was good.

I find it difficult to be objective about Ralph because his music and influence have been such a large part of Marion's and my life for a long time.  Clearly some technical difficulties during the performance, but the sound was good in the auditorium, and the front row seats (sorry Diane!) added to the sheer pleasure of being there.  The 1 and 3/4 hours flew by.

All good, but highlights for me were First Song, the Setting as the encore, Lost Boys, Caitlin's Dream and Now that This Has Started  for the first time in live performance.  Good to see the Gibsons to the fore - a new(ish) J45 and an elderly J200.  Always better than the Yamaha, sorry.

And the Deco - stunning auditorium, good acoustics, and a huge space,  particularly upstairs, but a bare and confusing foyer.  And as for the car park - Northampton Council would win my anti-tourism award every time!  >:(

However, all told a lovely evening.  Nice to see Delfini with her father, who seemed to have enjoyed every moment of every song at his first Ralph gig.  Hope your mother's doing better, Diane.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on November 11, 2006, 02:41:51 PM
...Good to see the Gibsons to the fore - a new(ish) J45 and an elderly J200...


Second guitar may have been a well-used J45 round-shouldered style.  Whatever, it was pretty good.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 11, 2006, 05:01:24 PM
and the front row seats (sorry Diane!) added to the sheer pleasure of being there.  ..........................
The 1 and 3/4 hours flew by.



There was an empty seat in front of us so we had a perfect view  :) Nice suit ;)

I can't be objective about Ralph either. There's just something about him/his music that draws me in and I am content ::) It had been a **** week but after the gig I was happy.

I also had the bonus of meeting an old schoolfriend whom I hadn't seen for several years - as well as David and his wife. My  Dad really enjoyed his first McTell experience as did my friend's very fashionable teenage daughter - music definitely crossed the generations last night as they were both beaming :)

And having 'the Setting' -which he really 'sang out' on - as the encore made my evening.
 :) :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Amethyst (Jenny) on November 12, 2006, 10:33:38 AM
The Regal, Worksop was packed last night.. though the merch table was pretty sparse.

Ralph looked very relaxed and happy, and gave us an excellent night.

Talking to a friend afterwards who had been to the Derby gig on the same tour,
we were told that the set list was very different.. with only about 5 songs the same.

A lovely evening and good to see this venue rising again.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 19, 2006, 11:00:52 AM
Well – I thought someone would have beaten us to it by now! I’m sure they’ll all have more to add, but here’s our review of Ralph at Salford.

The evening began in the theatre bar, where we spent some time putting the world to rights with John Beresford – not difficult since we found we agreed on such a wide range of subjects. It was good to meet Geoff and his family again, and to meet Leighton & Sue – if only briefly – too.

Then it was in to the theatre, where we found we were so close to the stage that I could’t stretch my legs out to their full extent – and I’m only 5’2”!  Fortunately it’s not a high stage, so we still had a good view.

Ralph arrived on stage in his pinstripe-suit and brown boots just a couple of minutes late, and launched straight into  ‘Sand in Your Shoes’ (played on Miss Gibson!). This had a couple of additions to the lyrics: ‘..just a little sand in your shoes.. and where’s the reverb gone?’  and, towards the end of the song  ‘….in my shoes, and a little bit more voice in my ear please’! (fitted perfectly with the tune!) The sound problems seemed to cause a few problems to start with – resulting in a few similar requests between songs.

He then told the now familiar story about his meeting with Rev. Gary Davies, which of course led into ‘Hesitation Blues’

 ‘Now this Has Started’, ‘First Song’ and ‘Gypsy’ came next. (Though not exactly in that precise order!).  As far as I can remember, there were no introductions to any of these songs – he just went straight from one to the other.

Then he spoke about his various black, blind and dead guitar heroes, which lead into ‘To Ramona’, followed by ‘Anji’ – before which he spoke about Miss Gibson – though he didn’t actually mention her name!

Next came ‘ Clare to Here’, which he introduced by talking about how pleased he was that this song has been described as ‘Traditional’ – mentioning how many good songs are written by that excellent writer Trad, and his friend Anon.

This was followed by ‘Georgia Bound’ – and comments about the desirability – or otherwise – of eating possum!

I can’t remember exactly the order of the last few!  He obviously sang SOL – about which he said there’s not a lot to say. He explained about his theory of poetry as a lead-in to ‘Lost Boys’.  Then he spoke about ‘Still in Dreams’- he said it was all about beginnings, and the intensity of love.

‘Wild Cape Horn’ has additional  lyrics sung between the 1st and 2nd verses – something along the lines of ‘ I’ve started this 2 frets too low, but I’m going to carry on anyway’, which brought a burst of laughter from the audience.

His encore was ‘The Setting’.

As a possible addition to the discussion on the attitude of theatre staff to Ralph’s signing sessions – shortly after the end of the performance someone began ordering us to ‘clear the theatre please’. We’d already spoken to Donard, and where waiting for John, who was then talking to him, so we told this person that we were waiting for someone, but were ordered to leave. Another lady almost got locked in – they certainly seemed in a hurry to get rid of us!


Apart from that – a wonderful evening, and great to meet more of you.


Naomi  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 19, 2006, 12:30:09 PM
Thanks, Naomi.  You're obviously up before me on Sundays!  It was such a pleasure to meet you and Carl, and most of the North West TalkAwhile contingent. I scanned the front rows of the several balconies, but there was no sign of an aged male politician.  Maybe Sir Bob's coach wasn't allowed on the M60.   Shame, Bob, you missed a pearler, as you'll have gathered from Naomi's splended review.

You passed on just two songs, Naomi - 'Tequila Sunset' and 'Blues Run the Game' (which, incredibly, has just this second started on my CD player!).  I think you may have mixed up the two Gibson guitars Ralph played.  I believe he opened and closed the set on the 'new' J45, and played Miss Gibson ("My hands grew around this guitar") the rest of the evening.  Maybe Leighton or Geoff can confirm which was which?  Whichever, they both sounded beautiful, thanks, in large part, to Donard, who, as Naomi has intimated, was kept busy, and who richly deserved the round of applause Ralph led in recognition of his skill.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Sir Robert Peel on November 19, 2006, 03:29:17 PM
Let me just check a couple of things with you.  Am I right in thinking that Sir Alf  has, like the rest of us, two hands and ten digits?  I only ask because, it didn't sound like that to me - he's got more fingers than that, surely?  I find his guitar playing just astonishing and breath-taking, even before I turn to those superlative images in his songs.

I was the person who shouted out, to no-one in particular, 'Crikey, how good was that!' at the end of Davey Graham's 'Anji'.  That was me blowing my nose loudly at the end of Lost Boys and From Clare to Here.   I wasn't shedding a tear at the poignant Setting, I had something in my eye - honest!  Where did the time go?  Why did it have to end?

I was much miffed that the bar was shut after the gig and that my chums and I had to de-brief the experience in the car-park.  I didn't recognise a single soul from their Talkawhile portraits and, much to my chagrin, I still haven't met His Beresfordness.  And the batteries in my camera died.   Despite those disappointments and the flatness of an anti-climax, we agreed that our night had all the ingredients of a matchless experience that would be difficult to top. 

But it made us even hungrier for the next time. 

Sir Robert Peel


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Geoff on November 19, 2006, 05:27:01 PM
Sorry I'm late - had a busy day!

Really not much to add to the splendid reviews above...we did have the pleasure of a brief chat with Donard before the show, who informed us that they were heading down to Bangor following the gig - another very good reason for Ralph not to stick around afterwards?

"Miss Gibson" was the rather battered looking one (the front one of the two) that he played most of the evening, but he did start on the "other" J45!

Sir Bob - the downstairs bar was open after the show - we stayed until about 11.00 or thereabouts.

A splendid evening - had two friends with us who hadn't seen him live before - they are now duly addicted, of course!

I did occasionally spare a thought for Marianne......


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 19, 2006, 05:27:59 PM

You passed on just two songs, Naomi - 'Tequila Sunset' and 'Blues Run the Game' (which, incredibly, has just this second started on my CD player!).  I think you may have mixed up the two Gibson guitars Ralph played.  I believe he opened and closed the set on the 'new' J45, and played Miss Gibson ("My hands grew around this guitar") the rest of the evening.  Maybe Leighton or Geoff can confirm which was which?  Whichever, they both sounded beautiful, thanks, in large part, to Donard, who, as Naomi has intimated, was kept busy, and who richly deserved the round of applause Ralph led in recognition of his skill.

Oops - though I may have been up before you, I obviously wasn't  fully awake!

I had Tequila Sunset on the list I  hastily scrawled before writing the review - but missed it out. I thought I'd missed out a bluesy one, but as Carl couldn't remember what it was either, I assumed I'd been mistaken. As far as the guitars are concerned - thinking about it again, I'm sure you're right.
Definitely wasn't awake!   :-[  ;)

You're quite right about the deserved applause for Donard too - I meant to mention that. After the performance we thanked him, and Carl commented on the complexity of the sound desk given that it's for one performer, and Donard was kind enough to spend a couple of minutes explaining about the different aspects of sound engineering, and the functions of the various parts of the equipment. He mentioned that there had been mics set up to capture 'ambient audience sounds' -  an intimation that more 'Songs For Six Strings' may be forthcoming maybe?

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on November 20, 2006, 10:05:26 AM
Bit late I know but this is the first opportunity I've had!  We saw Ralph in Andover on Thursday and as ever he was fantastic.

Nice to see Miss Gibson making an appearance.

I'm afraid I don't have the set list.  I went off into the little world that I seem to end up in at Ralph's gigs and all too soon it was the end and I hadn't written down a single song title.  Sorry!

The show somehow seemed even better than ever, maybe because its been a while since I've seen him.  Ralph seemed relaxed and to be thoroughly enjoying himself.  There were a few coded messaged to Donard but no real technical problems.  Not that I noticed anyway, I was too busy listeneing to Ralph to pay any attention to technical hitches.

Roll on the next one.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penguin (Dunc) on November 20, 2006, 11:44:33 AM
Wow!  :o

Saturday at the Lowry was my first experience of Mr McTell playing live indoors and I was completely blown away.  It was one of those concerts where I thought, "Is that all", as Ralph left the stage before the encore, only to realise that I had been so mesmerised by the performance that over one & half hours has passed by.

Not being totally au fait with the works of Sir Ralph I can't comment on every song.  However, I am fairly certain that I stopped breathing during 'Anji' and have to agree with Sir Bob - there is no way anyone can play a guitar like that without having an extra digit, or two, per hand.  I particularly enjoyed 'Wild Cape Horn', 'Lost Boys' and 'Blues Run the Game', though to be honest there wasn't a weak song in the set IMHO.

It's taken me a long time to get round to seeing Ralph live, outside of a festival setting, and I now can't wait for the next tour.  ;) ;D

Cheers
Dunc


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on November 22, 2006, 08:37:09 PM

"Miss Gibson" was the rather battered looking one (the front one of the two) that he played most of the evening, but he did start on the "other" J45!


Poor picture but shows a bit.

Enjoy

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v377/klt/ralph%20book/thegibsons.jpg)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: A french fan on December 16, 2006, 08:21:02 PM
sorry i 've post my message to soon,
So I was in Union Chapel yesterday evening and I am just coming back in France this evening

The concert was divided in two parts

For me the first part was a little difficult because I cannot understand all the meanings of the songs .
but second part enjoy me : the ambiance of the chapel was really excellent to heard Ralph
he sang of course sol and ,"choux fleur",(I have noticed that he had added some other french words regarding the original version),wheather the storm,and Mr Connaughton,Pepper tomatoes and it seems songs of "Gate to Eden" (I have just bought it yesterday )
At the end of the concert He came in the bar to meet his public.
But there was a lot of people queuing so we have only 1 or 2 minutes by person to speak with him (and make some picture)

Domenico Mosca was there also and Ralph was enjoyed (I hope...) to make a picture with his international fan (Domenico and I)

 it was really for me Christmas before the day
Sorry my English is not very good but I try to do my best and to be the first to make a rapport about this concert
I hope that another fan can compete this  rapport (with the list of all the songs...)

Joyeux Noel et Bonne année a tous les membres du Forum
Merry Christmas and Happy new year to all the members of this forum




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Sir Robert Peel on December 17, 2006, 12:38:32 AM
A joyeux Noel et bonne annee aussi, mon brave.  Et merci beaucoup.  Your English is far better than my French and your words - that Christmas came early for you in that little chapel - said all that I needed to know.

Salut!  Vive la France!  

Sir Robert Peel


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on December 17, 2006, 01:03:10 PM
I was at the Union Chapel last night and will write a review later today. Needless to say it was Fab!  Nice to meet up with John, Andy L, Jenny M, Domenico again.  Being able to say hello to Ralph again was like waking up from a terrible nightmare finding that normality had been restored.  Oh well.....

Anyway, I was very good.  Didn't take anything for him to sign - talked a bit of business with him - and had a couple of photos.  Went home happy.

As I say, more later, but in the meantime the set list:

Pastures of Plenty
Georgia Bound
To Ramona
Ludlow Massacre
About a Spoonful
Gates of Eden
You Got To Change Your Mind

Interval

Walk Into The Morning
First Song
Maddy Dances
Heron Song
Wild Cape Horn
Weather The Storm
Streets of London
Sand In Your Shoes
Choux Fleur
Peppers and Tomatoes
The Setting

Encore
Michael in the Garden


P.S. So c'mon then French Fan / Domenico - don't forget to let us see the piccies. ;) (Hope you both had a safe journey back to your respective homes).


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on December 17, 2006, 05:18:38 PM
Union Chapel is a large, non-conformist (Congregational), church building, which is still in regular use for Christian worship and service to the local community.  The title 'Chapel' , whilst in keeping with its Protestant ethos, belies its cathedralesque proportions and uncharacteristally ornate interior.  Unlike most cathedrals, it boasts a splendid acoustic, which the Chapel elders have put at the disposal of concert promoters, and which Donard put to good use on Friday and Saturday evenings to present Ralph's stunning virtuosity at its very best.

We were there last night, and, as Marianne has intimated, the occasion was enhanced by the opportunity to catch up with many friends, and to make new ones as we enjoyed compimentary mulled wine and mince pies in the queue to say 'Hi' to Ralph afterwards.

Thank you once more, Ralph, for sharing this wonderful music with us.  May God bless you and keep you this Christmastide and always.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MelindaJ on March 02, 2007, 09:56:25 AM
Hi I am new to this forum but thought you all might like to hear a little about Ralph's concert here in Australia. I am a new fan of his and saw him perform in his first concert here in Canberra. He told us he was trying to get over a bit of a cold (I couldn't tell). He had a problem with his guitar sound. This went on for about 5 minutes, he talked to his sound guy and they tried to work out what the prob was before Ralph realised he hadn't plugged it in. It was sort of an ice breaker. He did come out to talk to his fans after the show, which surprised me as I'd read here that he wasn't doing this anymore. It was great to buy some of his merchandise as we find it difficult to get anything of his here. I managed to get his autobiography and he signed it for me.

The night before his show Canberra had a rather large and vicious storm, we are in drought here and the rain was welcoming. We are thanking him for bringing good old English weather with him. ;)

Melinda


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on March 02, 2007, 03:24:28 PM
It was another sultry steamy evening in Sydney, and Marion and I arrived at Leichhardt Town Hall, a fine old turn of the century building in this buzzy Italian inner suburb of Sydney.  I sometimes have to persuade M to join me in my acoustic gig attendance, but never with Ralph.  The magic is always there.

Blimey, it was hot inside too, with two ancient ceiling fans (no jokes about upside downers, Henrik!  ;D) fighting a losing battle against the humidity.

A slightly late start and then we were treated to a set by the excellent Pat Drummond, an Australian who meets people and writes about them.  Powerful songs and passionately delivered.  We talked at the interval about how to get him over to the UK next year.  If it happens, don't miss him.  He's at http://www.patdrummond.net

A brief interval to dispel some of the heat, then Ralph took the stage, in a dark shirt and trousers - not suit weather like the UK autumn tour last year!  An elderly J45 in hand and no other, Donard not with him on the tour but the sound tonight was excellent.  He mentioned how hot it was and that he was glad to get away from the terrible weather...... in Canberra, Melinda!  We had knee-deep hailstones in the Blue Mountains earlier in the week too.

He opened by saying that his theme for the evening would be his personal musical journey, and the set began with Nanna's Song, followed by Banjo Man, Hands of Joseph, Walk into the Morning which featured considerable pantomime and childhood anecdotes about the harmonica, Blues Run the Game, From Clare to Here, The Wild Cape Horn (when will we hear it on record???), In Dreams, Summer Girls, Slipshod Taproom Dance, SoL, which featured the innovation of a ladies only chorus, Anji/Lullabye of Birdland/Hit the Road Jack, Peppers and Tomatoes, Mr Connaughton, and an encore of When Did You Leave Heaven?

Highlights for me were Nanna's Song - just the perfect song about early love, Wild Cape Horn which just gets better every time, Peppers and Tomatoes which hasn't lost a shred of its power, plus the way Ralph inserts "in my bones" in the current versions, and Mr Connaughton.  I can't think of anyone who evokes all the complex emotions of childhood like Ralph does, and that song is a gem.

And we got a namecheck, AND he's gone off with a copy of Unfinished Lace, so I'm a happy boy.  And he met the fans at the end too, although in a relatively small venue there wasn't the usual crush, and he was as polite and gentle as ever.  What a lovely man.

Now, the "Farewell Tour" bit.  It was on all the bills, but he said from the stage that he didn't know if he'd be coming back again, which leaves the door open.  I suspect it may be economics as much as anything else which is making Ralph and Leola reappraise their overseas activities.

Now it's my own gig tomorrow night at a private party in Sydney with a borrowed (Maton) guitar.  Wish me luck, people.

David


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on April 14, 2007, 12:00:03 AM
Well it truly was Friday 13th... :o  and I have just come home from seeing Ralph at the Elgiva and have a severe nose bleed. >:(  Bummer. :-\

Anyway, the concert started 25 mins late because of technical hitchings.  Turned out Donard pulled out the wrong plug on the desk and they had to reset it all.  Oops!  Ralph made sure he ribbed him several times during the set about it...!

The acoustics at The Elgiva were absolutely stunning.  The best I have heard for many years in fact.

The set comprised the following (not in the right order as I didn't write it all down)

Weeping Willow
Walk Into The Morning
Ramona
Anji (medley)
Sand In Your Shoes
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Leavin' Liggan Woods
Still In Dreams
Easter Lilies
Streets of London
I'm Not Really Blue
Let Me Fly
Grande Affaire
Lost Boys
The Ferryman
The Wild Cape Horn (which Ralph dedicated to me)
Terminus (encore)

I hope I haven't left any out.

The anecdotes/chat was informative and light hearted in turn.  A couple of highlights: several references to His Bobness, the fact that it was Friday 13th (as this comes in Cape Horn), the fact that a couple got married today and were at the concert and requested The Ferryman.

Had a nice long chat with Donard at the end, bought BoS CD - all in all a really good evening.

Night all.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Gibson on April 23, 2007, 01:26:51 PM
Ralph in Leeds last night and a bit of a strange evening all round.  Set was substantially altered from the previous report (MAJ).  Out went:

Sand In Your Shoes
Slip Shod Tap Room Dance
Leavin' Liggan Woods
Grande Affaire
Lost Boys
The Ferryman
Terminus (encore)

I wasn’t writing it down either, but in came:

Run Johnny Run
Bentley and Craig
Jesus Wept
In the Jailhouse Now
The Setting (encore)

There were probably a couple more to even it up, but for the life of me I can’t remember (sorry).  I think his voice was giving a bit of a problem as there were a few times when he seemed to waver up to the right note.  From an 8pm start we were leaving by 9.40, so maybe there weren’t anymore and he cut it short?  He also made a potentially odd comment, asking people to sign up to an email address list ‘so we can all keep in touch about what’s going on, or not as the case may be’  Make of that what you will . . . .

Still enjoyable, but a bit odd all the same.
 8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on April 23, 2007, 02:27:06 PM
Thanks for the review Gibson.

I was just wondering if any problem with Ralph's voice was connected with the virus he's had recently - bad cough, etc - if so, presumably it's only a temporary hitch.   ???

1hr 40 seems about usual for a Ralph gig these days.

