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Author Topic: Concert Chatter  (Read 317900 times)
MAJ
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« Reply #80 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...... Roll Eyes

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.....
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 08:53:00 PM by MAJ » Logged
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« Reply #81 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. !
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« Reply #82 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!!
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« Reply #83 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
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« Reply #84 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  Grin 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 !  Grin  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 :-)


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MAJ
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« Reply #85 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.

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? Angry Grin
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 08:26:18 PM by John Beresford » Logged
david stevenson
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« Reply #86 on: April 26, 2006, 03:59:07 PM »

Just found ticket number 1 from the Words and Music Tour - at Huntingdon Shocked

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
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« Reply #87 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
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Geoff
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« Reply #88 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
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John Beresford
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« Reply #89 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.
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« Reply #90 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!!!! Sad  Cry Cry

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. Smiley

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

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« Reply #91 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!
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« Reply #92 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! Smiley

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

Naomi
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« Reply #93 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! Embarrassed

Cheap seats?? Huh! Shocked

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  Huh  Roll Eyes

Sounded brilliant though!

Naomi
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« Reply #94 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.  Afro

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?  Undecided


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.  Roll Eyes

Naomi
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« Reply #95 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.
 Cool
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« Reply #96 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

 Wink
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« Reply #97 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’.
 Cool

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  Undecided ............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.
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« Reply #98 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.   Grin  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


   
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« Reply #99 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.
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