Monday, May 04, 2009
The Zim in Edinburgh - March 3rd 2009!
Searching the canyons of my napper, limited recall suggests that
The last time your reporter was in Edinburgh’s Playhouse Theatre
was either for Lou Reed’s "Magic and Loss" or that Velvet Underground
travesty. Both, for various reasons weren’t good. The latter compounded
by only catching one Luna song thanks to the stupidly early start time.
The surroundings haven’t changed much if at all in all these years. It’s a proper
Venue though and that matters. It is big in general terms but not stupidly so.
It holds 3056 according to various internet sites so let’s run with that.
My pal Angel once sang that she “wouldn’t wanna be Bob Dylan”.
It seems like he can just about handle it from his location in Bobland.
All the reviews and bush telegraph buzz on this prior to attending
was that it was a train wreck and it pleases me to report that it really wasn’t.
I’m no expert on the guy but thanks must go to Brother Tom Morton
who got me out of the house on a Sunday night to ostensibly tick a box.
Never having seen him before over the decades, it’s unlikely that one
Would get the chance to see him in this size of place again, if ever.
The shebang kicked off just five minutes shy of 7.30pm. A strange
pre-recorded intro rang out before the band spilled on to the Stage and
Dylan appeared behind the keyboard. “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” kicked
off this visit to the circus. You can find the setlist here.
“Lay Lady Lay” made it clear that the renditions would likely be
Croaked approximations. The faithful know all the words anyway so
the whole point is that they’re in the presence of an ongoing enigma. There
were very few people under a half decade old. Most were the converted queuing
up for church. I found myself being able to “sing” the words to “The Red
and The Black” while Bob mumbled “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”. That was fun.
The band was Tony Garnier - bass, George Recile - drums,
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar, Denny Freeman - lead guitar and
Donnie Herron - violin, banjo, electric mandolin, pedal steel.
Google their cv's.
Highpoint for me was the mesmeric ”Tryin’ To Get To Heaven” from 1997’s
“Time Out Of Mind”. The fairground sounding keyboard was like Carnival of Souls
via Blackpool Tower. Very eerie and cool. I don’t think I heard this song before
still it felt familiar. When I got home, there was a facebook message from Gavin Martin
saying that he (Dylan) marked the regional location he was playing in during any
given set. It was suggested that a quick burst of the Andy Stewart chestnut
“Donald Whaurs Yer Troosers” might ensue. It didn’t but I think there was a
flavour of “Keep Right On ‘til The End of the Road” during “Blowin’ In The Wind”.
Never cared much for “All Along The Watchtower” but the band gave it plenty
of wellie and the BOCness made another foray. He started “Just Like A Woman”,
one of the few he played guitar on by seemingly doing a mini-version of “The Bug”
with his left foot. It was all done and dusted by 9.45pm and the 10pm train was
caught outta Dodge.
I’ll leave you with this. Maybe it’s not entirely Bob’s fault that some of the shows
have sucked. Maybe it’s down to places he’s booked to play. Last night may well
have blown too had it been in a hangar where the sound is never good.
Having left the auditorium with an inkling that maybe there is somethingto
the legend after all. Beyond having played The Skeletons and Laura Cantrell
on his radio show.
And as I near the publish button, BBC Radio Scotland is broadcasting an article
about his latest album making #1 in the charts this week. The one he played nothing
from. It's the power of Bob, I hope the force is with him as he heads back towards
another two stints at the O2 Atrocity Exhibition Centre "dahn the London".
The Bum Clocks threatened busk outside was in full swing by the time we got down
there. "A Tail o' Twa Dugs" is the real soundtrack to the "Homecoming" debacle.
Tam Dean Burn's suit looked like it had once belonged to Lee Brilleaux.
Watch out for this crew, they mean business.
Fiona Shepherd's review of Saturday's Glasgow show from today's Scotsman.