Does seem a bit of a cryptic comment on the end there though. Perhaps things may become clearer as the tour progresses (can't wait to see him tomorrow in Bury)  - or perhaps nothing much was meant by it anyway.  :-\  :)

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Gibson on April 24, 2007, 12:41:45 PM
Hi Naomi,

The voice/virus problems may well be connected - hope all is well in Bury tonight.  Enjoy your evening!

On the subject of odd comments, there were 2 more.  Firstly, Ralph said how much Leeds had meant to him over the years, but just left it with no other explanation.  The second was what he didn't say.  It may be my imagination and I'm quite prepared to be corrected, but I was of the opinion that he would always make some comment near the end of the show about seeing everyone again.  Not this time.

Now I was prepared to treat all these as having alternative explanations, until last night, 24 hours after the event, my wife asked me if I thought some of the comments were a bit odd and did I think it might have sounded as if he wasn't coming back?  Then I thought it wasn't just me.  Obviously there are future shows planned, but maybe this is the start of a winding down process.  Who knows?

Interested to hear any views on the last few dates of this tour.
 8)  


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on April 24, 2007, 11:37:36 PM
Just back from Bury...

No time for a full review tonight, just a bit of reassurance for Gibson, and anyone else concerned:

Nothing cryptic about his comments tonight.  :)

I can't remember his exact words, but when mentioning his website, he seemed to very strongly imply that he was recommending people to join the mailing list because there'd be a lot for them to keep up with.

The (brilliant) performance was 1hr 40 minutes, like the one Gibson was at, and had some of the same songs as at earlier performances, and some different.

He spoke about how much he liked The Met, and urged people to keep supporting it as 'we performers need places like this to keep coming to'. (Probably not his exact words, but close!)

Finally, after thanking the staff of the theatre, and Donard, he closed with the usual 'see you somewhere down the road'.

His voice did sound as if his throat was a little congested occasionally -having had a virus apparently the same as the one he had, I know that it took ages to get my throat and sinuses completely clear, so it will probably be the same for Ralph. Didn't spoil the evening though!  :)

More details later - off to bed now, tired but very happy!  ^-^

Goodnight all,

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on April 25, 2007, 09:40:24 AM
As promised, a little more detail about last night :

The set list in (very approximate) order was:

Weeping Willow
Ramona (A request – he joked that he liked requests, but preferred them to be for his own songs.)
Bentley and Craig – quite a long intro to this one – it was obvious that he’s still (understandably) very angry abut this.
Maginot Waltz
Lost Boys


Ralph said that he supposed that the next 3 could be loosely grouped together under the theme of dreams – the first as it is based on a vivid dream he once had, the second for obvious reasons, and the third as it’s about dreams going wrong.

Run Johnny Run
Still in Dreams
I'll Keep This With Mine

Anji
I’m Not Really Blue
SOL
(Launched straight into this one, with no comment before or after.)
Let Me Down Easy (Another request)
Jesus Wept
Wild Cape Horn

The Setting
(Encore, dedicated to Jenny Melmoth.)


After the gig at the Lowry last November, some of us commented that Ralph seemed to talk very little between songs – well he certainly made up for it last night, I’m delighted to say. At one point he said himself that he felt he had taken up too much time with talking, and would have to make the intro’s shorter if he was to fit in all the songs on his list. He managed to keep this up for all of two, maybe three songs!  ;D

Sound was mostly good – seemed to me (no expert at all, I admit) to be a little unbalanced at first – coming mainly from the stage right speakers.  I noticed Donard creeping about at the back of the (stage left) block of speakers during Maginot Waltz, and it did seem to improve after that.

The only downside of the evening was the couple immediately in front of us who fidgeted constantly and whispered loudly and repeatedly – including throughout the beautiful introduction to ‘Still in Dreams’. Ever felt an intense longing to bang two people’s heads together?  We were only five rows from the front, next to the aisle, and knowing how keen Ralph’s sight and hearing are, I was just hoping that they weren’t bothering him.  Grrrr!  >:(   >:(

It was lovely to meet up with John, Angie, Leighton and Sue again, plus a number of other Ralphites.

I was also particularly pleased to hear ‘I'll Keep This With Mine', as I don’t think I’ve ever heard it live before. I love the phrase ‘relentless rhododendron rain’ –  it’s so atmospheric - Ralph conjures up sight, sound, smell and touch in just three words – brilliant!  :o

Ralph seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself, and full of enthusiasm - certainly didn't seem to give the impression that he's ready to retire - quite the opposite in some ways - maybe Leeds was maybe just a blip!

That’s all I can think of for now, but I’m sure John and Leighton (and possibly Carl) will have more to add.

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 03, 2007, 01:58:58 PM
I've just spotted a review of Ralph at Truro here (http://just-for-lookin-thru.blogspot.com/2007/04/ralph-mctell-truro-19-april-2007.html)  on someone's blog.

The last line captures how I feel after one of Ralph's gigs exactly!

'Ralph walks quietly off the stage, sending the audience out into the night all smiling and looking profoundly calm. Sigh.'   :)

(Especially the sigh  ;) )

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Anji on May 03, 2007, 09:43:07 PM

Wow! What a wonderful picture she paints of a Ralph concert that we know and love so well, and as she says......sigh....  :)


Blimeyheck, you lot  ;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Cocker Freeman on May 03, 2007, 10:07:51 PM
Nurse!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on May 05, 2007, 08:30:39 AM


You have no idea what you are missing, Anji,
but some day soon we shall convert even you  ::)


 :D ;D  I have a Ralph Mctell album, you know  :o :)


Ah, but have you heard him play 'Anji', Anji?

Play list from The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 28th April 2007:

Weeping Willow
North Country Fair
Bentley and Craig
(If you think I'm crazy 'bout you, etc) - can't remember the title
Maginot Waltz
Run Johnny Run
Heron Song (Sigh...)
Walk into the morning
Anji  ;)
Streets of London
Peppers and Tomatoes
After Rain
Red and Gold
I'm not really blue
Wild Cape Horn
(Encore) Nettle Wine (Sigh...)

Jess


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on May 05, 2007, 12:28:42 PM
Berwick-on-Tweed

Ralph, free and happy at the penultimate concert of the tour
His shiny suit sliding his harmonica to his left ear!

His happiness is contagious and we relax into the music
Run Johnny Run takes us away into his dream.

My memories go back through time,
And the emotion of many concerts
All aggregate into one.

Now, lost in a mixture of dreams, the concert ends.
Too soon as usual.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on May 05, 2007, 01:35:03 PM
Thanks Lucienne -

Excellent review - captures the atmosphere perfectly.

You forgot the sigh  ;)

Carl


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on May 05, 2007, 10:08:38 PM
The sigh? Its like the P in Psighcology  ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on September 18, 2007, 09:59:02 AM

There's a new interview with Ralph here (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/mcinterview2007.html) on the R A and S site - gives some more detail about both the upcoming tour, and the new autobiographical CD's.


Right at the bottom, a little about the future....

It is a long road and I don't know how long and how much longer I am going to continue and get round all these places and do all this work. I am thinking maybe I have a future as a writer and recording artist and maybe travel less. I am already pulling my horns in as I announced my Australian Tour was my farewell tour. I have pulled away from touring in Europe- I doubt if I will ever play in America now. Having done these dates I am not sure what the future holds in terms of live performance. I want to keep my standards up. I don't want to hear people say Ralph looked a bit tired or he is probably getting ready to come off the road.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on September 24, 2007, 04:44:15 PM
Will post a proper review of Ralph at Darwin last night later, but just wanted to say for now that we had a brilliant time, and that Ralph was really on excellent form. Can't understand why he's worried that people might think he appears tired/old when he performs. He seemed full of energy last night - relaxed and clearly enjoying himself - unless he's an extrordinarily good actor!  ;)

He's obviously got rid of the virus that was apparently slightly affecting his voice in the Spring tour - his singing was mellow, rich and free of frogs in the throat  ;D

Great to meet up with lots of Talkawhilers and other Ralphites again too.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on September 24, 2007, 06:39:12 PM

Ralph at Darwen  on the Up Close tour.

We arrived in plenty of time to meet up with fellow Talkawhilers. It was great to meet up with Leighton and Sue, John B and Angie and Geoff as well as many other regular Ralphites. :)

We spoke to Donard briefly as he was going by.  He said Ralph was raring to go. “You mean  pacing up and down the dressing room”? I asked. “That’s about right” he replied. ;D

On stage were 3 guitars, Miss Gibson, a Gibson 12 string (new to Ralph)  and another 6 string which had it’s back to me which Ralph didn’t use (but he did pick it up once and put it back down)

Ralph entered and started by talking about tonight’s show.

He opened with Pastures of Plenty
Pretty Boy Floyd
To Romona
Ludlow Massacre

(This received fairly subdued applause – I mean how on earth you applaud a song about the murder of children.  I suppose everybody felt the same – the subject matter demands subdued applause)
Sweet Jivin’ Woman
Love Minus Zero
You Got To Change Your Mind

All of the above were played on Miss Gibson
Ralph switched to the 12 string for
Gates of Eden
I was sitting about 2 feet from the stage right speakers – the fuller, deeper sound of the 12 string nearly rattled my fillings loose.
Ralph announced a request section for any of his songs.  I was all geared up to ask for National Seven or Saucer and Cup and was left momentarily flummoxed by this.  Many other people weren’t,
There followed  requests for Naomi – I couldn’t see a piano anywhere on stage  ::),  Tickle on the Tum- “Does your Mum know you’re out this late” asked Ralph. ;)

Ralph played
Clare to Here
Mr Connaughton
Hiring Fair

Then
Glory of Love
Corrine what makes you treat me so

Another request was
Heron Song  - played on the 12 string  as was
Working on the Railroad – I know this was a request John Beresford made earlier before the show
Song for Woody closed the main set

Ralph allowed a final request for the encore and agreed to do two:

A Feather Fell
Summer Lightning


Ralph looked relaxed and seemed to be really enjoying himself.  It was well worth the 75 miles up the motorway to Darwen.  Ralph opened at 8:05 and finally closed at 9:50  :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on September 24, 2007, 06:45:19 PM
Cracking review Carl.

Ralph was really up for it, and I really enjoyed the show.

Great to see old friends again.  :)



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 24, 2007, 10:57:32 PM
Seconded, Leighton, on all counts.

Ralph chatted easily between the songs, explaining their sources and what they meant to him.  And the guitar work was beautiful throughout.

Carl, the third guitar was a sister to Miss Gibson - he had played her at Shaw the night before, whilst Miss Gibson sat serenely by Ralph's right hand.

Bury tomorrow...   8)

John.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on September 24, 2007, 11:06:41 PM
Thanks John and Leighton for your comments.
Thought it might be a Gibson but couldn't be sure.  Have a great time tomorrow at your local John.  :)  I know you really like hearing Streets but for us it made a very pleasant change to go through the set without it.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 24, 2007, 11:21:11 PM
LOL!  That's two night running that NO-ONE has requested SoL.  Let's see if we can make it a hat-trick...

John.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on September 25, 2007, 07:31:26 PM

Just remembered something else I wanted to mention about the gig in Darwen.  ::)

When Ralph sang 'Mr Connaughton' he inserted a line I hadn't heard before.

After the lines '...you said it was a lucky man had a gap between his teeth,
For a while I had a gap too, but it closed when my big teeth came through...'
he sang 'there wasn't anything I could do'.

Just wondered if anyone's heard that line before (except for those of you who heard it at Darwen of course  ;) ) - or has noticed any other songs being altered or added to in live performance.  Though I've heard Ralph say that some people have objected to him changing songs when he performs them I like to hear these new bits - anyone agree     :-\  :)

Naomi


Hi Naomi.  Yes, I've heard Ralph add those words.  He usually gets a few giggles at that point in the song and I think he is trying to prolong the contact he has made with the audience.

I love to hear Ralph making modifications to/embellishing his songs.  For me it keeps them fresh (and, presumably, for him too).  If he just played them exactly as they are rendered on CD, I would be bored, I think he would too.  

Jess  


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gmf (Giles) on September 29, 2007, 08:58:30 AM
Saw Ralph at Sleaford last night - I'm pleased to say that, although playing his 7th gig in 8 days - he was not only apparently fit and well but he was playing and singing as well as ever. Certainly his (very high)  standards haven't dropped since the last time I saw him 5 years ago.

This was the first  date in the "As Far As I can Tell" preview tour, and so Ralph read from his 2 volumes of autobiography and some poems as well as singing 'personal' songs. These included some of his very best including 'Barges', 'From Clare to Here', 'Streets of London' and 'Bentley & Craig', plus some others I didn't know.

All in all 1 hour 50 mins of top class entertainment to a sell out audience all of whom went home extremely happy, but also wishing the evening could have been twice as long!  


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on September 30, 2007, 10:28:56 PM
A truly magical evening in Bungay last night, which all contributed to a magical weekend (see TUT AND Radio Times!!)

Small low-roofed theatre, seating around 200, Ralph on stage with more instruments than we've seen for a while - newish j45, old j45, Gibson 12-string, Fender mandolin AND a banjo.

He explained the format of the evening, combining readings and songs, and apologises that he's still working through it and that it's likely to speed up as he responds to the time prompts, and then sets off on that wonderful evocation of first memories from Angel Laughter.  Marion, who bought me the books but hasn't yet read them, is startled by the quality of the prose and the vivid imagery, but later realises that someone who paints pictures with his lyrics was always going to write wonderful prose.

First song stop is a new song I've never heard before, As Far as I can Tell, strummed gently on the mandolin.  As the familiar dark-brown tones sweep from the stage, I know it's going to be another special Ralph evening.

He then talks about his father's job as a truck driver and his paternal grandad's job as a driver on the Brighton Belle in the days of steam, confesses that he must have been totally traumatised by the experience when they took him from Croydon to Brighton on the footplate as he can't remember a thing about it, but then proceeds to pick up the 12-string and roll out another new song, The Pretty Brighton Belle, which is as much about the relationship between his father and grandfather as it is about the train.

The same pattern of reading and reminiscence continues as he works his way through some old favourites - Mrs Adlam's Angels, Barges, and a bravura reading of the images of Uncle Alf shaving, Big Tree on the banjo, then a change of mood from wistful to darkness and the best live rendition I've yet heard of Bentley and Craig, a thigh-slap accompaniment to the spoken Old Puggy Mearns.  Then a change of pace and away from the lectern as he has to move ahead quickly towards the desired end point, starting with reminiscences of Gill and another new song, which seems to be called This is for Those, about finding love when you're young, beautiful and as always very moving.  Final straight, with From Clare to Here, Heron Song and finally Nanna's Song, as life turns full circle.  A brief interlude and then back for SoL, but this time with some of the background, describing his initial desire to write a song about people sleeping rough in Paris, but realising that the same thing was happening back in London.

I look at my watch.  Two hours have passed and it's as if he was just starting.  Ralph can make time stand still.  We would still be sitting there if the clock hadn't intervened.  After 30 years of Ralph gigs, last night was one of the best, maybe even the very best, that I have attended.  You are all in for something very, very special.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on October 01, 2007, 04:04:09 PM
Just returned  home after a fabulous weekend on the Suffolk coast which of course took in Bungay, Cant really top Davids review as it sums it up to a tee. Been to see Ralph oh so many times over the last 25 years and as much as they are all great events the format of this tour takes you places you haven't been before and i think it will get even better as the tour goes on, the new songs are great and Old Puggy Mearns accompanied by Mr Mctell on the palm and trouser was a treat. cant wait till Ludlow when we are doing it all over again.

Mark and Angela



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Hedgehog on October 05, 2007, 10:42:16 AM
Saw Ralph at Bridport last night, at the lovely, intimate Arts Centre theatre (which continues to put the bigger local venues to shame!).  Can't write a better review of the gig than any that've already been posted; having never seen Ralph on tour before, and given that he wasn't doing a 'normal' set, we were open-minded about it all and ended up being knocked out!  I think some folks were disapponted that he didn't come on for an encore (ie, so that he'd play SOL), but it would have spoiled it for us.  Pity we couldn't stick around to say hi and shake his (unwarty!) hand afterwards, but I'm sitting here still feeling the magic this morning.....  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 27, 2007, 08:33:03 PM
Trowbridge review in the Wiltshire Times here (http://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/mostpopular.var.1785680.mostviewed.ralph_returns.php).

Naomi   :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 02, 2007, 02:59:25 PM
Banbury, November 2007.

A place and date to remember.

In my opinion last night was one of the most special McTell evenings in many a year.

Ralph's readings from his autobiographies were both moving and illuminating.  Brought the events to life.  It was so good to hear some very early material too like Mrs. Adlam's Angels, Factory Girl, Nanna's Song.  They are still as fresh and relevant today as they were when they were written.  

Good to see many familiar faces in the audience too.  Wonderful to talk to Ralph again afterwards.  

An exceptional evening.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 02, 2007, 05:10:30 PM
St Mary's, Banbury, is a large shared Anglican and United Reformed church building in an imposing position near the famous Banbury Cross.  If we did not fill its 500 seats we must have come close.

As well as the many friends we met, there were some new faces.  Two ladies next to me were locals who had not seen Ralph before.  As Marianne noted, they were treated to a McTell special.

The readings-and-songs format is a triumph.  Do go to one of the shows on the "As Far As I Can Tell" tour if you possibly can - you will not be disappointed.

John.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 02, 2007, 09:39:50 PM
I'll third the above. It was a very special night;D

I'd not heard him do any readings before but that voice captivated me from the start :)

I love his use of language and imagery, poetry in prose form, and I could 'see' the images he was describing. (I see his songs in pictures too :-X) Hearning some of the stories of his time in and around Banbury whilst being there was quite poignant. He also had a veritable musical armoury - 3 guitars, a mandolin and a banjo. The songs were beautiful too and the evening flew by. Now to read the books in one go, instead of dipping into random chapters

It was excellent to see him afterwards - just to say 'thanks' ,and to get the new cd and my copy of 'Time's Poems' signed. ;D . For once I managed two, I think, coherent sentences :-[ :-X

And I'm still smiling ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Henrik on November 03, 2007, 12:59:57 AM
Thanks for your lovely little reviews Maj, John and Delfini the "Free-rider"  :D

Almost like being there myself - keep them coming, please.
Any pics from this special gala event ?

This only reminds me even more how much these concerts and / or reading sessions
really deserve to be captured on video / DVD for posterity ... and for us. Having
watched several times the great London Show DVD, that some of you were so kind to
send to me a while ago, has only given me a huge appetite for more video material of
Ralph in action - all those fantastic, amazing, moving songs performed with great virtuosity
and feeling that were not there, but definitely should have been !


So now I really need to get going with my promised request to Leola - does anyone here want to cosign
( no, that's not "cosine", John  ;) ) such a partition letter ? Or come up with any ideas for it maybe ?
What is the best tactics on how to approach and soften up Ralph and co., Maj ?  ::)


Ah, and I really wish I could go, John, but you see my Lear jet has a flat tyre at the moment,
and you probably have some rough idea how expensive they are  ...  8)

Henrik


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on November 17, 2007, 01:20:13 PM
Ralph at Pacific Road Birkenhead

An empty stage

Well empty apart from a stool, a table, a mic, 3 Gibson guitars (Miss Gibson, another J45, and a 12 String) and a banjo

Ralph enters with a Gibson mandolin ( I get the feeling that Mr and Mrs Yamaha will be asking for their guitar back before long ).

He opens the show with “the shrunken guitar” as he describes it and plays
As far as I can tell
A couple of readings from childhood and
Brighton Belle ( 12 string)
A hilarious reading of his uncle shaving – not only the audience were laughing but Ralph started cracking up too.
Barges –  on Miss Gibson,  a song for his brother ( I stopped noticing which 6 string Gibson was being used after this)
Readings about the Sunday school
Mrs Adlams’ Angels ( 6 string)
Big Tree ( banjo) preceded by various banjo jokes – I won’t say them here- don’t want to spoil the punch lines for those of you still waiting to see him -  He also invited banjo jokes from the audience – get them ready!
Bentley and Craig  - He’s STILL angry about this and he played both versions of the ending.  It worked well.
Then into the poem definitely described as a skipping rhyme – Old Puggy Mearns ( tapping on back of book and foot tapping)
Lost Boys – this was the first departure from the CD , in place of ‘Pick up a gun’  I wasn’t sure which I wanted to hear,  from Ralph’s point of view I’m sure he doesn’t want to stick just to the CD and play the same set every night, and it would be a bit predictable. From my point of view I’ve seen him play LB several times but never seen him play ‘Pick up a gun’
Anji  
Another reading – Ralph and Jill hitch hiking  
When they were young  ( only written this summer)
A story of being on the road in Yugoslavia discovering his smashed Harmony guitar
Heron Song – 12 string
Hesitation Blues to end. He said he’s recently got back in touch with Gary Peterson and recently realised just how much he’s “McTellerised”  HB.  

