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Author Topic: Concert Chatter  (Read 167799 times)
John Beresford
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« 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...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 03:17:43 PM by John Beresford » Logged

John B

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« Reply #1 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.
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Mark
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« Reply #2 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.
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« Reply #3 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!!
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« Reply #4 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
« Last Edit: April 02, 2004, 12:31:29 AM by MAJ » Logged
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« Reply #5 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
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 01:38:56 AM by John Beresford » Logged
JJ (Joanna)
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« Reply #6 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 Smiley  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. Wink Grin

JJ
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2004, 10:21:44 PM »

Do you mean In The Dreamtime? It's on Red Sky.
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« Reply #8 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!!!!  Roll Eyes 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 Huh Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 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) Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #10 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
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« Reply #11 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
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« Reply #12 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  Wink it was Mr Tilston - who sang his own stuff, rather than Wizz's.... Huh Everyone else sang Wizz's stuff....hang on - Steve did do one with Wizz. Pete is correct. The lady with red hair.... Shocked made me think a bit that did.....then realised that was the lighting. It was the wonderful Jacqui McShee.... Cool Cool
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John Beresford
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« Reply #13 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.
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John B

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« Reply #14 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!

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« Reply #15 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
« Last Edit: May 18, 2004, 10:59:59 AM by MAJ » Logged
John Beresford
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« Reply #16 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!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2004, 10:19:46 AM by John Beresford » Logged

John B

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« Reply #17 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!!

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« Reply #18 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.
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« Reply #19 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!

 
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