Encore
Nanna’s song  (It was a bit obvious he’d end with this.)  And there we ended – as he’s said before up to this point it was his story, after that it’s their story and he has no intention or writing about that.  

A request to make sure we all sign up for his newsletter because there’s lots he’s got planned.  

It was an interesting show.  A lot different from the normal – a few less songs because of the readings but not many less
and I really enjoyed it. The sound was excellent and Ralph looked relaxed and full of energy.  Considering he’s been touring since September with only a short break in October he looks less tired than I’ve seen him at other times.  This time was also a bit special for us because we took our 13 year old daughter for the first time.  She remembered the promise we made some time ago –‘you can come when you’re a teenager’ – She still wanted to and she enjoyed it too.  Not bad Ralph – you can still entertain grannies and teenagers alike.

Carl  (some bits from Naomi)   :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 20, 2007, 06:06:30 PM
Back on topic... Ralph played The Lowry in Salford on Saturday and Sunday. We went Sunday. This was the penultimate gig of the tour, and I was looking out for differences from the second gig - at Banbury - two and a bit weeks previously.

The first difference was the stage layout.  In Banbury St Mary's church Ralph had his 'performance space' set up altar left, from where he sat to sing the songs, but stood up to move to the lectern altar right for the readings.  At The Lowry, Ralph remained seated centre stage for both.  Each format was entirely appropriate for its setting.

The opening of both sets was the same - As Far As I Can Tell on the mandolin, followed by Ralph's earliest memories, then Brighton Belle on a Gibson J45.  I say 'a' Gibson because 'Miss Gibson', whom Ralph had played at Banbury, developed a fault during Saturday's show, and Ralph had to play the substitute on Sunday.  As the evening progressed, I found it difficult to remember whether I'd heard the stories at Banbury or on the CD.  We were in the front row on Sunday - scarily close! - and could see very clearly the dust cover of the book Ralph was reading from.  I thought, "Is the updated autobiography out already?", but it turns out he had folded a tour leaflet over what I assume was a copy of Angel Laughter.

At Banbury, Ralph had followed a well-planned pattern of reading(s) followed by an illustrative song, whereas Sunday's performance was freer.  Some of the readings, he explained, were not on the CD, and some imprompu anecdotes were not in the book.  (The 'new' book might be out this year, BTW.)  Similarly, where Banbury's songs were mainly from the CD, Salford's set emphasized the depth of repertoire Ralph has at his disposal, as we were treated to Lost Boys, Anji and Hesitation Blues, all fitting perfectly into the story he was weaving.

And then the icing on the cake at both venues - the invitation to stay awhile afterwards for a natter.  Which we gratefully accepted, along with several friends whom we have made over the years, and with whom we shared a bottle of wine in the bar till we were politely shown the door.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 23, 2008, 09:27:40 PM
There's an interesting preview of the tour from the Liverpool Daily Post here (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-life-features/liverpool-arts/2008/10/22/touring-is-in-my-blood-says-signer-mctell-64375-22088592/)

I'm very glad to see that he's been missing touring so much - let's hope that means he won't be stopping for a good while!

(I didn't know that Ralph was a 'signer' though!  ;D )

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 24, 2008, 12:37:21 AM
I didn't know that Ralph was a 'signer' though!


Must be Scouse for Signor - a man from south of Runcorn.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on October 25, 2008, 12:00:24 PM
Ralph at the Brindley, Runcorn  24 October 2008.

We arrived at the Brindley with plenty of time to spare, thanks to a combination of us getting the start time wrong and our driver’s fear of being late anywhere.
Plenty of DVD’s are being sold and Naomi buys a Ralph McTell shopping bag! These are black jute with a couple of Ralph verses on and even a tribute to Bob on the label – the answer is not blowing in the wind (like plastic bags) the answer is a Jute bag
The Brindley is a very comfortable modern theatre (420 seats), soft blue chairs and plenty of leg room.
There’s quite a deep stage and it looks like Ralph wants to be as far away from us as possible because right at the back of the stage are the mic and guitar stands – No chair or stool.
Looking around there’s a very mixed age audience, it looks as though our daughter Ellie (14) will be the youngest there but a younger girl (about 10) comes into the row in front of us.
The auditorium is pretty much full with just a few odd seats empty.

Donard has been on stage and placed Ralph’s steel National Guitar, Gibson 12 string and Gibson J45 on their stands.

The lights dim and Ralph enters at 8:08, He’s switched from the suit of the last few tours to jeans and ordinary pale blue shirt. He’s wearing his harmonica brace, he picks up the J45 and we get a blast of feedback to bring pain to our ears.  
When you consider how much stage fright Ralph suffers from this must be the worst possible start to a first night.  A couple more attempts and failures follow – Ralph has no sound in his ear piece.  He asks Donard to come down to the front and puts aside the Gibson and picks up the National.  “These were made for the jazz bands before amplification and just use a mic”

We go into the first song in the spontaneously rearranged set list
Georgia Bound  followed by a
Guitar Shuffle – this was based on a Rev Gary Davies piece.  During this Donard was also shuffling around, switching cables and things.  A round of applause requested for Donard.
“Well” said Ralph, “I wanted to start in a different way and I suppose I have”

Ralph switched back to the Gibson and launched into
Walk into the Morning  and
Summer Girls
A short talk about the time of year and his Grandad and 2 uncles who all went into the first world war and all came home – was this going to be Lost Boys?.  Pick up a Gun?.  To our delight it was
Maginot Waltz.  Naomi had said that if there was one old song she really wanted to heat it would be this one.  I don’t think we’ve ever seen it performed on stage or it was a long time ago if we have.
There followed a request for Mrs Green, who will be 100 in December which probably means she’s the oldest present tonight.
Clare to Here.

Ralph switched to the 12 string.  “ Out of all the songs I’ve written, I’ve written 300 – No I’ve written more than that,  this one has never been requested.  So this is out of spite!”
Country Boys.  – This has been rejigged and there were 2 verses on the end that I'm sure aren't on the album, though they are in 'Time's Poems'.
Bert Jansch played along with Ralph on the Easy album version of the next one originally but since he was on his own and wanted a fuller sound it was also a 12 string song
Run Johnny Run  “about a  funny sort of dream” this was followed by something I hardly recognised, it was in a much slower tempo than on the album
Fear of Flying, taking Kenneth Williams’ quote, ‘Life is like a bus journey’ as its basis.

Back to the 6 string for the remainder of the set.

The Ferryman
First and Last Man – This advertises the shopping bag or does the shopping bag advertise this?

Ralph hadn’t actually done as much between song chatter as he often does, several songs had started with either no comment or only the briefest comment.  He took the opportunity now to talk about the book ( on sale in the foyer) and the As Far As I Can Tell tour followed by the Country Blues tour which had both been enjoyable but hard work.  On those tours he’d been able to ‘get out of playing’ a certain song. He said he’s never, ever been interested in appearing onTop of the Pops, just wanted to play  his own music his way, nevertheless he was quite grateful for the song:
Streets of London – I felt a bit sad that this was greeted by applause and cheers – I think we’ve had this discussion before, but it felt especially inappropriate to cheer it on when Ralph had just been talking about being able to get out of playing it.
Peppers and Tomatoes
The Harmonica went back on – he’d changed the key but did say that ‘His Bobness’ once played the wrong key and had it upside down but everyone still applauded
Michael in the Garden
I Don’t Think About You and
Lost Boys  briefly commented on afterwards as being in the same vein as Maginot Waltz
‘And this will be the last one, Thanks for coming out tonight’
Around the Wild Cape Horn  -  We certainly got our money's worth on this one. He missed  out a verse (about having a turkey) went on,   ate the turkey, went back, sang the missing verse, continued, sang ‘The turkey got sick (again) and we ate him quick (again)’ accompanied by a sheepish grin.   I think we love him all the more when he does things like this!

Exit stage right to tremendous applause.

Ralph returned for the encore,
‘Next time I’ll remember to tell you we had a turkey before I tell you we ate it.  A quiet one to finish’
Terminus -  and then to our delight a second encore,
The Girl from the Hiring Fair.

Ralph left the stage at 10:00

We left delighted and exhilarated.  We went with our daughter and 2 friends, Rachel saw Ralph years ago and was wanted to see him again ever since, Ian wasn’t really sure he’d like it. As we expected Ralph worked his magic and Ian thought him brilliant too.  

Carl – (and Naomi)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on October 25, 2008, 04:19:04 PM

Ralph at the Brindley, Runcorn  24 October 2008.

Country Boys.  – This has been rejigged and there were 2 verses on the end that I'm sure aren't on the album, though they are in 'Time's Poems'.


The version which is in Time''s Poems is actually the original version which was added as an extra track on the CD of Streets. This was originally intended for that album, but was left off to make way for Streets of London.  A slower version without the last verse and bridge were then recorded for Right Side Up, his next released album. In between he also recorded it with Shel Talmy in Amarica but this remails unreleased.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 28, 2008, 01:08:51 AM
Enjoy the Croydon gig, Jo and Rich (and anyone else going). I believe this is the official launch of the AFAICT book, and Ralph will be signing copies. 

I will be taking two friends to Chesham on Thursday, neither of whom have seen Ralph before. (One of them told me an interesting tale (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/brightonbelle.html) about the Brighton Belle.) I expect to see Marianne there, too!  8)

Then on Saturday we're off to Brum to see Ralph with The Dylan Project.  We are so looking forward to seeing the staged production of Ralph's Dylan Thomas Project... ::)

John
Running...



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SarahG on October 29, 2008, 12:03:56 PM


Saw Ralph in Basingstoke last night and he just gets better and better!



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 30, 2008, 09:13:09 AM
The evening began with a wobbly beginning for me last night! I already knew the purchases I wanted, so queued up nicely at the table like we British do and left a polite gap when a lady pushed in front of me, she was enquiring about the bags, asking if they had any more, other than the one on display. I think she thought it was the local market stall!  ::) Anyway there seems no real order to these queues and I felt sorry for the boy (!) behind the desk, he didn't know which way to turn, so in the end I had to speak up to ask if credit card was ok for the purchases (I rarely carry cash, bit like the Queen!  :D ) He replied that the machine had run out of ink and it wouldn't print any receipts so he couldn't use it! How daft I thought because a lot of people pay with card when the amount is quite large. I somehow felt they may have lost out a bit on sales, but judging by his overflowing cash box it didn't look like it. Anyway I had to scurry out of the theatre, back into the cold night and 'Streets of Croydon' to a cash machine, desperately trying to remember my PIN number!  ;D All was not lost, I returned to queue again and finally bought my bag with a Jute in it! That's a crafty way of getting Jutes into this country Henrik avoiding immigration!  ;D

Sorry to disappoint but I didnt scribble any song list in the dark last night. I thought maybe you would be interested in some other stuff that went on! Maybe Rich will fill everyone in with a full running order.

 I would say that the mix of songs was an all time favourite for me, covering new songs from 'As Far As I Can Tell', right back to 'First and Last Man' but the best bit was 'You well meaning' played on the Grand Piano! He played 2 songs on it, the other being 'Naomi'

I thought the National Guitar sounded great too. Ralph didnt read any bits from his book because he said he wanted to tell the stories and crack on with the songs. He was in good voice and he obviously felt really relaxed and at home on 'his' Croydon stage, reminiscing about his first stage performance there in the early 60's and some of the performers he had seen there also.

Two of his grandchildren, Isobel and Lewis were in the audience, as he said, "Watching their Grandad on stage for the first time"

After the concert, as the queue for signing grew long and wound around the cafeteria area Ralph came out smiling to an applause from the appreciative queuers and when it was my turn he remembered my name  :-[ signed my 'Water of Dreams' vinyl with a smile and also signed the Ralph on the Mall DVD I had eventually managed to purchase, not easy that cos the black ink on a predominantly black cover looked difficult but he found space inside to sign! He then apologised for not playing my request but said there were just too many songs to fit in. (THE great Ralph McTell apologising to me?!!!!) I replied by saying, "That's ok Ralph, you can make up for it by just smiling at the camera please"  ;D  which he duly did! I told him his concert and songs more than made up for my missed request.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on October 30, 2008, 06:12:17 PM



Sorry to disappoint but I didnt scribble any song list in the dark last night. I thought maybe you would be interested in some other stuff that went on! Maybe Rich will fill everyone in with a full running order.



Of course. this is from memory and not strictly in the correct order:

Maginot Waltz
Brighton Belle
Mr Connaughton
Mrs Adlam's Angels
Barges
Naomi
A Big Bill Broonzy Instrumental
Summer Girls
Old Puggy Mearns
Bentley & Craig

Walk into the Morning
Fear of Flying
First & Last Man
You Well Meaning Brought Me Here
Lost Boys
Georgia Bound
Run Johnny Run
Streets of London
When They Were Young

Terminus
Glory of Love

All in all a good selection of old and new, though my wife enjoyed the first half best as it included all her favourite oldies. Interesting to hear a live version of Fear of Flying, and I agree that it was great to have You Well meaning again. I seem to remember he did this one last time  I heard him at the Fairfield Hall about 23 years ago!




Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 30, 2008, 07:58:37 PM

Great review, Joanna  8)

But incredible that he remembered and was able to connect it with
your face.



This reminded me of something that happened the first time we spoke to Ralph, some years ago - can't memember exactly how long. (I'm sure he wouldn't know us by name, but this shows something about his memory, I think!) The gig took place on St George's Day, and we were thinking how appropriate it would be if Ralph were to perform 'England'. Also, we'd never heard it performed live, though we both like it very much. Carl wrote a short note to Ralph asking him to perform it. We posted it about a fortnight before the show. On the night he did perform it, after commenting that he'd had a couple of requests for it. He mentioned by name someone who'd sent him a request that evening asking for it, so we assumed that he either hadn't received our note, or had forgotten about it.

After the show we queued up to speak to him.  Carl mentioned the letter, and said we were delighted to hear 'England'. Ralph explained that he'd thought some time before that it would be a good song for St George's Day. I assumed that, perhaps not surprisingly, he had forgotten the letter, and we started to chat about the rest of the gig. As we were saying 'goodbye', however, he mentioned something else Carl had said in the letter - and I felt suddenly ashamed of my doubting!  :-[  Not only had he remembered it, but he'd remembered it in enough detail to connect the two comments in the letter. He must truly have an excellent memory.

(The people in front of us in the queue that night presented Ralph with a huge promotional poster of Laurel & Hardy they'd found in the store room of an old shop they'd recently taken over. Ralph's face absolutely lit up with delight. I only wish I had something similar with which to thank him for all the pleasure his music's given me for so many years.)


Thanks for the reviews JJ and Rich  :)

Naomi

Naomi



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on October 30, 2008, 11:41:19 PM
Just home from the Chesham gig.  God what an evening. The sound was absolutely superb.  Three guitars, Gibson 6-string and 12-string and the National.  The sound from the 12-string was stunning.

Set was:

Walk Into The Morning
Summer Girls
Maginot Waltz
Brighton Belle
Georgia Bound
Guitar Shuffle
Fear of Flying
Summer Lightning
When They Were Young
First and Last Man
Statesboro' Blues
Run Johnny Run
Streets of London
The Mermaid and the Seagull
Peppers and Tomatoes
Lost Boys

There was no encore, but......Ralph came out afterwards to sign DVDs and CDs.  

He asked me to say "hello" to everyone on TAW.

Good to see John B and his friends who were McTell-Live Virgins (no more!!) with a Brighton Belle connection.  Very halloween. ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 31, 2008, 12:17:40 AM
Just home from the Chesham gig... what an evening.


Seconded!  Highlights for me were:

'Brighton Belle' on the 12-string.  What a wonderful sound!  My friend Bern was brought up in the Southern Railwaymen's Orphanage, where his father was the Director.... and 'Croydon Jack' the collecting dog was in the foyer!

Big Bill Broonzy's 'Guitar Shuffle' on the National.  As Ralph says elsewhere, "What a merry jangling!"

'Fear of Flying' - so different, almost a new song - breathtaking poetry that I had not noticed before.

'The Mermaid and the Seagull', complete with brass band sound effects.

No encore, but... a chat with Ralph and Donard at the end of a perfect evening.  8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on October 31, 2008, 01:21:06 PM

No encore, but... a chat with Ralph and Donard at the end of a perfect evening.


Yes the chat with them both was an unexpected pleasure.

During Ralph's "chat" during the performance he mentioned two confessions about the origins of two of the songs in the set.... and following John's comment about "breathtaking poetry" I would sum the evening up as one of honesty.  Raw lyrics illustrating events both autobiographical for Ralph and about which other songs were written (e.g. Peppers).  I have come away thinking about the words as if coming across them for the first time and getting something different from them all over again.

Ralph's insight never ceases to amaze me.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Robin on November 01, 2008, 08:58:24 PM
i was at the croyden show and was absolutely blown away. the new songs (especially brighton belle and when we were young) were fantastic as were the classics. i was delighted to hear 'naomi', 'summer girls', 'mrs adlams angels' and the rest. there was something incredibly emotional about the gig, i silently wept like a baby to 'when we were young'. first time that's happened to me at a concert! i can't wait to see ralph again, i'll drag some friends along too!! i can honestly say it was the best concert i've ever seen.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Al on November 03, 2008, 08:58:06 AM
Saw Ralph at Maidenhead last night, almost goes without saying but I enjoyed it immensely. He seemed quite relaxed although there were a couple of glitches, during the opener “Walk Into The Morning” in particular.

I was especially delighted to see him have the 12-string with him again, and even more delighted when he finished with “Run Johnny Run”, having read the previous reviews I was desperate for him to play it but he kepty me waiting right until the last minute !

The sound, as has been remarked, was superb, and Ralph’s voice seemed to be in  fine fettle despite Maidenhead being the last show of what was quite a long sequence of consecutive nights, although I had the old anxious parent feeling I often get when watching Ralph as he tackled “First And Last Man” :-)

It was nice to hear him revisiting some of the older songs, it was a good move I think. As there was no piano at Maidenhead there was no “You Well Meaning…” but instead he followed “Streets..” with “Song For Martin” and then, to my delight because I missed that tour, he did “Puggy Mearns”…. great stuff !

Set-list follows, although as I didn’t take notes I’m not entirely sure when “When Love Was Young” and “Summer Lightning” fitted in but never mind.

Two things of note from last night : I witnessed my first ever stage invasion at a Ralph McTell concert, admittedly he wasn’t on the stage at the time but a group of  arrivals cutting it quite fine time-wise took a short-cut across the stage just before he came on ! Also, I was very impressed by Ralph’s ‘Elvis Pelvis’ as he taps on that pad thingy-me-bob with his left foot ;D

Oh, and he also came out to meet and greet after the gig, one of the reasons I suppose that it started bang on 7.30pm, to allow time for it afterwards.

Walk Into The Morning
Summer Girls
Maginot Waltz
Brighton Belle
Georgia Bound
Guitar Shuffle
Fear Of Flying
Summer Lightning
When They Were Young
First And Last Man
Streets Of London
Song For Martin
Puggy Mearns
Lunar Lullaby
Run Johnny Run

Encore : Mermaid And The Seagull



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 03, 2008, 07:29:29 PM
Info just in from Iconic:

Rich Tapestry from Poorest Beginnings

To support Ralph's concerts in Penzance, Tavistock and Ilfracombe, the Western Morning News ran a major article last Friday.

HERE (http://tinyurl.com/63wt9e) is a link to the online version.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 06, 2008, 11:35:44 AM
There is a review of the Croydon gig in the Croydon Guardian HERE (http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/leisure/leisurenews/3821528.Review__McTell_thrills_Fairfield/)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 09, 2008, 10:54:11 PM

Has anyone got a review of Ralph with the Dylan Project last Saturday at Birmingham?  ???


Ralph opened the show at Birmingham Town Hall with the quip, "It only seems a year since I was last here", a reference to this event being related to Dave Pegg's 61st birthday.  Ralph played a 70-minute set on 6- and 12-string Gibsons (much the same selection as at Chesham) and grand piano ('Naomi'), and later joined the Dylans for their encores, which, of course, included 'Zimmerman Blues'.

The Dylan Project is good fun, especially PJ Wright's pedal and slide guitar work, though it gets a little samey after an hour. Peggy was having fun on bass, and Gerry Conway on drumkit was... well, Gerry.

No meet-and-greet afterwards, but we chatted with several friends, Iconic's Andy F did his Town Crier impersonation with "Get your Fairport Convention bookmarks here", and the merchandise stall did a roaring trade - I know, because Angie bought a job lot of FALM bags (why buy one when five will do?) and I got a T-shirt.  Then it was back outside to a dreadful night and Birmingham's impossible road system that takes you to Walsall to get the motorway to Oxford.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 12, 2008, 09:29:56 PM
There's a review from a Somerset local paper here. (http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/leisure/whats_on/3841998.Ralph_McTell_and_THAT_song/) Not the best of reviews, IMHO, for a number of reasons, including the assertion that people had only gone to hear one song.

I sometimes wonder if journalists who make the sort of claim that this one does about most of the audience being over 50 at Ralph gigs have really taken a good look around when they take their seats, or if they're just regurgitating their own pre-conceived ideas without bothering to check. The majority of people in our row at Runcorn were certainly under 50, and there were plenty more in the auditorium - including at leat 2 under 20. Nothing wrong with being over 50, of course, but one of the amazing things about Ralph is his ability to appeal to people across a very wide age range, and this type of report is therefore very unfair to him.  >:(  This writer even seems to think that no-one under 50 will even have heard of Ralph - presumeably the writer knows nothing about AZ or T on the T.  At least this one hasn't made the usual mistake of thinking that Ralph is calm and at ease when he comes on stage.

Has anyone got any idea please about the 'gospel song with highly ungospel sentiments' that Ralph apparently played live for the first time ever since writing it in 1974?

Naomi

PS The Preston Guildhall website says there are only 9 tickets left fot 26th, so anyone thinking of going had better book soon!



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 12, 2008, 09:43:03 PM
This (http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/cn_lifestyle_music/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=364555) review from Cambridge is better, I think   :D I especially like the story about the American busker.   :)

N


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Blindarthur on November 13, 2008, 08:55:31 AM
The audience in Bristol were quite middle aged and I did not see any youngsters around. In fact one lady in the front row collapsed half way through the concert and needed medical attention. Ralph was a bit surprised by this and there was some dialogue between him and Donard. However it did not result in the next song being "Get me a doctor"!
We all know about Ralph's quality as a writer, performer and musician but the conundrum for him is getting his music out there. He should at least be invited to perform a concert on the BBC4 "In Session" series and in my view should be invited to appear on Jools Holland. His playing would blow some other guys who have appeared there away. I suggest anyone who cares should write to the Beeb and suggest this. The BBC seem to ignore Ralph which is a tragedy and means his music continues to have less impact on the younger generation.
I agree with all of you his performance and playing is better than ever and is a joy to behold.
The Taunton song in question was "Sometimes I wish I could Pray"  


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 13, 2008, 12:18:34 PM

Has anyone got any idea please about the 'gospel song with highly ungospel sentiments' that Ralph apparently played live for the first time ever since writing it in 1974?


The Taunton song in question was "Sometimes I wish I could Pray"


What a strange comment, "highly ungospel sentiments"! Sometimes I Wish I Could Pray is one of Ralph's most soul-baring songs, entirely consistent with the whole of Scripture!!  My old Parish Priest used to say that to sing is to pray twice.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Rich on November 14, 2008, 07:58:43 PM


What a strange comment, "highly ungospel sentiments"! Sometimes I Wish I Could Pray is one of Ralph's most soul-baring songs, entirely consistent with the whole of Scripture!!  My old Parish Priest used to say that to sing is to pray twice.



Apparently Ralph's brother Bruce thought that the song might alienate people with  religious beliefs, presumably because of the implication that praying is childish. I have never considered the song offensive or anti-religious in any way.The words When I was a child I thought as a child, and Now I'm a man I think like a man are  from 1 Corinthians 13 verse 11, and the song is actually about Ralph losing his faith, rather than prayer per se.  Ralph has lost his faith, therefore he can't pray, because why would anyone pray to a divine being they don't believe in? Ralph's regret at losing his faith is a common theme in his songs:

 He'd sing about joy and he'd sing about faith, that the people wished they had.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 16, 2008, 01:04:01 PM
I don't mean this as blasphemous but Oh.... My.... God.  For me, last night's gala concert at The Stables was one of the most emotionally charged McTell concerts I have been to in a very long time.  I was there because Diane (delfini) had a spare ticket and whilst I feel sorry for her friend who could not make it, I was so pleased she asked me to take her place.  More of a review later when I have composed myself but for now here is the set list and a small photo of us at the end.

Walk Into The Morning
Summer Girls
Brighton Belle
Fear of Flying
Truckin' Little Baby
Guitar Shuffle
One Heart
Sometimes I Wish I Could Pray
Red and Gold

Interval

Country Boys
A Feather Fell
Georgia Bound
Westcoast Blues (Drybone Shuffle)
When They Were Young
Summer Lightning
Streets of London
You Well Meaning
Naomi
First and Last Man
Run Johnny Run

Encore
Nettle Wine
The Mermaid and the Seagull

[attachment deleted by admin]


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Poor Will (Bill) on November 17, 2008, 08:07:40 PM
Excellent show at Chichester Festival Theatre last night.
Unfortunately it started late due to "technical problems" and although Ralph made up a bit of time by not having an interval, I think we had a somewhat shortened show. (Based on checking previous set lists).
The stage at Chichester covers a large area and I would imagine it's pretty daunting for a solo artist, but Ralph seemed extremely at ease with the audience. There was a good balance of songs and anecdotes which varied between hilarious extremely moving.
The highlight for me was was a superb version of "First and Last Man"
The only slight disappointment for me was that there was nothing from "Not Till Tomorrow" which has always been my favourite Ralph album.
There was a bit of a meet and greet session after the show and I happened to mention that it was a while since we'd seen him at Cropredy.
He said he was hoping to be there next year, but I'm not certain whether he meant as a performer or punter. Let's hope it's the former!
 


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gmf (Giles) on November 23, 2008, 09:41:11 AM
Was at Derby last night - Ralph's second night there and, as he assured us several times, a very different set list with a lot of special requests included. And what a treat it was - about 1 hour 45 mins (incl. the obligatory encore) straight through with no interval and Ralph in fine voice even though he claimed to be worried about remembering the words of some of the songs as he wasn't singing them normally on his current tour. Highlights? For us 'Jesus Wept', 2 American (I guess) songs played on the resonating steel guitar, 'Zig Zag Line', 'First & Last Man' & 'Run Johnny Run'. In all the songs were only two we've heard Ralph sing before (having seen him twice before).

And the bonus? Ralph was signing afterwards - and even though we were near the end of the queue and it was 45 mins at least after the end of the concert he took his time and was charm personified. A magical evening!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 27, 2008, 06:08:12 PM
First, the negative bit! I hope that this won’t cause any upset to any Prestonians out there, but unfortunately I’d have to say that The Guildhall is my least favourite of all the venues we’ve seen Ralph in over the years! The auditorium is huge, with an extremely high roof, and is set out in what seemed a slightly odd way. Immediately in front of the stage there are a few dozen rows of seats flat on the floor, and behind them a larger raked area of seating. They obviously sell tickets for these banked seats first, as they were almost all taken, and then go on to sell the un-raked ones at the front, the front few rows of which were also full. Despite what it said on their website about it only being possible to book 9 tickets, there were, unusually for a Ralph gig, a number of empty rows at the back of the flat area. As a result,  the majority of the audience was quite some distance from the stage, then there was a band (about 5-6 rows) of almost empty seats, then another 6-7 rows immediately in front of the stage that were mostly full. Throughout the show the lighting was only dimmed, not really dark at all, so the empty area was very obvious. I wondered how Ralph felt about the majority of the audience being so far off behind this empty area. (The empty spaces seemed particularly odd as when I rang to book tickets a couple of months ago they said that there were no seats near the front left, so we were sitting about 5 rows from the front of the raked area). There were also 5 very bright emergency exit signs at the front, plus two brightly lit corridors leading from the auditorium which just seemed an additional irritation. I realise, of course, the need for such lights, but having so many all around the stage area seemed, perhaps, a bit of a flaw in the design. Whether it was the high roof, or the empty spaces I don’t know, but for a modern theatre the acoustics seemed very poor too.

Right – that’s got the negative bits out of the way – now onto the positive – the very positive! It goes without saying that Ralph was, as ever, brilliant.

There are no ‘wings’ as such to the stage at Preston, so at 7.35 the little door below and to the side of the stage opened, and Ralph came out, climbed the steps to the stage, picked up a 6 string Gibson and began. The set list was:

Walk Into The Morning – which he began by explaining that it was a song specially written as a starting song.

Summer Girls – Ralph spoke about how much he enjoys the sound of DT’s work even though he feels that he frequently doesn’t really understand it.

The Pretty Brighton Belle –  (12 string) - Apparently Ralph remembers nothing about his ride on the footplate with his Granddad, but can remember clearly details like the pattern on his mother’s maternity dress when he was 18 months’ old, and the colour of the egg cups in the kitchen at the same time. He spoke about  memories being both a blessing and a curse at times.

Weather the Storm – Back to the 6 string. A request from a couple who’d come all the way from Scotland for the gig, and for whom Ralph requested a round of applause.

(At about this point, Ralph asked Donard to make some adjustments which improved the sound quality quite considerably, despite the flat sounding acoustics of the room.)

After Rain – described as a continuation of the weather theme from the previous song.


Until this point the back of the stage had been lit with muted red lights, giving a sort of striped effect with the blue backing curtain, but now these lights were switched off. This happened just as Ralph picked up the National. Whether it was supposed to indicate a sort of mood change to go with the change of instrument (though as Ralph said, it’s like an old tin dustbin, and probably better described as an implement than an instrument), or whether it was just a coincidence I don’t know. This left him with a very bright spotlight above his head which somehow cast shadows over his eyes and face making it look as if he had black eyes or dark glasses on and a dark area around his mouth – most unflattering!

After a brief explanation about the influence his blind, black, dead musical heroes have had on his music, he went on to talk about how a National Guitar differs from an acoustic one. Then he explained that acoustic guitarists will talk about how (puts on that pseudo-serious voice he uses at times) the tone of the guitar will change and mellow with age, but said that ‘this old bin’ never changes.

Georgia Bound – preceded by the story of how the homesick workers came to write/sing this sort of song.

Guitar Shuffle

Hesitation Blues – with a description of the time he met Rev Gary Davies. Apparently Ralph learnt this song entirely by ear just by listening to it on a juke box a few times.

A Feather Fell – Interestingly, one of the lines in the chorus has changed. Instead of ‘…hate was tattooed on his left hand, and his picking hand said love’, he now sang ‘No message on his left hand, but his picking hand said love. I’ve just looked in Time’s Poems, and this second version is the one on the book, but we’ve never heard him sing these words before. Back to the six string for this one. Somewhere round about now the backing lights came back on and the bright light was slightly dimmed, so we could see him properly again

Wino and The Mouse – Never heard this one live before. Ralph talked about his busking days in Paris which of course linked this to the previous song. Having explained about the mouse being dipped in the glass of cold water, he suddenly paused. ‘I’m sorry’, he said, ‘I’d forgotten this was a hard Northern audience. When I tell people about that down South, they all go “ahhh”, but up here you probably just think “so what, it’s just a mouse”.’ When he spoke about the mouse dancing over the finger holes to get warm, there was very loud “ahhh”, and a big grin from Ralph, who said ‘that’s right, you’re allowed to go “ahhh” now!”

Jesus Wept

When They Were Young – Ralph chatted about writing AFAICT, and the new songs that went with it.

Ralph introduced the next song by talking about how many radio interviews he’s done over the 40-odd years of his career, and how he can always sense that a question about a certain subject is coming up. He said that he finds it exasperating that 400 or so songs later people nearly always come back to the same one. He feels that that these other songs, plus years of performing live since then should show people that he’s totally uninterested in ‘making hits’ and in going over and over that one ‘blip’ in his career, but many interviewers just don’t seem to get the message. He didn’t mention the name of the song concerned, so neither will I!

First and Last Man – ‘Been there, seen it, bought the shopping bag’ – it seems that he dislikes having to plug the bags!

Run Johnny Run – back to the 12 string, and a mention of how he likes to change words and vary tunes, even many years after writing them.

This was the last song of the main set. Encore –

The Mermaid and the Seagull – Don’t think we’ve ever heard this one live before either, I really liked the additional – not sure what to call them – vocals? Humming? Gentle whistling?

A wonderful evening was made even more wonderful by Ralph’s announcement that he would be coming to the bar afterwards for a signing session.

We went back out to the bar where we continued the conversation with Leighton & Sue that we’d begun before the show. (Just to balance out the complaints, I liked the bar very much – there was plenty of room yet it still felt cosy somehow).  Ralph came out with a handful of pens – one for plastic CD cases, a silver one for the bags, one for writing on shiny CD inserts, and one for signing books, and we ended up chatting about memories again, as we talked about the army buildings in Oswestry, (which is not far from where we live), which seemed to bring us back to what he’d said in the show about memories being a blessing and a curse. We passed our camera to Leighton, and for the first time in 18 or so years of going to Ralph gigs had our photo taken with him – a perfect end to a lovely evening.

Incidentally, I heard someone in front of us in the queue at the end say to Ralph ‘I thought you weren’t doing these meeting sessions any longer’, to which Ralph replied something along the lines of ‘well, it seems I am now’ – I wonder if that means he intends to go on doing them sometimes – I hope so, even if he can’t do them at every gig. Thinking about it, he seems to be ensuring that even though these meeting sessions don’t happen at every show, those that he does do are spread around the country. As we hoped when this discussion first arose, he seems to have struck a sort of happy medium between not meeting people at all and not feeling obliged to do so every time –  should have known he’d find a way! Thanks Ralph.  :) :D

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Leighton on November 27, 2008, 09:07:34 PM
Naomi,

What can I say. An absolutely brilliant review.

I noticed you had not written anything after "Guitar Shuffle", and I, if I may, fill in a little of the introduction.

On completion of the applause for "Georgia Bound", Ralph went on to say -

"Gonna play this one for Leighton and Sue, thank you very much for my little gift. I know I'm gonna love it.

Actually one of the guys that knew Blind Boy Fuller, and actually played with him, was Reverend Gary Davis, who I met. I just received a nice DVD of some of his playing, which some people didn't know existed. So I shall look forward to that. I actually met him and apparently he played one of these machines at some point in his life.

This is a tune which I learned from a Juke Box in South Croyden, where I grew up, and spent some teenage years. It was a great Juke box; it had Muddy Waters and Woody Guthrie and it also had a version of this track, which is called Guitar Shuffle by Big Bill Broonzy".


Or at least something like that, Many Thanks.





Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Smithsinarazz on November 28, 2008, 09:39:21 AM
Sage Gateshead, Nov 27th

As a McTell ignoramus I will stick to commenting that he seems to actually be what most troubadours want to be.

We thought he looked a bit like Rick Stein. But that's ok, I think he's a nice bloke, too.  


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on December 01, 2008, 09:55:54 AM
This HERE (http://suehepworth.com/2008/11/past-it.html) made me smile..... ;) :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on December 10, 2008, 10:53:13 AM
Only just seen THIS ITEM (http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/features/3842000.It___s_the_streets_of_Dorset_that_mean_so_much_to_me/), but it's worth reading.....  :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on December 28, 2008, 10:13:16 PM
I'm sure that many of you have already seen it, but, just in case you've missed it, there's a wonderful review of Ralph's gig in Sheffield last October here (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/fansreviews2.html#Sheffield 26 Oct 2008) on the R A & S site.   :D  :)  Not sure how long it's been there!

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 30, 2009, 10:15:37 PM
Now (http://www.thisiswesternmorningnews.co.uk/features/Troubadour-Street-cred/article-1034545-detail/article.html) I'm even more miserable at being unable to get to any of Ralph's gigs this tour - it's ages since I saw him on stage with a keyboard  :'(

Ah well - let's hope he tours in the Autumn and still has it with him  :P

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on June 03, 2009, 11:24:12 PM

Just got in from seeing Ralph in Frome - he played for an hour and a half, won't spoil it for you all by posting the set list but there was new, old and many in between.  Saw him afterwards and he was looking happy, relaxed and tanned.  He seemed to have a few sound problems which we didn't really notice and it was a great evening.  

I'm envious of any of you seeing him on this short tour because this was the only date I could make and now it's over!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on June 05, 2009, 08:18:01 PM

Oh go on then, you've talked me into it, but look away now if you don't want to know!!!

I'm satisfied
Summer girls
Angie
Mr Connaughton
New song about Rev Gary Davies
Sleepytime blues
Traces
Naomi
Nannas song
Clare to here
Streets
Let me down easy
Another new song - Sometimes I wish I could pray (sounds like this should be the title)
Hands of Joseph
Spiral Staircase
Instumental that he uses for warming up and has never played live before
Jailhouse now
Lost Boys
May you never

Great set eh?  And even better that he came out afterwards.  And better still, the queue wasn't too long!!  Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset is a big old barn and there were prob around 120 there.  They were all very enthusiastic and the atmosphere was good.  I loved this one!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SteveK on June 07, 2009, 09:59:41 PM
Just back from Cadogan hall.

Ralph played 1hr 40 mins. Set list broadly similar to that posted by Carol above with a few differences - minus 'Nannas song',  'Jailhouse now' and the warm-up instrumental - I can't remember all of their replacements at the mo, but  one addition was "Zimmerman Blues". The song about Rev Davies was introduced as "Blind Faith".

SteveK


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on June 08, 2009, 07:55:41 AM
I loved the atmosphere of the audience at Cadogan Hall, a warm reception to Ralph as he entered the enormous stage and walked on without his guitar, smiling and appreciative both of the warm welcome and in awe at this magnificant galleried 'Christian Scientist Church' He said it is such a stunning place that he would like to return there every year to which the audience responded of course, with a cheer and a clap!  8) Ralph did laugh and said that probably most of us in the audience may have missed his 'Songs of Praise' appearance that night, he played 'Hands of Joseph' for us in case we missed it. Laughingly he knew something was up when the producers of the programme wanted him to play in London, in Trafalgar Square, and said they just had to mention 'that song' and even showed a clip of him wearing a rather small t.shirt that he couldn't possibly fit in to any longer!

4 songs were played at the keyboard, 'Wish I could Pray, 'Naomi' 'Traces' and England I think (!) LOL If I remember differently during the day I will amend any that are incorrect.

The evening did go past too fast but I will do the rest of my review from Ralph and the families point of view if I may.....  ;) Ralph said that two of his grandchildren were in the audience, Isabelle and Louis, he announced that Louis is learning one of his songs at the moment...'Clare to Here', so good to know the gene continues in the family!

Before the concert Nanna was enjoying a long chat with a 'folk' type gentleman from way back and after a lot of thinking, it was Bob Davenport. (60's-70's Sea Shanty type folkie).

 Ralph played without an interval which I enjoyed, it seems to flow from song to song so nicely that way, he announced he would be out to sign afterwards and the queue formed (or as a sign said at the 'posh' stained glassed windowed foyer..."Please CUE this side..."  ::)

The orderly queue moved along with books and dvd's for signing but the grandchildren were waiting too, patiently but tired for their Grandad to finish with all these people as they had school the next day, so when it was my turn to talk with Ralph they ran up and hugged him cos it was time for them to leave but before doing so I asked them did they like it that their Grandad was so famous and popular, so they too stood at the table next to Ralph and signed my ticket with a kiss!  :-* Beautiful joined up writing from Isabelle too  ;D Told his son Tom that he was easily recognisable as a 'young Ralph' - (incredible likeness) to which he predictably responded "Oh no!..."  

So annoyed tho, forgot my camera that day  :o A concert plus after show 'meet' that was one of the best, voice, guitar and love....

Hurridly writing this review before the working day!



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on June 13, 2009, 01:44:37 PM
Well, the Journey's over again, and those of you who missed Ralph this time out will have to stay patient till the Autumn - unless you catch him at one of the Summer festivals.

Reaction reported on this forum and elsewhere has been mixed.  One friend told me Frome was a 'disaster', another thoroughly enjoyed it!  There's no accounting for taste.  I took 3 McTell innocents to Aylesbury on Thursday. Ralph played much of the set described above, the only notable differences being the inclusion of 'Around the Wild Cape Horn', and the absence of 'Sometimes I Wish I Could Play', which I have yet to hear live.  Next time, please, Ralph!

Ralph did play 'Reverend Thunder (Blind Faith)', four-and-a-half years after the work-in-progress version he treated us to on Alan O'Leary's (now sadly closed) internet radio show.  Then it was a guitar tour-de-force, with the left hand racing up and down the fretboard, but in the completed song the guitar takes second place to the lyrics.  Nonetheless, I have no doubt that 'Blind Faith' will quickly establish itself in Ralph's core repertoire, just as 'Cape Horn' has... and we got both in the same show!

My friends' reaction to seing Ralph for the first time was interesting.  They immediately recognised Ralph's superb guitar picking, but felt he was stuggling a little with the vocal.  Fending off a cold, perhaps?  And they even recognised some of the songs  - "Did Ralph write that...?"! Now they know.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: lucienne on June 13, 2009, 11:45:49 PM
My pre-Ralphite friend cried nearly all the way through  (London concert) .. when asked if she had enjoyed the concert she said ... err .. I think "deeply moved" is how I felt. She also said that she thought "Reverend Thunder" was a very well written song and showed the feeling and thought that had been put into its writing.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: funfair7 on August 16, 2009, 08:50:19 PM
Just returned home from Croppers where Ralph played to an appreciative crowd of 20,000. His 45 minute set seemed to wizz by .Opening with Clare To Here followed by ,in no particular order That'll Do Babe, Zimmerman Blues,Reverend Thunder, Streets,Peppers And Tomatoes,Hiring Fair, Weather The Storm.......that's all I can remember off the top of my head. We were treated to a surprise during Fairport's set as Ralph,Richard Thompson,Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg re-formed the G.P'S! It's been over 30 years since I've seen Ralph play an electric guitar on stage.Pretty Boy Floyd and a Muddy Waters song received the full band volume. Great!Roll on the Autumn tour....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on August 30, 2009, 10:17:41 PM
For a man who paces the floor in your average provincial theatre, you would never have thought he would be able to get the legs working in front of a 20,000 Cropredy gathering , how wrong can you be, he was brilliant, relaxed, commanding and totally awesome. Just goes to show what a fantastic place cropredy is, it's not called Britains Friendliest music festival for nothing, you go there knowing no-one and come away with thousands of new friends and memories to last a life time, Thanks to Ralph and all the Fairport freinds, just for being there.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Steve W on October 11, 2009, 01:55:51 AM
Lucky enough to have seen the first two concerts of the current Autumn tour, Ralph is sounding great as always.
The first concert in Canterbury seemed to  be about 2 thirds sold out. Ralph also seemed to not be as confident as he normally is, but I have never seen him on the first night of a tour. Talking to him afterwards, he said that he had experienced problems with his earpiece levels.
Tonight, Winchester was superb. Ralph played with confidence and sounded great in a beautiful, full and intimate theatre.
Nice to see that he is back to post performance signings.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 12, 2009, 09:28:42 AM
My friend Colin Gerrard sent me this review of the first night - thanks, Colin.

Ralph McTell, Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury, October 9th 2009

Ralph McTell opened his latest UK tour with a concert in the intimate atmosphere of the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury.  Ralph opened with a series of songs reflecting the major influences on his musical career, such as Woodie Guthrie, Derrol Adams, Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan, whose influence he celebrated with Zimmerman Blues.  He told how as an impressionable 21 year old he had encountered Adams in a Brussels bar where he began a long friendship with him, although Adams was in later years unable to recall the start of it due to the amount of alcohol he had consumed  on that initial meeting in Brussels. Ralph also recalled being influenced greatly by  attending a package tour concert in 1971 featuring major blues artists such as Memphis Slim and the Reverend Gary Davis.  Many of the performing group were blind rendering their performances even more outstanding although their presence made some of their colleagues apprehensive when the Reverend started to protect himself and his precious guitars by arming himself with a gun.

Moving on he expressed his admiration for an intrepid traveller who had sailed around Cape Horn, before performing songs inspired by Sylvia Plath and a love affair featured in the Godfather.  Drawing his family into his recollections he sang the beautiful Naomi and recounted an experience that sadly he had been too young to remember when he had been sneaked on to the footplate of the famous steam engine the Brighton Belle which his grandfather used to take charge of on its journey from London to Brighton.

He played his hit, Streets of London and was quite happy to do so, even though he had experimented in a couple of previous tours by leaving it out, but had restored it after suffering pangs of guilt.  The audience needed little encouragement to sing along.

As is inevitable  with an artuist who has been around as long as Ralph,  he has gradually lost some of his contemporaries and he noted the recent passing of Gus Dudgeon and earlier this month Robert Kirby.  In a poignant conclusion he performed one of the songs Kirby had produced for him, the Ferryman.  Before singing it live, he said that rather than do an encore he would prefer to depart with a recording playing of the same song from the album with full string accompaniment.  The audience would have loved a conventional encore, but were happy to respect this tribute after a memorable evening in the company of Ralph, his two guitars, harmonica and piano.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on October 18, 2009, 11:36:32 PM
Pontardawe Arts Centre

I won't spoil it by giving the set list - although Ralph will probably jig it about a bit as the tour progresses, but I will say the sound was superb last night.  Ralph seemed to lose his train of thought several times when speaking, even missing out 'the song' for which he apologised but the music was as beautiful as ever.  You are all in for a treat.  Great to see him out chatting to friends old and new again after the show :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gower flower (Shirl) on October 19, 2009, 12:02:43 PM
I was at Pontardawe as well. The first time I have seen Ralph perform in a small venue, which made a very pleasant change. Good to be able to appreciate his guitar playing visually, as well as aurally.  ;D

Not being a hugh Ralph follower, I only recognised a handful of the tunes, Zimmerman Blues being one. Apparently he played some new material. He seemed relaxed and I think he enjoyed himself. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet him afterwards. As you all know, Ralph takes a lot of time to chat to his fans, and he was on top form.  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on October 31, 2009, 08:24:05 AM
The Play house, Norwich, 26th October 2009 (Sold out!)

Ralph delivered a faultless set to an appreciative audience.  He appeared happy and relaxed and the sound was great.  I was delighted to be able to introduce a new 'fan' to him after the show.

Ralph told us that he was aware that some of the audience had been to other gigs recently, so had put a few different numbers into this set:

I'm Satisfied
Walk into the Morning
Brighton Belle
Mrs Adlam's Angels
Kew Gardens
Rev Thunder
Zimmerman Blues
Anji
When they were Young
Hiring Fair
Michael
Wino and the Mouse
Streets
Fin
Run, Johnny, Run
Wild Cape Horn
Maginot Waltz (encore)

Jess


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Jess on November 09, 2009, 09:41:46 PM
The Pavilion, Hailsham, 7th November 2009 (looked like it was sold out)

We were treated to another great set at the Pavilion, Hailsham on Saturday.  Ralph clearly enjoyed the evening, although he did mention it was brought to us courtesy of Sudafed and DayNurse!  Whatever he may have been suffering with didn't detract from a fabulous performance which was full of humour and some amazing guitar work on the two Miss's Gibson (6 and 12 string).  Sorry Carl and John - no piano.

I'm satisfied
Walk into the morning
Brighton Belle
Heron Song
Zimmerman Blues
Little Birdie
Wino and the Mouse
Blind Faith (Rev Thunder)
Grande Affaire
Anji
When they were young
Michael
Gipsy
Wild Cape Horn
Streets (with audience)
Maginot Waltz (encore)

Jess


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 12, 2009, 01:57:41 PM
Norden Arts Centre, Maidenhead, Wednesday 11 November 2009  - sold out

When I finally found the place - up a side road on an estate with a distinct lack of road signage - I met up up with old friends and settled into my seat on the balcony right over Ralph's right shoulder. Great view and sound.  Similar core set list to Norwich and Hailsham, but three on a grand piano:

(On Miss Gibson or her sibling) I'm satisfied
Walk into the morning
Zimmerman Blues
(On the 12 string) Brighton Belle (I'm sure there was another 12-string number but can't think of what)
Reverend Thunder
(On the grand) Sometimes I wish I could pray (first time I've heard this live and very impressed)
Sylvia (beautiful playing)
Naomi
(Back to Miss G) Zig zag line (a request)
Michael in the garden
(Two Parisian songs) Wino and the mouse
Streets of Paris Croydon London
Summer lightning (another request neatly flowing from the A-side)
Anji (Ralph is playing at Cecil Sharp House at the end of the month in a Davy Graham memorial concert)
When they were young
Lost boys (for the Fallen on 11/11)
(Encore) Around the Wild Cape Horn.

The man handing out the questionnaires is Keith, who wrote the Peking article in the newsletter. It was slighly abridged to fit the space, so we'll be putting the whole piece on Andy's fansite as a Telling Tale.

Ralph is in great form, clearly enjoying the tour.  You're in for a treat tomorrow, Carl and Naomi - Night Nurse permitting.  Enjoy.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on November 14, 2009, 11:49:36 AM
What a night.

The rain came down, the floods came up and we set out for Birkenhead.  We left in good time because we wanted to meet some friends in the bar before the start.  We were slowed a bit by the weather and as the rain lashed down on the M53 the ‘safety car’ came out!!  A big thing with flashing amber and red lights and its own personal matrix sign – DO NOT PASS. So we didn’t – we crawled behind it at 15 mph for a mile until we stopped. Completely.  And sat there for quarter an hour where there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.  >:(
We got moving again and got into the theatre just after 8.  The girl on the desk said he’d started 30 seconds ago.  

Ralph was playing I’m Satisfied –including a bit of a John Hurt medley as we gratefully took our seats and were satisfied at last. (second row – I was right behind Leighton.)  

Ralph was looking casual and comfortable. Two guitars on stage, Gibson J45 in his hands and the B45 (12 string) on the stand.  He put on his harmonica brace for Walk Into the Morning.  A song inspired by following in the style of Woody

Switching to the B45 we were told about Ralph’s dad leaving home and about being passed to his Grandad on the footplate of the Pretty Brighton Belle, which became a metaphor for him being passed to someone else to look after when his dad left.

Back to the J45 -  Since this concert is part of the Wirral Guitar Festival Ralph thought he’d better do some difficult guitar pieces -  That’ll Do Babe. – Tremendous applause but Ralph wasn’t 100% satisfied.

A story about friends – Leaving ‘Ligan Woods -  We visited Heligan Gardens in the summer – Huge amounts of rhododendron- I can see where Ralph got the idea of relentless rhododendron rain.

Leading into the inspiration and confusion caused by his Bobness – Zimmerman Blues.  

Ralph reminded us that many of his teachers were blind, black dead guitarists but one that he had met was Rev Gary Davies a man whose beliefs he didn’t share but whose songs and guitar playing were an inspiration – Rev Thunder/Blind Faith

Closely followed by another inspiring character Davey Graham and his composition Anji.  We’ve heard this a few times now and I’m sure Ralph changed the middle bit.

One loud song, one quiet and now another loud one -  Michael in the Garden -  another strummed piece.

Ralph told us of the concert a few nights back when he’d forgotten SOL.  Now because Pacific Road has some pretty good acoustics we were all invited to sing along to Streets – first time he’s made that invitation this tour.
As we all know this was originally Streets of Paris so we had another French influenced song Grande Affair.  This led almost straight into another song that “you can’t write at the time” – When they were young.  

Back to the 12 String for the song that showed us that women have a higher pain threshold than men.   ;)  Learning that he had Romany blood Ralph got his ear pierced.  He would have had both done but it was too painful!!  ::)
Gypsy

Ralph closed the set with Lost Boys because of it being close to Armistice Day and thinking of those who are still doing a soldiers job and losing their lives.

Ralph left the stage to hide behind the curtain for a minute of applause before returning to the stage explaining that once in Cumbernauld he had seen a door at the side of the stage and being a strange design he couldn’t remember how to get off stage.  He stepped through the door – into a cupboard – not even room to turn around. Now the people of Cumbernauld think Ralph enters the stage for the encore backwards.  He mimed all this for us – holding the guitar up to his nose, walking backwards!  Hilarious.  ;D  A quick apology to Donard for the length of the chat before starting  the encore of Around the Wild Cape Horn.

This concert was also brought to us courtesy of sudafed - In spite of this Ralph looked relaxed and happy and seemed to be really enjoying himself.
We had an excellent time.  The rest of the 1 hour 40 mins more than made up for missing the first minute.  We had 15 yr old  daughter  with us who met Ralph for the first time (her third concert).  We also had a friend with us seeing Ralph for the first time.  He was impressed and said he would definitely see him again.  

We hung around afterwards, thanked Donard and Ralph and had a completely uneventful journey home.

Value for money has been mentioned earlier in the thread.  I had a £16 ticket for 1 hr 40 of enjoyment.  I have a friend who needs several hours of dental work for about £1500 -  I know which I think is better VFM.
Those of you at the Lowry tonight – have a great time – hope the Irwell doesn’t flood.
 
 :) :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 14, 2009, 03:57:31 PM
Anji.  We’ve heard this a few times now and I’m sure Ralph changed the middle bit.


Ralph plays the George Shearing tune Lullaby of birdland as a segue in Anji, and hints at Hit the road Jack as he reprises Davy Graham's melody.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on November 15, 2009, 10:27:45 AM
I saw the concert at the Lowry at Salford Quays, very enjoyable. Here is the set list, It was too dark to see what I was writing and I wrote one title over Zimmerman Blues, I think it was played on the piano before Old Brown Dog. Maybe a little out on the order. I think my favourite is Around The Wild Cape Horn.

I'm Satisfied ?
Walk Into The Morning
Brighton Belle
That'll Do Babe
Reverend Thunder
Zimmerman Blues
Anji
(Piano song?)
Old Brown Dog
Michael In The Garden
First Song
When They Were Young
Streets Of London
Grande Affaire
Around The Wild Cape Horn
Lost Boys
Naomi (encore)

There was also a Questionnaire handed out, including : How many Ralph Mctell concerts have you been to ?, I make mine 15. When and where was your first Ralph Mctell concert ? 31/10/1990 at Middlesbrough Theatre


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Robin on November 15, 2009, 02:20:35 PM
Excellent show in Salford last night. I brought a friend along who hadn't seen him before and cannot stand acoustic/folk music. He was very impressed and wants to see Ralph again! Brighton Belle, When They Were Young and Naomi were highlights for for me. Is it me, or is Ralph's newer material his finest yet? He really has a gem of a talent. Is there a new record planned?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on November 15, 2009, 02:50:36 PM
Just arrived Back from the Lowry and a nice weekend in Manchester apart from the rain, Ralph was on top form and the previously added set list can be completed by adding the third piano piece which was 'I wish I could Pray', Naomi as the encore was on the piano of course, The Lowry is a lovely venue and feels quite intimate, something I am sure Ralph likes when performing. The Questionaires were duly completed, I had to put 20+ for times seen as I've lost count, first one in about '85 I think in Dartford. We then set about trying to remember all the others. Hoping to fit in Bedworth as its quite close, but will have to blackmail the boss into giving me time off. We have some brilliant memories of previous concerts all over the country but this one was really impressive, although I have my doubts over the performance of the new J45, Ralph seemed a little awkward with it at times and did comment at one point that the song was written on a different guitar and they all behave differently, now I know why I cant play ralphs songs like he does, I just havent found the right guitar yet, I only have 5 I'll have to keep looking!!. If your still to take in this tour you are in for a real treat.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: justina on November 20, 2009, 07:51:10 AM
Hi, This is my first post! Like many others I've enjoyed Ralph Mctell's music and concerts for many years. I first saw him in concert about 30+ years ago with my first love Ahh ;o) At his concert a few weeks ago in Portsmouth, he played a beautiful song about falling in love when you are young. I felt so inspired by this song that I asked if he could dedicate it to my first love (who I knew would be at the Lowry concert) I wasn't sure that he would, as I had scribbled it on a scrap of paper and handed it to a staff member! However I was over the moon when I recieved a beautiful email from my ex who had really appreciated my impulsive gesture!

I would love the lyrics to the song.....please can anybody help?

Thanks X


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on November 20, 2009, 09:07:00 AM
Hello Justina, good to hear from a 'new' Ralphite in McMansions  ;) Ah what a lovely, sort of sad story. Ralph's songs usually manage to touch the heart and hit the right spot don't they?

This lovely song can be found on Ralph's 'As far as I can tell' recent disc set, it's called 'When they were young' it is on disc 2 of the set, available from his website at Leola Music

http://www.ralphmctell.co.uk/

So pleased he played it for you  ;)

Now that you have posted on TAW, you may also be very interested in this really good site too, full of information about Ralph and what he is up to, including some great reviews and interviews with Ralph  8)

http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/

J





Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MAJ on November 25, 2009, 08:04:44 PM
Good to meet up with Diane again last night at the Stables, and to meet David and Marion for the first time.

Ralph was on form right from the moment he started.  In no particular order the set was:

I'm satisfied
Walk into the morning
Brighton Belle
Anji
Naomi
Old brown dog
Zimmerman blues
Streets of London
Grande Affaire
Blind Faith (Rev Thunder)
Wild Cape Horn
Terminus
Clare to here
After Rain
When they were young
Wino and the mouse
Lost boys
Peppers and tomatoes

I don't think I've forgotten any, but I didn't write them down for once.  We all had a nice chat with him at the end of the evening and there are good things a-foot for 2010.  Thanks to Donard too for taking the photos.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gmf (Giles) on November 28, 2009, 08:27:28 AM
Enjoyed Ralph's evening at Sevenoaks (at the Stag Theatre) very much - a bigger venue than some (ex-cinema) - I had the luxury of a front row seat - and it seemed nearly full. Set list was similar to that for the Stables - 2 piano pieces - but there were some different ones as well. My 4th time to see Ralph - and I think there were only 4 songs he sang that I've heard him sing before live!
My only 'complaint' is that I'm still waiting to hear him sing 'Peppers & Tomatoes' live...Oh well, just have to see him again, I guess!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 30, 2009, 12:24:27 AM
The Davy Graham memorial gig at Cecil Sharp House on Saturday was brilliant.  We were treated to some stupendous finger picking, rounded off brilliantly by Ralph. All the organisers and artists gave their time for free, and the gate money goes to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Brief notes on the performances:

Afternoon concert:
Martin Carthy played a 45-minute guitar set (his voice had gone).
Forbes Henderson played Bach preludes beautifully on Spanish guitar.
Cahit Baylav & Hass Dur from Turkey played oud (lute) tunes.
Steve Tilston played a short but excellent set.
Gareth Hedges played the blues.
Dave Tomlin reminisced about the jazz and folk cellars Davy frequented, and read a poem.
Merv Depeyer played jazz piano (whilst we went for something to eat before the rush).

Evening concert:
Compere Bob Davenport said Anne Briggs was there but didn't get her up to sing.
Darius Kanani played a stunning guitar rendition of 'She moved through the fair'.
Sam Carter reminded me of Jon Boden but with a far harder edge.

Wizz Jones with Pete Stanley and Pete Berryman - this was the highlight of the day so far for me, the first time I'd seen Wizz solo, the first time I'd seen Pete Stanley, and I hadn't seen Pete Berryman since the Famous Jug Band supported Ralph at the Free Trade Hall in 1970 or 71.

Roy Harper gave a sermon (Bob said 'Roy, you've only got 30 mins left, will that be OK?')

Ralph was late so Donard did a spot sound check with the hall full and Ralph came on to play a fantastic set of nine songs - Walk into the morning, A feather fell, Zimmerman blues, Rev Thunder, Hands of Joseph/Great dreams of Heaven, The girl from the hiring fair, Angi/Lullabye of birdland, Around the wild Cape Horn, Lost boys.  He got the best reception of the day from a full house.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: david stevenson on December 09, 2009, 05:11:14 PM


I suppose this is sort of the right place for this post.

I went to Show of Hands final tour concert in Truro last Friday - damn good too.

And met Ralph in the gents.....  


Oooooo....! Lucky you! haha!  ;D ;D ;D ::) so what did you say to him?  ;)


Hello Ralph.  ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 10, 2009, 11:51:02 PM
Just in (after an eventful train journey home...  :o ) from a wonderful concert at Cadogan Hall (that 12 string guitar sounded superb!) good to meet up with Domenico, Martin, SteveK. and Martin. The encore was a real tear jerker. Ralph's 2 grandchildren, Louis and Isabelle came on the stage with Ralph for the encore. They sang so confidently together with Ralph on piano......a real Christmas surprise....'the things you wish yourself.' It certainly was a heart rending moment which brough a tear to the eyes!  :-* Those children can certainly sing in front of a packed house! Think that moment will stay with me forever.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 11, 2009, 08:52:30 PM

Thanks for your reviews JJ and SteveK - sounds like a wonderful evening - I'd love to have heard/seen that encore! Ralph must be so proud of his grandchildren.  

Any chance of a few more details of the evening  please - Interesting comments about any of the songs? Did he say anything about his plans for next year? Any mention of the promised new CD?

Thanks  

Naomi




Hello Naomi

Lots of bits about the songs that you/we have probably already heard, although I did find his explanation regarding Brighton Belle enlightning. Ralph explained that the idea of the song is about his Father's decision that some day Ralph would get a ride on the footplate of that train, so Ralph (typically) used this as a passing or departure where the journey started with his Dad and ended with his grandfather as his Dad then left....(But of course Ralph says he remembers absolutely nothing about that whole experience).

A really nice ending to the story of Mr.Connaughton, or as Ralph said 'This puts the round peg in the hole...'  ;) We know that Ralph met Josephine Connaughton years back when she introduced herself and gave him a huge fright for a moment or two  :D ;) Back then he forgot to take her address or tel. number so he lost touch with her -  well she was in the audience last night. He always wondered whether Mr.Connaughton ever heard his song and the answer was 'Yes'

The story of the Wino and the Mouse was funny as Ralph said he bought 2 mice to try and enhance his act, but as he placed them on the end of his guitar, one scarpered within 2 minutes and the other disappeared so his whole 'livestock act' didn't last. He did say that people are becoming harder as time goes on, or maybe it was just the London audience, but as he told the story of the mouse being dipped in to a cold glass of water in order for it to warm itself on the air holes of the Wino's whistle, people just laughed, he reckoned years ago everyone would have gone 'aaaah...or oh nooo...'

I am so hoping that the encore with the Grandchildren was recorded and maybe will be released as a video or mp3 Christmas song for us to have, now that would be wonderful so I've written and asked him nicely about that  ;) Yes he did look very proud and it sounded so good with him harmonising with them too. They kept going brilliantly singing out loud and clear and in tune. Afterwards they all took a bow together.

No Spring tour as I think you already know he will be recording a new album. So Wild Cape Horn and Blind Faith/Revd.Thunder should be on it I hope!

Just hoping when Domenico gets back to Sicily he will put his photos up as he was going to meet Ralph after the show, together with his trusty camera!  ;)

Joanna


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: fylde6 on December 13, 2009, 07:23:57 AM
We were at Cadogan Hall and while we were in the foyer chatting I spotted the youngsters and commented that 'Those little buggers must have been really naughty to get dragged along to a Ralph Mctell concert at their age" Little did I know they were going to be the stars of the show! No it didn't bring a tear to MY eye 'cos I'm not a big girlie. Well only a little bit but I think I got away with it.
Sometimes at a Ralph concert the performance of a song just seems to be much better than ever before, this time for me it was 'Still in dreams' anybody else notice it or was it just me? .....I'll get me coat.
This happened once before many years ago with 'Ferryman' I'd dragged my daughter aged about 11 along (see above) after the song ended there was a stunned silence for a second or two and then a very loud Colonel Chumley Warner type voice shouted 'BLOODY MARVELOUS'
Since then ( and she's forty odd now and should know better) every time she hears a Ralph track out, at full volume, comes BLOODY MARVELOUS. Which, of course, it is


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Domenico Mosca on December 13, 2009, 11:36:53 PM
Hi all,
just back at home after 4 wonderfull days in London.
Very happy to have met JJ, Martin K, SteveK and MartinD.
I have post on my site some shots.
This is the link: http://www.weatherthestorm.it/_private/me&rmctuk.htm
Bye for now
Domenico


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on August 19, 2012, 10:51:00 PM
Ralph headlined at the Hull Folk and Maritime Festival Finale Concert yesterday (Saturday 18 Aug 2012). He was supported by Michael Chapman, sometime Hull resident and mesmerising guitarist; and Edwina Hayes, honorary Yorkshirewoman, whose most upbeat number was a Leonard Cohen cover (her admission, not my judgement!).

The concert was staged in the Holy Trinity church, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as England's largest parish church (by area), and which has wonderful acoustics and a real ale bar (for the night).

Ralph was on top form as he accompanied Miss Gibson for a set comprising a good mixture of current and older repertoir:

Walk into the Morning
Nanna's Song
Blind Faith
First and Last Man
Around the Wild Cape Horn ("I don't know any sea shanties")
First Song
Barges
Jesus Wept ("Appropriate in these surroundings")
A Kiss in the Rain
The Girl from the Hiring Fair
After Rain
Streets of London ("Let's raise the roof")
The Ghost of Robert Johnson
(Encore) Somewhere Down the Road.



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on September 05, 2012, 02:08:46 PM

Ralph headlined at the Hull Folk and Maritime Festival Finale Concert yesterday (Saturday 18 Aug 2012). He was supported by Michael Chapman, sometime Hull resident and mesmerising guitarist; and Edwina Hayes, honorary Yorkshirewoman, whose most upbeat number was a Leonard Cohen cover (her admission, not my judgement!).

The concert was staged in the Holy Trinity church, which is in the Guinness Book of Records as England's largest parish church (by area), and which has wonderful acoustics and a real ale bar (for the night).

Ralph was on top form as he accompanied Miss Gibson for a set comprising a good mixture of current and older repertoir:

Walk into the Morning
Nanna's Song
Blind Faith
First and Last Man
Around the Wild Cape Horn ("I don't know any sea shanties")
First Song
Barges
Jesus Wept ("Appropriate in these surroundings")
A Kiss in the Rain
The Girl from the Hiring Fair
After Rain
Streets of London ("Let's raise the roof")
The Ghost of Robert Johnson
(Encore) Somewhere Down the Road.




Thanks John for pruning and sorting the review thread and for adding your latest review, great to read!  {:-)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on September 05, 2012, 03:33:39 PM
Yes, thanks very much John  :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 05, 2012, 04:17:18 PM
Ralph's next gig is at the Linlithgow Folk Festival (http://www.linlithgowfolk.com/) this Saturday, 8th September.

Do we have a McTell cohort in West Lothian?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on September 10, 2012, 12:19:57 PM
Ralph at Linlithgow
 Anyone present at  the concert at Linlithgow Academy Theatre, was treated to a masterclass! the sound perfectly tuned to the audience,as was the man himself.
 Giving generous credit to Barluath [excelent support] He then proceeded to take us on a journey through the poems of Times journey. I was astonished at the end to find it had been two hours! Walk into the morning, Streets [late in set] excellent invited audience participation. Barges, Hiring fair, and I was touched by the audience joining in on another.... only just , I cant recall the title.......and I think they felt compelled? carried away as most in the hall were?  feeling as if they were at one with both the man and his lyrics. There was mention of some surprises on the upcoming tour? As stated earlier a masterclass in the art and talent of  The singer songwriter nulli secundus .........A few of us were treated to an impromptu version of Winnies Rag by some fans? near the exit, just a couple of verses. Linlithgow is one of those hidden gems in this sceptered isle, and Ralph a true diamond.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on September 10, 2012, 07:39:30 PM
Thank you for your review 'tryer' we would really like to address you by your real name though!  ;)

So pleased you represented us at Linlithgow and reported back, sounded a wonderful concert.

Great review, so often we forget to mention the support acts, especially once Ralph has performed. It's not often he has a support act, so good to read about Barluath.


Joanna.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Henrik on September 11, 2012, 01:08:08 AM
Nice, tryer  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on September 14, 2012, 05:40:21 PM

Nice, tryer  ;D


Groan..  ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 06, 2012, 08:51:15 PM
As Carl said on English Heartbeat thread, Ralph was on excellent form last night – here’s a review of the evening. (I’m not going to go into too much detail about his introductions, as I don’t want to spoil the anything for those of you with tickets for the rest of the tour.)

The venue was the Floral Pavilion, which is right on the edge of the Mersey estuary in New Brighton. It was the first time we’d been there, and, in the main, we liked it very much. The only problem with it was that it was unreserved seating – we got there early and managed to get seats in the 2nd row, so we had a good view, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be at the back, especially as the seats weren’t raked, and the stage was low – I think visibility must have been very poor back there! However, sound was obviously more important then vision and that was, as ever, excellent. I was particularly pleased to see a keyboard on the stage, as it’s years since I’ve seen a gig where he’d played one. His new CD ‘Sofa Noodling’ was playing quietly in the background as we waited.

Ralph started a couple of minutes late, and explained that he was going to start with a song he’d written especially for opening performances – Walk into the Morning. He followed this by saying that he’s lived in London for longer than anywhere else, but that, even so, there’s always something new to find out about it. This, obviously, led into London Apprentice.

His 3rd song was The Lamplighter – England 1914. He tied this to the previous song by talking about his love of England, and also told some stories about his Uncles who fought in WW1, including how one of them lied about his age to join up, and how this came to be found out, resulting in his being sent back home.

After this, he began to talk about playing for Rev Gary Davies, and the photo of this meeting which he treasures. I’d assumed he was leading up to Hesitation Blues, but, in fact he then played ‘Reverend Thunder’.( Almost the entire set was played on ’the best guitar in the world’, Miss Gibson, and at this point he told us how she got her name, and also how little remains of his original Miss G!)

This was followed by ‘The Girl on the Jersey Ferry’. Then moved to the keyboard, and, without introduction, into You Well Meaning. I find this a hard song to listen to, because it evokes so strongly the pain that Ralph went through in his 20s, and some of its lines ‘I know every stranger here’ and the last few lines, in particular, are so poignant. I was still very glad to hear him play it, though, as we’ve only heard it live once before. As I said, there was no introduction to this, but as he moved back to the guitars, he explained that he’d written it at a time when he was going through a huge number of changes in his life, which were both bewildering and painful.

The following number was played on the other guitar (another Gibson J45, which he’d apparently bought just in case it was better than Miss G, but he confirmed that she’s still the best!). Our guitar playing friend told us that it was in open tuning, and Ralph played it with a slide for a stunning version of ‘Birdman’ which we think should be a strong contended for the next Songs for Six Strings CD.

Then back to Miss Gibson for Zimmerman blues, which was introduced by an account of who Angela was, and why the concert for her by ‘His Bobness’ raised questions in Ralph’s mind.
Then, with no comment before or after, he played ‘The Hiring Fair’ – an old favourite I’m always pleased to hear.

Next, back to the keyboard, for an explanation of the title of the tour (An English Heartbeat), leading in, of course, to England, and an admission as to why he has split up the 2 keyboard songs in his set.
‘Stranger to the Season’ was next, along with details of Billy Connolly’s connection with its composition.

After this SOL, followed by an instrumental from his new album, which he noodled without benefit of sofa - Housewife’s Choice.  As well as explaining its title, he gave a brief plug for the new album at this point, and a longer one (for which he apologised!) for SF6S. (Incidentally, during this he explained that these 6  CDs will become available one per year over the next 4 years, and that you will be on sale at gigs and the website only, and will include live tracks form the preceding years tour – something which is surely incompatible with this being his last tour / major tour?)

A tribute to Bert Jansch, followed by ‘A Kiss in the Rain’, then the final song ‘ The Ghost of Robert Johnson’.

Much applause, then the encore -  Somewhere Down the Road.  Finished  9:47

As I mentioned, Ralph was on really excellent form. I thought that a tiny bit of nervousness showed in his voice for the first couple of songs, but after this his voice was excellent if understandably sounding emotional in ‘A Kiss in the Rain’.

We took 3 friends with us last night – one had come for the 3rd time, one for his second, and the third for her first ever Ralph gig. All of them where duly impressed. Rachel, there for her first time, commented on how good his voice is for his age, and how much his ‘talking bits’ had added to her enjoyment of the songs. One of the other friends with us is a multi-instrumental player and singer himself, and, as on his previous trip to hear Ralph was blown away with the standard of his guitar playing (not surprisingly!)

I think that Rachel’s final comment summed the evening up for me ‘ he keeps mentioning various artists that he said were better guitarists or songwriters than him – can they really be, or is he just incredibly modest?’
The latter, I’d say!  ;)  :)
Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on October 06, 2012, 11:23:31 PM
Thanks for the review...another month until I catch up with Ralph in Taunton, but the  new CDs arrived today to keep me going!  :0)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 07, 2012, 03:31:03 PM

As Carl said on English Heartbeat thread, Ralph was on excellent form last night – here’s a review of the evening. (I’m not going to go into too much detail about his introductions, as I don’t want to spoil the anything for those of you with tickets for the rest of the tour.)

The venue was the Floral Pavilion, which is right on the edge of the Mersey estuary in New Brighton. It was the first time we’d been there, and, in the main, we liked it very much. The only problem with it was that it was unreserved seating – we got there early and managed to get seats in the 2nd row, so we had a good view, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be at the back, especially as the seats weren’t raked, and the stage was low – I think visibility must have been very poor back there! However, sound was obviously more important then vision and that was, as ever, excellent. I was particularly pleased to see a keyboard on the stage, as it’s years since I’ve seen a gig where he’d played one. His new CD ‘Sofa Noodling’ was playing quietly in the background as we waited.

Ralph started a couple of minutes late, and explained that he was going to start with a song he’d written especially for opening performances – Walk into the Morning. He followed this by saying that he’s lived in London for longer than anywhere else, but that, even so, there’s always something new to find out about it. This, obviously, led into London Apprentice.

His 3rd song was The Lamplighter – England 1914. He tied this to the previous song by talking about his love of England, and also told some stories about his Uncles who fought in WW1, including how one of them lied about his age to join up, and how this came to be found out, resulting in his being sent back home.

After this, he began to talk about playing for Rev Gary Davies, and the photo of this meeting which he treasures. I’d assumed he was leading up to Hesitation Blues, but, in fact he then played ‘Reverend Thunder’.( Almost the entire set was played on ’the best guitar in the world’, Miss Gibson, and at this point he told us how she got her name, and also how little remains of his original Miss G!)

This was followed by ‘The Girl on the Jersey Ferry’. Then moved to the keyboard, and, without introduction, into You Well Meaning. I find this a hard song to listen to, because it evokes so strongly the pain that Ralph went through in his 20s, and some of its lines ‘I know every stranger here’ and the last few lines, in particular, are so poignant. I was still very glad to hear him play it, though, as we’ve only heard it live once before. As I said, there was no introduction to this, but as he moved back to the guitars, he explained that he’d written it at a time when he was going through a huge number of changes in his life, which were both bewildering and painful.

The following number was played on the other guitar (another Gibson J45, which he’d apparently bought just in case it was better than Miss G, but he confirmed that she’s still the best!). Our guitar playing friend told us that it was in open tuning, and Ralph played it with a slide for a stunning version of ‘Birdman’ which we think should be a strong contended for the next Songs for Six Strings CD.

Then back to Miss Gibson for Zimmerman blues, which was introduced by an account of who Angela was, and why the concert for her by ‘His Bobness’ raised questions in Ralph’s mind.
Then, with no comment before or after, he played ‘The Hiring Fair’ – an old favourite I’m always pleased to hear.

Next, back to the keyboard, for an explanation of the title of the tour (An English Heartbeat), leading in, of course, to England, and an admission as to why he has split up the 2 keyboard songs in his set.
‘Stranger to the Season’ was next, along with details of Billy Connolly’s connection with its composition.

After this SOL, followed by an instrumental from his new album, which he noodled without benefit of sofa - Housewife’s Choice.  As well as explaining its title, he gave a brief plug for the new album at this point, and a longer one (for which he apologised!) for SF6S. (Incidentally, during this he explained that these 6  CDs will become available one per year over the next 4 years, and that you will be on sale at gigs and the website only, and will include live tracks form the preceding years tour – something which is surely incompatible with this being his last tour / major tour?)

A tribute to Bert Jansch, followed by ‘A Kiss in the Rain’, then the final song ‘ The Ghost of Robert Johnson’.

Much applause, then the encore -  Somewhere Down the Road.  Finished  9:47

As I mentioned, Ralph was on really excellent form. I thought that a tiny bit of nervousness showed in his voice for the first couple of songs, but after this his voice was excellent if understandably sounding emotional in ‘A Kiss in the Rain’.

We took 3 friends with us last night – one had come for the 3rd time, one for his second, and the third for her first ever Ralph gig. All of them where duly impressed. Rachel, there for her first time, commented on how good his voice is for his age, and how much his ‘talking bits’ had added to her enjoyment of the songs. One of the other friends with us is a multi-instrumental player and singer himself, and, as on his previous trip to hear Ralph was blown away with the standard of his guitar playing (not surprisingly!)

I think that Rachel’s final comment summed the evening up for me ‘ he keeps mentioning various artists that he said were better guitarists or songwriters than him – can they really be, or is he just incredibly modest?’
The latter, I’d say!  ;)  :)
Naomi



Naomi that's such a lovely review, I'm so looking forward to seeing this concert. I'm impressed that you are able to give us such a good account, I normally sit there and let all those lovely songs just wash over me, if I try to remember what was sung the memory lets me down big time once home!  ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 07, 2012, 04:33:03 PM
Thanks JJ :)
It does help that Carl jots down the set list as the evening progresses!
Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 07, 2012, 05:13:49 PM
Did you buy the albums after the show, did Ralph meet and greet and sign etc?  ;)

Did you notice how good the sound was with his son on board?

Sorrry, so many questions....  ;D ;D

I've just checked Ralph's tour page on his site and wondering who else is going from here, we need to know more.  ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 07, 2012, 07:27:48 PM
Hi JJ,

Ralph did do a meet and greet session, but we were unable to stay for it as one of our friends needed to get home. We ordered both the new CDs from Ralph's website, and they arrived on Friday morning. We plan to get them signed at Clonter.

The sound was excellent. The only minor issue in connection with this was that he only seemed to have one sound cable for both guitars so he had to swop it backwards and forwards between them, something which I don't think usually happens. We did see his new tour manager, but only from a distance, so couldn't really tell how like his dad he is! It seemed a bit odd not to see Donard around though. Carl has just pointed out that Ralph did quite a lot of talking between songs, which may have something to do with Donard not being there whispering in his earpiece that he should stop talking and get on with singing!

I don't want to put too many details on the board as some people don't like 'spoilers', but if anyone has any more questions, please let me know and I'll email or IM the answers to you. :)


Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 09, 2012, 12:45:48 PM
There's a bit of a review of a recent Ralph concert here (http://tootlepedal.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/a-blast-from-the-past/).

(You need to scroll down quite a way, past some (rather beautiful) pics of insects, birds, flowers and countryside - the mention of Ralph is not far from the end, between the road to Castle O'er and a pair of chaffinches!)

I know just what he means about how astonishingly quickly Ralph makes an hour and fourty minutes pass  ;D

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on October 09, 2012, 02:55:50 PM
Naomi [and Carl?]
                       Thanks for the review and other links, always a joy to see a fresh take on Ralphs work.  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on October 09, 2012, 06:00:50 PM

There's a bit of a review of a recent Ralph concert here (http://tootlepedal.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/a-blast-from-the-past/).

(You need to scroll down quite a way, past some (rather beautiful) pics of insects, birds, flowers and countryside - the mention of Ralph is not far from the end, between the road to Castle O'er and a pair of chaffinches!)

I know just what he means about how astonishingly quickly Ralph makes an hour and fourty minutes pass  ;D

Naomi


Interesting that a little higher up there's a photo of 'The Gates of Eden'  I wonder if the blogger realises there's a Ralph connection.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Alan2 on October 11, 2012, 09:09:17 AM
Quote
Naomi that's such a lovely review, I'm so looking forward to seeing this concert. I'm impressed that you are able to give us such a good account, I normally sit there and let all those lovely songs just wash over me, if I try to remember what was sung the memory lets me down big time once home!  ::)


Yes, I can't remember the set order when i get home, but if i sit with a notebook and pen/cil I can usually recall which songs were played. The set @ last night's concert @ The Customs House was the same, to all intents etc. as the one Naomi describes. I was nearer the front than I usually choose to be (this can affect the sound as well as how things appear) but that didn't trouble me too much.

I feel Ralph isn't quite as adept as he used to be on the guitar. That's being a bit picky, I know, but I've seen him well over a dozen times, over the years, and while i have difficulty remembering individual concerts, I recall times a few years ago when the playing was really outstanding- such as on 'That'll do Babe' and other complex pieces.

I'm not going to stop going to see Ralph, though, and  I can't see him stopping touring uinless he has to. And after all, there are 4 more of those 'strings' CDs to get. :-)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 15, 2012, 07:25:51 PM
We're just back from Richmond in North Yorkshire where Ralph played the beautifully restored Georgian Theatre Royal last night. They had very uncomfortable seats in the 18th Century, which were packed rather too close together for a 100-minute gig with no break. But Ralph was relaxed and in great form, which more than compensated for the discomfort. I couldn't have suggested a better set - half of the 'Somwhere Down The Road' songs interspersed with 'You Well Meaning', 'Old Brown Dog', 'Michael', 'Birdman', 'England 1914', 'Stranger to the Seasons', 'Ferryman' and the ubiquitous 'SoL' with full choir... plus one of the noodles from the new CD. We met some old friends, and, as usual, chatted to a few who had not seen Ralph before. As well as the new CDs on the merchandise stall, there's a T-shirt with the 'heartbeat' snippet from 'England'.
 


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 15, 2012, 08:30:42 PM
Thanks for that John, it sounded rather lovely. It's a long time until Cadogan Hall so good to read these reviews.  ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on October 15, 2012, 10:31:08 PM

 They had very uncomfortable seats in the 18th Century, which were packed rather too close together for a 100-minute gig with no break.  


Thanks John , interesting to see the variations on the set list.  Well if you will grow so tall I'm not surprised you didn't have enough leg room  ;)

Carl


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on October 21, 2012, 12:07:16 AM
Extremely comfortable seats at Clonter - just back from there.  Will write more about the concert later but it was quite a variation in the set list.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on October 21, 2012, 07:17:39 PM
Clonter Opera Theatre 20 Oct 2012

What an incredible venue!  Clonter Farm has done what many farms have done over the years, diversify.  Many have used their land for caravans and holiday chalets.  Clonter have built an opera theatre.  A 400 seat venue, fully raked theatre with balcony, bar and lounge area in the heart of the Cheshire countryside.  The emphasis being on ‘heart’, this is one venue when Sat Nav really is required.

We were in the centre of the third row, on a level with Ralph.  He was a little late starting at 8:05.
But came on stage to applause and went straight into “Walk into the morning”.  A short chat about the generation he remembers who could recall the events of the first world war led into “England 1914, the Lamplighter”.   Ralph told us about Rev Gary Davies, the blind, gun toting, guitar playing Harlem minister – “Reverend Thunder”.  We had an account of Ralph getting stuck at one line of Citizen Kane, and how this has become “The Girl on the Jersey Ferry” Ralph got all the words right tonight, at New Brighton he missed a few lines.
Without any explanation Ralph moved to the piano - In New Brighton this was Ralph’s own stage, digital piano, but this was Clonter Opera Theatre so he had a grand piano. Ralph went straight into “England” and explained the song to us afterwards, it’s a love song.

All Ralph’s guitar pieces had been on Miss Gibson, his J45, but now Ralph used his other guitar, it was, he said,  a new one and it wasn’t the Gibson he’d had at New Brighton.  Into “Birdman”, I think this might be one of my nominations for the next volume of ‘songs for 6 strings’ – but not this version because he forgot to put his slide on his finger and had to stop to pick it up!  ::)
I never realised before that “The Setting” was played open tuned but that’s how Ralph played it tonight.    This led into a folk song, love song with a happy ending – no one dies or drowns or anything, written for Fairport, “The Girl from the Hiring Fair”,

Before the show I’d had a chat with Eduardo and slipped him a request for Ralph.  Ralph moved back to the piano and told us about an elderly couple he’d known when he was younger and how it’s not always necessary for them to speak, you sometimes just know what’s going on in the other’s head when you’ve been together a long time.   This led into “Naomi”.  I’ve never made any request before but knowing he was using the piano on this tour I couldn’t resist asking for it. :D
Back to Miss Gibson and Ralph did something I have never ever see him do on stage in 20 odd years.  He had to tune up! Seriously, he used a digital tuner.  :o He went into “Now this has started” and into more tuning, he said the guitar shape had changed.
He didn’t try the Glasgow accent when he told us of the occasion he and Billy Connolly heard a young trade unionist say a man without a job is “A Stranger to the Seasons”

Ralph asked us all if we’d ever wanted to sing at the opera house as we were invited to singalong with SOL.
The tuning problems seemed to have settled down so next came “Gypsy” followed by the only piece from Sofa Noodling, “Housewives Choice”.
Ralph gave us a brief account of the tragically short life of Robert Johnson and finished with “The Ghost of Robert Johnson” before going off to hide in the dark for a minute then return for the encore. “Somewhere Down the Road”.  Ralph left the stage at 9:46 pm

Ralph was relaxed throughout and he and the audience seemed really in touch.  Maybe at New Brighton, since that was the second date of the tour Ralph was a bit tense, at Clonter he was really at ease.  The audience was responsive to the humour and all seemed to enjoy.  It was a mixed bunch of all ages, a few teenagers and a good number of under 30s.   Quite wish I was going to Derby tonight or London for the end but I’m glad we got to see him at the beginning and middle.    :)  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 21, 2012, 08:02:15 PM
Thanks Carl, lovely informative review, glad Ralph seems so relaxed, love the choice of material, pleased he played your request  ;) At some previous concerts he's 'forgotten' to check his list of requests and has grouped a few together so good job your request for Naomi wasn't grouped with 'Dancing Doreen' it wouldn't have worked would it?!  ;D

Was he signing after the show, did you join the queue for your 2 minutes?  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 21, 2012, 09:09:01 PM
Hi JJ

Yes, he was signing - and yes we joined the queue for our two minutes chat  :)
There was quite a long queue, but, as usual it was well worth the wait!

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on October 25, 2012, 10:44:47 AM

This (http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/leisure/entertainment/theatre/review/9994380.Ralph_McTell__Georgian_Theatre_Royal__Richmond/) is a review of Ralph up North in Richmond - much further north than Oxfordshire!

The reviewer clearly appreciates Ralph - particularly glad that she only briefly mentions the song most people seem to mention ad infinitem, instead remarking

"Part folk and part country blues, his wellcrafted songs and charming anecdotes validate his legendary status proving that his early success was no one trick pony."

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 27, 2012, 01:53:40 PM
In case some of you don't leave the comfort of McMansions, there's a concert review here...you may need to scroll down.  ;)

http://www.talkawhile.co.uk/yabbse/index.php?topic=38849.msg612813#new


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 05, 2012, 12:32:23 AM
Stables tonight. Splendid...more later ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gmf (Giles) on November 17, 2012, 09:13:58 AM
Saw Ralph at Sandwich last night - an old church, now an Arts centre. First time there for both Ralph & us. Ralph played for nearly 2 hours without a break, and mixed a fair number of songs from 'Somewhere down the Road' with older - and less often heard - ones. A nice mix! 3 more dates in the current tour - if you can catch it, then do.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 21, 2012, 11:32:53 AM
Hi all,

There's a review of Ralph in Huntingdon here, (http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2012/11/live-review-ralph-mctell-huntingdon-hall-worcester/) which is worth a read.

Naomi

PS Looking forward to your review, as promised, Delfini (please  ;) )


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 21, 2012, 11:45:03 AM
Me again!

Another review  here, (http://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/lifestyle/lifestyle-and-leisure-news/review-ralph-mctell-at-the-apex-bury-st-edmunds-1-4504180) and a brief article about the tour from Sandwich here. (http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Ralph-takes-streets-Sandwich/story-17338380-detail/story.html)

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on November 21, 2012, 04:04:01 PM

Me again!

Another review  here, (http://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/lifestyle/lifestyle-and-leisure-news/review-ralph-mctell-at-the-apex-bury-st-edmunds-1-4504180) and a brief article about the tour from Sandwich here. (http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Ralph-takes-streets-Sandwich/story-17338380-detail/story.html)

Naomi


Thanks for keeping your eyes peeled Naomi. Great!  8)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 21, 2012, 06:18:08 PM
...Ralph in Huntingdon...


It was the Huntingdon Hall in Worcester, Naomi.

Louise Jordan (who wrote the 'Huntingdon' review) opened for Ralph. She sang and played guitar beautifully. Go see her if she's near you.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on November 23, 2012, 03:07:41 PM

...Ralph in Huntingdon...


It was the Huntingdon Hall in Worcester, Naomi.

Louise Jordan (who wrote the 'Huntingdon' review) opened for Ralph. She sang and played guitar beautifully. Go see her if she's near you.


Oops - thanks John  :-[  :)

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 24, 2012, 12:14:23 AM

Hi all,

There's a review of Ralph in Huntingdon here, (http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2012/11/live-review-ralph-mctell-huntingdon-hall-worcester/) which is worth a read.

Naomi

PS Looking forward to your review, as promised, Delfini (please  ;) )


 
Believe me, if he'd been in Huntingdon again, I'd have been there. I have ticket no 1 from his last visit....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 25, 2012, 12:24:22 PM
The MK one, please, Diane! ;)


Stables tonight. Splendid...more later ;D


Title: Concert chatter 2013
Post by: tryer on May 01, 2013, 04:27:28 PM
Well I certainly hope I am not Out of order? Ralph Bromsgrove  Artrix Centre  Fri 11th Oct!    


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 01, 2013, 11:15:34 PM
Thanks, Tryer. The first sighting this year... Autumn can't be far away!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on May 01, 2013, 11:58:01 PM
Erm...Second sighting? The first was  Barnfield in exeter October?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 02, 2013, 12:24:54 AM
Yes, you mentioned that. Do you have a date and a link for it?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on May 02, 2013, 03:20:26 PM
It is advertised in the Barnfield Theatre brochure No date as yet other than Oct :(  
 It appears the tour will be      The one more for the road tour   ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 02, 2013, 08:20:06 PM
I'll drink to that.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on May 08, 2013, 05:35:02 PM
Ralph McTell on Saturday 2nd November St Mary in the Castle, Hastings..


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on December 28, 2014, 11:06:22 AM
Two reviews of Ralph's 70th birthday celebration concert:

Ralph, Albert & Sydney (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/fansreviews3.html#trdl)

Oapschat (http://www.oapschat.co.uk/14-lifestyle/topical-issues/302-streets-of-london-40-years-on-a-concert-celebrating-ralph-mctell-s-70th-birthday)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on December 30, 2014, 06:25:27 PM
Thanks John, very nicely written.

We also enjoyed the recent 4 part interview on the same OAP site  ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on January 02, 2015, 08:20:52 AM
Great news on Ralphs website [in NEWS] regarding a concert!"


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on January 03, 2015, 09:44:54 PM

Great news on Ralphs website [in NEWS] regarding a concert!"


Hmmm....I've just checked Ralph's website News and cant see a thing, other than his birthday thank you?

Do I need new specs?  [;-) ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on January 04, 2015, 03:00:15 AM
Sorry wasnt clear clip from Laugharne, Concert


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 11, 2015, 10:40:14 AM
Ralph's second night of his spring tour was at Poppleton, a village on the River Ouse near York. It oused alright, all weekend. But that couldn't dampen the music. Fairport Convention on Friday, Ralph on Saturday. A dream ticket. Ralph sang:



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on May 11, 2015, 11:49:22 AM
Less than 90 minutes?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on May 11, 2015, 12:00:40 PM
 Quite similar to Durham thanks John.....worth the trip! I can assure you if it was 90 mins it was 90 mins of pure bliss  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 11, 2015, 05:00:46 PM

Less than 90 minutes?


It was a Poppleton Live Festival event. Fake Thackray warmed us up for an hour first.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 12, 2015, 12:27:43 AM
Review (http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/leisure/music/12942467.Review__Ralph_McTell__Poppleton_Live__Poppleton_Centre__Saturday__May_9/)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Naomi on May 13, 2015, 11:22:20 AM
Thanks John - an interesting review.

Ralph clearly has great potential as an actor if he can appear to be a 'relaxed performer' - he can obviously fool watchers into thinking he is what he's not!

Can't wait to see / hear him in November having read this review to whet my appetite - it's about 2 years since we last saw him perform - feels like ages!

Naomi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on May 23, 2015, 08:21:30 AM
I was at Union Chapel last night to see our very own 'Sir' Ralph...come on, what does it take to recognise this wonderful national treasure we have when so many other non-talents seemed to get honoured?!! It was a privilege to see him perform relaxed and in fine voice. The 'Ghost of Robert Johnson' just blew me away and the evening was far too short! I saw John Beresford across the 'pews' but sadly had to rush off at the end for a connecting train, so no chat to Ralph or photo shoot for me this time....

A new album is slowly being written but he played as encore  Was hoping for 2 songs as encore especially, 'Somewhere down the road' but the set list was slightly different to John's, no 'hiring fair' or Tequila.
Where were you Chris Bates and SteveK?!  ;)  O0


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on May 23, 2015, 11:04:20 AM
Me? I went to the Maidenhead gig last week at Nordern Farm. Last night I was esconsed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (where Ralph is playing with John Williams on June 5, now sold out) to see Julie Fowlis....great gig, the seats are worse than Ryanairs!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 24, 2015, 12:10:22 PM
Sorry I missed you, Jo. Great show of course. Songs sung at Union Chapel 22 May 2015
The London Apprentice
Arthur Blake
First Song
After Rain
Peppers & Tomatoes
FIN
First and Last Man
Barges
Streets of London
Summer Lightning
Red Sky at Night
Around the Wild Cape Horn
The Ghost of Robert Johnson
The Girl on the Jersey Ferry
Canopus
Encore: West 4th St & Jones


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: SteveK on May 26, 2015, 06:39:32 PM

...
Where were you Chris Bates and SteveK?!  ;)  O0

Sorry Ma'am!  ::)
I had commitments at my gliding club and also had to work. Combining the two, a long drive, a meeting, progressed the  build of three servers over A VPN from the club, and got no flying in....  :(

Anyway.. Thanks for the reviews.

New album eh??? Any ETA???

SteveK


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on May 27, 2015, 09:18:14 AM


...
Where were you Chris Bates and SteveK?!  ;)  

Sorry Ma'am!  ::)
I had commitments at my gliding club and also had to work. Combining the two, a long drive, a meeting, progressed the  build of three servers over A VPN from the club, and got no flying in....  :(

Anyway.. Thanks for the reviews.

New album eh??? Any ETA???

SteveK



Ok Steve, you are forgiven but were missed, esp at a London gig!  ;)

Ralph and ETA?! I suppose it depends on how fast he can write some more songs....may take years!  ;D ::)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on May 27, 2015, 10:10:42 AM
New songs? or standards?  :o


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: YaBB Master (Colin) on May 29, 2015, 12:41:06 PM
Hang on, what did they just say on the news? Rail strike next Friday  >:(  :-\


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on May 29, 2015, 01:35:37 PM
Yep, very few if any trains from lunchtime Thursday to close on Friday


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on May 29, 2015, 08:32:29 PM

Yep, very few if any trains from lunchtime Thursday to close on Friday


Off topic but just to say I feel so very sad. I've waited months to visit my son in Birmingham, have booked train reservation and a travel lodge for 2 nights too as its his birthday. Looking at other possibilities...  :'( >:(


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on May 30, 2015, 07:27:08 PM
They *might* call it off again....check possibilites, bit be ready to go


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on June 02, 2015, 10:00:48 AM
Trains are back on, Jo! Enjoy your son's birthday. Don't forget your McTell MP3 playlist...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on June 02, 2015, 11:20:58 AM
 I knew they would be? I bought tickets on National Express as a fall back!  ::)  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on June 03, 2015, 11:21:40 AM

Trains are back on, Jo! Enjoy your son's birthday. Don't forget your McTell MP3 playlist...


Thanks John, so looking forward to it and, as per usual, Ralph will be plugged in...  ;)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on November 08, 2015, 08:26:43 PM
Ralph Mctell setlist 07/11/2015

Quays Theatre, The Lowry, Salford
Single set, no interval, 20:00 - 21:45
Seat G7
Ralph Mctell on stage with 3 guitars



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on November 09, 2015, 08:34:59 AM
Must have been plenty of chat between songs!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Alan2 on November 09, 2015, 09:14:37 AM
^ Good setlist. I look forward to the 19th.  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Alan2 on November 20, 2015, 11:33:38 AM
Good night at the Sage last night. I don't have a precise setlist, but it was similar to the one given by peascod above, give or take a few-  no 'Barges' or 'Kiss in the Rain', 'Lost Boys' , but 'London Apprentice' 'Housewives' Choice' and at least one other included. The new album (next year) should be good.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: CarlWoodb on November 21, 2015, 11:01:07 AM
The penultimate date of the tour last night at New Brighton.  (not including
There was a little less chat than at the Lowry plus a grand piano on stage which resulted in quite a different set list.

Walk into the morning
London Apprentice
Diamond Joe
Canopus                      these last 2 on 12 string
Hands of Joseph
Old  Brown Dog            piano
England                       piano  
You make me feel good
Gypsy
First Song
After Rain
Let me fly of let me fall    piano
Naomi                            piano
When they were young
SOL
Summer Lightning
The girl on the Jersey Ferry
Ghost of Robert Johnson

West Fourth St. and Jones.

As Wallace would say 'Cracking performance Gromit'


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on May 15, 2016, 11:51:18 PM
Loyal Command Performance
Ralph McTell at the Royal Albert Hall
Thursday 12 May 2016

Ralph McTell’s concert audiences have for many years been characterized as largely comprising people ‘of a certain age’, an epithet that suggests an enduring fan base of folk who have followed McTell since the 1970s. It should therefore not have come as a surprise that, when asked to nominate songs for this concert’s set list, the majority chose songs from those early days: 16 of the ‘top 20’ were 40 years old or more, two were from 30 years ago, with the newest of the people’s choices having been premiered at McTell’s 6oth birthday concert as ‘recently’ as 2004.

This is not to say the people chose badly. On the contrary, their selections made a wonderful set, which McTell delivered with all the clarity and charm that has kept his audiences coming back for more over the decades. Despite having sung them so often, he treated each one as though it were freshly wrought, revealing nuances of meaning and melody that were probably not in his original intention.

The quality of McTell’s early albums is emphasised by the titles that did not make this cut. There were three songs from You Well-Meaning, but no ‘Old Brown Dog’; four from Not Till Tomorrow but no ‘Birdman’ or ‘Gypsy’; three from Easy but no room for ‘Maddy Dances or ‘Run Johnny Run’. Nevertheless much of what we did get was sublime – exemplary performances of ‘Michael in the Garden’, ‘The Ferryman’ and ‘First Song’; and McTell’s own choice of encore, ‘West 4th Street and Jones’, a ‘new’ song that will be high on my list when next he invites the faithful to choose the songs.

Another aspect of being ‘of a certain age’ and having followed McTell since the 1970s (in my case since 1969), is the friendships that develop with like-minded folk who one meets at the concerts, sometimes by arrangement but often by chance. On this occasion I met Ruth off the tube and Lesley, John and Chris in the pub, along with Bjorn from Norway and his three friends, and two Burnley fans from Scunthorpe. Then Mags and Linda on the way into the Hall, where Ken and Maggie were in the corridor. On the way out I met Carl and Naomi with Jenny and Diane, then Tony and Margot, and finally Karen who was looking for friends outside when everyone else seemed to have gone. My thanks to you all for your friendships - and most of all to Ralph for making them possible.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on May 16, 2016, 07:53:48 AM
It was a special night and so glad I made it there...with 10 minutes to spare!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on June 25, 2016, 02:48:18 PM
Excellent night in Beckenham last night....didn't rake a set list but a number that I've not heard for a while....maybe Ken can remember them?

Also of note that he played a two-set gig with an interval. Hasn't done that for a while either. Hope he's not getting too wet/muddy today!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on June 26, 2016, 09:29:56 PM
Ralph is playing 'England' (not the football team!!!)  from approx. 36 mins in....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07jcgbx/glastonbury-2016-saturday-part-1


Plus a review...

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/glastonbury-2016-review-ralph-mctell/story-29443629-detail/story.html


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on July 03, 2016, 01:15:43 PM
Use this link (http://www.mediafire.com/download/dw6lxx3v2njfqpa/Ralph_McTell_-_England_%28Glastonbury_2016%29.mp4) to download Ralph’s performance of “England” for the BBC at Glastonbury.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on August 02, 2016, 01:34:29 PM
Just saw Ralph at Ballyshannon Folk Festival.  Was a great night, brilliant sound quality and he was in great spirits.  Looking forward to the Autumn tour...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on August 02, 2016, 01:55:05 PM
I suspect I was sat just to your left....:-)

New song about a WW1 draftee in Dublin in 1916....and a very on-form Ralph he was!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Carol on August 02, 2016, 08:15:34 PM
We were sitting on the raised bit, right hand side of the stage.  Enjoyed the new song very much and yes, a very on- form Ralph!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on August 02, 2016, 10:40:41 PM
Down the front, over to the left of your photo


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on August 03, 2016, 12:22:37 PM

New song about a WW1 draftee in Dublin in 1916....


Did you a get a song title? Or care to propose one?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on August 03, 2016, 01:05:53 PM
He said he'd only recently written it....performing it for the first time. Not sure it even had a title?

Can check with him at Cropredy - he suggested a few beers at the bar!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on September 13, 2016, 09:44:05 AM
Answers this question in his latest e-newsletter, just in....

Quote
It is about the Easter rising in 1916 and I call it the "GPO & P.S", at the moment.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 17, 2016, 01:58:47 PM
Thanks, Chris. "P.S", anybody?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on September 17, 2016, 08:26:07 PM

Thanks, Chris. "P.S", anybody?


Post script?!  :D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: MarkV on September 17, 2016, 08:57:24 PM


Thanks, Chris. "P.S", anybody?


Post script?!  :D

Postal Service?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: gmf (Giles) on September 18, 2016, 08:12:39 AM
'An Post' is the name of the postal service of the Republic of Ireland (so their 'GPO').


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on September 22, 2016, 12:09:28 PM
And I believe. the prize goes too? Giles [GMF] I dont like the Elongated pause!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on September 22, 2016, 12:46:39 PM
Ralph at the John Renbourn tribute tonight....anyone else there?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on September 23, 2016, 10:32:30 AM
Didn't look like it.

Sold out & full of the good the great.....Tom was with Ralph. He told me Billy is coming over for the tour too, so it'll really be a family affair.

Ralph played four numbers -
Hands of Joseph
A rag that I can't remember the name of, segued from the song above, so no intro.
Girl on the Jersey ferry
Ghost of Robert Johnson

On good form & in (rude?!) good health. Looking forward to the tour too.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 29, 2016, 11:59:49 PM


Thanks, Chris. "P.S", anybody?


Post script?!  :D


Ralph confirms 'The PS is the post script and the song is on You tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-MDWK724Wk&feature=share) already'. The 'PS' reference is in the last verse.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 30, 2016, 12:11:11 AM
Chris said:
Quote
Hands of Joseph
A rag that I can't remember the name of, segued from the song above, so no intro.


Was it the Joseph Spence tune 'Great dreams of Heaven', aka 'There will be a happy meeting in glory'? Ralph often appends it to concert performances of 'Hands of Joseph'.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Alan2 on September 30, 2016, 03:57:19 PM
This is the best version I'v eheard, but it's  not available.  >:( :(

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0ozBFZBjE0


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on October 31, 2016, 10:53:51 AM
From Ralph's newsletter, overnight

Quote
It is our pleasure to also announce that Ralph will be returning to the Half moon on the 7th of December for his,
 
72nd Birthday Benefit Concert for Crisis at Christmas
 
 Tickets will go on sale on Monday the 31st of October at 10am with all proceeds going to the charity. We do hope that you can help make this another sell out show and join Ralph just a few days after his birthday.
 
 More details of this show will follow in the week.


Can't go unfortunately, I'm in Germany.....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on October 31, 2016, 08:31:12 PM

From Ralph's newsletter, overnight

Quote
It is our pleasure to also announce that Ralph will be returning to the Half moon on the 7th of December for his,
  
72nd Birthday Benefit Concert for Crisis at Christmas
  
 Tickets will go on sale on Monday the 31st of October at 10am with all proceeds going to the charity. We do hope that you can help make this another sell out show and join Ralph just a few days after his birthday.
  
 More details of this show will follow in the week.


Can't go unfortunately, I'm in Germany.....



Neither can I unfortunately  :(

http://tickets.halfmoon.co.uk/events/7-dec-16-ralph-mctells-72nd-birthday-benefit-concert-for-crisis-at-Christmas-half-moon--putney/


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on November 06, 2016, 04:24:53 PM
Ralph Mctell setlist 05/11/2016

Key Theatre, Peterborough
Single set, no interval, 19:35 - 21:15
Seat A12
Ralph Mctell on stage with 3 guitars and piano
(12 string, Gibson J45, Martin RM50 signature) and piano



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: davidmjs on November 06, 2016, 04:26:34 PM

Ralph Mctell setlist 05/11/2016

Key Theatre, Peterborough
Single set, no interval, 19:35 - 21:15
Seat A12
Ralph Mctell on stage with 3 guitars and piano
(12 string, Gibson J45, Martin RM50 signature) and piano




My, Ralph wanted home early, didn't he?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on November 06, 2016, 07:23:26 PM
Missed Nanna's Song off


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on November 06, 2016, 08:18:39 PM
Shame we didn't know Peascod, we were in A6/7 (with the Cropredy Tee shirt) maybe we should introduce a badge so we can recognize other Talkawhilers., Weren't they just the best seats ever, so comfy it was just like being at home. As for finishing time, he did mention being told by the management (somewhat tongue in cheek) that time was getting on, and it was quite an early start at 7.30, maybe they go to bed early in Peterborough.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on November 07, 2016, 04:34:53 PM
All three I went to were 7.30 starts, and he played right through, finishing between 9.15 and 9.30. It did sound as if Peterborough wanted him to finish up, by his comments. Great shows though, and a different set list for each.


Title: Concert Chatter
Post by: Cool Cat on November 12, 2016, 12:45:02 PM
We saw Ralph McTell at Canterbury last night (11.11.16).  During the show he made many references to Armistice Day and mentioned his grandfather and great uncles who had been on active service in WWI.

As a gesture, all proceeds of the sales of his EP ‘Unknown Soldier’ that night were going to the Poppy Appeal.
There is more … his final song was ‘Lost Boys’.  Before he introduced it, he explained that once he left the stage, his recording of ‘Unknown Soldier’ would be played and asked that we sit and listen to it.  Incredibly moving.  It had parallels with a funeral service when you listen to the final piece of music and sit there with your thoughts.
 
The songs he sang during the evening (not in order). Walk into the Morning. Nanna’s Song. First Song. Maginot Waltz. Tequila Sunset. Wino and the Mouse. Hesitation Blues. That’ll Do Babe. Ferryman. Streets of London. Diamond Joe. Still in Dreams. Sand in your Shoes. Girl from the Hiring Fair. The Setting. Lost Boys.

Very memorable evening


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on November 30, 2016, 07:35:15 PM
Just discovered I can now make the Half Moon birthday gig on the 7th Dec...my gig elsewhere moved date, and I can't now make that so I got it refunded.

Bonus, I thought there was only Cadogan left this year!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on November 30, 2016, 09:14:48 PM
Excellent, Chris, see you there! Anyone else going?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on December 09, 2016, 06:30:48 PM
Half Moon set list, 7 December 2016

Ralph:
First song
Slipshod taproom dance (Soho so what)
The Irish girl
Mr Connaughton
First and last man
When they were young
Old brown dog
Peppers and tomatoes
The ghost of Robert Johnson
Zimmerman blues

With Wizz Jones:
Honey babe blues
Deportees
Abandoned love

With Graham Preskett & Half Moon Choir:
Weather the storm
Tequila sunset
Streets of London
From Clare to here

Everyone:
Do re mi


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on December 09, 2016, 11:34:49 PM
Anyone going to Cadogan Hall?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on December 10, 2016, 09:31:32 AM
Oh yes.....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 10, 2016, 09:43:42 AM

Anyone going to Cadogan Hall?


See you there?!  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on December 10, 2016, 10:40:34 AM


Anyone going to Cadogan Hall?


See you there?!  ;D


 ;D I accidentally booked a ticket! Look forward to seeing you.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on December 25, 2016, 09:33:13 AM
Thoroughly into and enjoying Humbug mode. I had the merest morsel of peace and goodwill on Christmas eve, eve.in the Eve! An incredible evening, taken to places, with characters from my life. hopefully new friends? but delighting in the ones made, along the way. And then at the end.....In the bleak midwinter .........God bless us one and ALL


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Cool Cat on December 26, 2016, 03:24:40 PM
Hello Tryer.  Was the last song at Cadogan Hall In the Bleak Midwinter?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on December 26, 2016, 06:28:19 PM

Hello Tryer.  Was the last song at Cadogan Hall In the Bleak Midwinter?


No...'the things you wish yourself'


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 28, 2016, 08:59:09 PM
I wondered if all was well when Ralph suddenly got up from the piano and went off for a break........Before the concert an announcement was made from the theatre tannoy that this 90 minute concert would go straight through without a break? (I think Ralph needed the loo...haha) He did change his shirt though!!  ::)

Such a fantastic evening, it flew by, so relaxing. Such a brilliant venue for Ralph.  {:-)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on December 28, 2016, 09:07:37 PM

I wondered if all was well when Ralph suddenly got up from the piano and went off for a break........Before the concert an announcement was made from the theatre tannoy that this 90 minute concert would go straight through without a break? (I think Ralph needed the loo...haha) He did change his shirt though!!  ::)

Such a fantastic evening, it flew by, so relaxing. Such a brilliant venue for Ralph.  {:-)


Yes, I thought that too. It seemed very strange. Whatever it was, he looked and sounded well though...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on December 28, 2016, 09:15:07 PM
That would explain the hurried interval...well short of rhe standard 20 minutes. I missed hearing that announcement


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on March 02, 2017, 11:21:08 PM
Ralph will be the “star guest” at the Hamburger Hafenkonzert (Hamburg Harbour Concert) on St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, and the show will be broadcast on NDR 90,3 on 19th March from 06.00 till 08.00, and repeated on 20th March between 20.00 and 22.00.  There is a link to the live radio stream at https://www.ndr.de/903/sendungen/hamburger_hafenkonzert/index.html

Hamburg is of course the home port of the Peking, whose story Ralph sings in ‘Around the Wild Cape Horn’. Later this year Peking will be brought from New York to Hamburg, where she will be restored and put on permanent display. So that’s one song sorted for Ralph’s Hafenkonzert set list...


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on March 03, 2017, 07:30:38 AM
Easter Monday....hmm....easy to get to, lets see!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on March 03, 2017, 03:04:03 PM
Best of luck Chris, I believe its sold out. :(


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on March 03, 2017, 03:35:32 PM
yep, looks like it....


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on March 18, 2017, 11:25:40 PM

Ralph will be the “star guest” at the Hamburger Hafenkonzert (Hamburg Harbour Concert) on St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, and the show will be broadcast on NDR 90,3 on 19th March from 06.00 till 08.00, and repeated on 20th March between 20.00 and 22.00.  There is a link to the live radio stream at https://www.ndr.de/903/sendungen/hamburger_hafenkonzert/index.html


Hamburg is an hour ahead of the UK, so the radio broadcast of Ralph's Irish Night concert will be at 5am GMT on Sunday Morning and 7pm Monday Evening. The link for this is https://www.ndr.de/903/epg/stationneunzigdrei102-radioplayer.html

Meanwhile, here is a short clip from Hamburg: http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/hamburg_journal/St-Patricks-Day-Irische-Nacht-im-Gruenspan,hamj54820.html


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on March 19, 2017, 11:18:26 AM
So who got up to hear this this morning? :-)

Any set list? How long did he get?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on March 20, 2017, 11:50:20 PM
I heard from one intrepid insomniac...  but I tuned in this evening.

Ralph sang six songs in two sets (or at least that was how it was broadcast):

Mr Connaughton
The Ghost of Robert Johnson
Streets of London (with many joining in and rapturous applause)

GPO
From Clare to Here
Around the Wild Cape Horn (with explanation of 'Peking' and her imminent return to Hamburg)

The rest of the show was - naturally - trad. Irish, and a good craic was had by all.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on April 22, 2017, 08:55:45 PM
Ralph headlined the free St. George's day festival in Trafalgar Square this afternoon. He played for an enjoyable 50 minutes of course finishing with 'Streets' but I still have 'England' and 'London Apprentice' buzzing in my head, Wild Cape Horn and Ghost of Robert Johnson, Peppers and Tomatoes, First and Last Man and Hiring Fair were fabulous.


Title: Concert Chatter
Post by: Cool Cat on April 23, 2017, 01:32:09 PM
Thanks for the set list for Ralph (Horatio) McTell.  TStreets of London has been posted on youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqc94F2yc_4



Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on October 22, 2017, 06:02:13 PM
Ralph Mctell setlist 21/10/2017

City Halls, Glasgow, 20:00 – 22:45

Support – 3 acts : Robin Adams, Dale McDonald, Avocet

Interval


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on October 23, 2017, 01:40:30 PM
No signing session/Meet & Greet after that then?!!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 27, 2017, 06:26:27 PM
From FB re Palladium gig: ‘info from my ticket supplier reallyusefull theatres,is that the doors open at 6.30,the competition winner is on at 7.30 and Ralph at 8.00.’


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on October 27, 2017, 06:30:56 PM

From FB re Palladium gig: ‘info from my ticket supplier reallyusefull theatres,is that the doors open at 6.30,the competition winner is on at 7.30 and Ralph at 8.00.’


Interesting,...my ticket just says 8.00pm start.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on October 27, 2017, 10:28:06 PM
I have tickets from really useful and from SEE tickets for the same seats (only paid once) and both say 20:00 so i guess its 7.00 for beverages.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Mark J Salt on October 27, 2017, 10:31:48 PM
Just for info: FAIRPORT at Nells JazzClub, North End Crescent. on Sunday. Makes the weekend worthwhile.  A guest appearance might be nice.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on October 28, 2017, 08:01:24 AM
Ralph's idea over young support acts came after tickets went on sale, and at least Raplh will be on as scheduled on the tickets when it was sold (there was no support).

In the circumstances this is the best solution. Gig will finish at original time so no transport issues late of a Saturday night. Those arriving early (don't we all?) get a bonus.

I think the info John posted is likely correct.

fyi, the Bakerloo Line is shut all weekend over its full length - the only underground lines servicing Oxford Circus tube station are the Central Line & Victoria Line. Don't get caught out!


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on September 07, 2018, 11:55:15 PM
Thanks to Ralph fan Denis Piggott for the recording of Ralph singing 'Blues Run the Game' (http://www.ralph-mctell.co.uk/audio.html#brtg) with Al Stewart at Cropredy. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on October 07, 2018, 07:22:44 PM
Set list from Firth Hall, Sheffield University, 06/10/2018
spoiler set but he is varying the setlist during the tour


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Amethyst (Jenny) on October 07, 2018, 09:59:18 PM

Set list from Firth Hall, Sheffield University, 06/10/2018
spoiler set but he is varying the setlist during the tour



Thank you, which song did he dedicate to Maart please?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: peascod on October 08, 2018, 04:21:41 PM
He did dedicate a song to Maart but I didn't note which one, he did say it was arranged by Maart, might well have been Still In Dreams, but there were 2 other songs from Sand In Your Shoes, unless anyone else there can confirm.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Penny on October 08, 2018, 11:57:09 PM
Is Rosalinda a new song?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on October 09, 2018, 12:50:31 AM

He did dedicate a song to Maart but I didn't note which one, he did say it was arranged by Maart, might well have been Still In Dreams, but there were 2 other songs from Sand In Your Shoes, unless anyone else there can confirm.


At Peterborough he dedicated ‘After Rain’ to Maart, so I suspect it was the same with you . Maart was very involved in Sand in Your Shoes throughout, I understand.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on October 09, 2018, 01:03:26 PM

Is Rosalinda a new song?

By Ralph's reckoning, yes! It's on 'Somewhere Down the Road'.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on December 08, 2018, 09:33:31 AM


He did dedicate a song to Maart but I didn't note which one, he did say it was arranged by Maart, might well have been Still In Dreams, but there were 2 other songs from Sand In Your Shoes, unless anyone else there can confirm.


At Peterborough he dedicated ‘After Rain’ to Maart, so I suspect it was the same with you . Maart was very involved in Sand in Your Shoes throughout, I understand.


Saw Ralph last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and he did dedicate After the Rain to Maart. A sublime gig as usual supported by Smith & Brewer who played Cropredy this year


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 08, 2018, 06:55:27 PM
So enjoyed the mix of songs last night at the Festival Hall, a relaxed evening and a good atmosphere.  ;)

 
Walk into the morning
Maginot Waltz
The Ferryman
Peppers and Tomatoes
Guitar Shuffle
Streets
After Rain
The Setting
Barges
England
Naomi
Somewhere Down the Road encore with Smith and Brewer
West 4th Street and Jones
From Clare to Here
Brighton Belle
Summer Lightning
Grande Affair
Sunny Day

Obviously its 'local' ground for Ralph so there was a lot of family and friends locally, also folk there from Ireland, so no after meet n greet after as he was far too busy!  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on December 09, 2018, 09:24:39 PM
Queen Elizabeth HallI think :-)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on December 09, 2018, 09:44:54 PM
It was definitely Queen Elizabeth Hall but that is side-by-side with The Festival Hall and they are both part of the Southbank Centre so virtually the same place


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 10, 2018, 08:58:56 AM

It was definitely Queen Elizabeth Hall but that is side-by-side with The Festival Hall and they are both part of the Southbank Centre so virtually the same place


 :D  Whatever...just glad I was there wherever I was!  ;D


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Bingers (Chris) on December 10, 2018, 09:39:34 AM


It was definitely Queen Elizabeth Hall but that is side-by-side with The Festival Hall and they are both part of the Southbank Centre so virtually the same place


 :D  Whatever...just glad I was there wherever I was!  ;D


Same here - it was a lovely evening  :)


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: YaBB Master (Colin) on December 24, 2018, 08:49:15 AM
Half Moon, Putney, last night. A full house for a wonderful charity gig, with guests and...

At last a live version of 'Camilla The Camel'


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: delfini (Diane) on December 25, 2018, 12:53:01 AM

Half Moon, Putney, last night. A full house for a wonderful charity gig, with guests and...

At last a live version of 'Camilla The Camel'


Fantastic. I like the song, but it now has unfortunate associations with a person of disinterest, so to speak.  :-X


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on December 27, 2018, 04:03:51 PM

... unfortunate associations with a person of disinterest, so to speak.  :-X


Who or what are you thinking of, Diane?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: davidmjs on December 27, 2018, 05:37:26 PM


... unfortunate associations with a person of disinterest, so to speak.  :-X


Who or what are you thinking of, Diane?


The next King's future consort, one would imagine, surely?


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: JJ (Joanna) on December 29, 2018, 08:49:00 PM

Half Moon, Putney, last night. A full house for a wonderful charity gig, with guests and...

At last a live version of 'Camilla The Camel'


Fantastic!!  Chic backing singers too I see...  ;D

Happy healthy 2019 to you all.


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: Chris on January 02, 2019, 10:37:59 AM
Seems as though they've made the whole gig 'fre to view' (donation to Streets of London requested)

https://www.facebook.com/291581294293498/posts/1934646166653661?sfns=mo


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on March 02, 2019, 09:01:43 AM
Great to see Dublin Helix [OCT 5]  inc in Oct Tour


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on March 07, 2019, 01:56:10 PM
Thanks, Tryer.

Ticket info (https://thehelix.ie/what-s-on/all-events/ralph-mctell-hill-of-beans-tour/).


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: tryer on March 09, 2019, 02:44:51 PM
 And Another!  
The Maltings Theatre and Cinema, Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Eastern Lane, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 1AJ
Thu 10 Oct
£21.50 (£20) / 01289 330999

19:30 – 21:00


Title: Re: Concert Chatter
Post by: John Beresford on March 10, 2019, 03:16:56 PM
Full List (http://www.talkawhile.co.uk/yabbse/index.php?topic=46133.msg740691#msg740691) updated.