More pictures

This was everyone peering at the Balti curry I cooked on Michou’s birthday.

This was us eating it.

Liv’s crud bat. Formidable, in the right hand.

Liv’s soapstone elephant. A year and a half in the making.

shiny pate

by god! i was nearly blinded by the light shining off geoff’s clean-shaven head. In the interest of public safety, i have amended the photo below…

Geoff with hair

John Cale at St Luke’s

We went to this show with James and Louise. James and I were familiar with all of Cale’s stuff except Hobosapiens (his recent CD) which neither of us had heard. The ladies ‘knew’ Hallelujah and that was about it.

The setting was small, intimate, theatre sized, in a converted church. Cale dressed in white the first half, black the second. He played a lot of new songs, which sounded okay, strongly melodic, arresting lyrically; but I found it hard to properly appreciate what I was hearing for the first time. His versions of familiar songs were either good (Leaving it up to you, Fear, Cable Hogue), great (Hallulujah, Chinese Envoy, E is missing, Ship of Fools, Thoughtless Kind, Close Watch), or poor (Andulacia, Paris 1919). There were probably others I’ve forgotten. The best by far for me was Chinese Envoy. Haunting. I would have travelled twice the distance just to hear him sing that.

There was general awe at Cale’s sheer stage presence and amazement that he was in his sixties. As Louise admitted, if I had said he was 35 she would have had no difficulty believing me. Michou felt he had a ‘hard’ face; not someone to meet on a dark night; but I thought I saw his vulnerable side.

Personally, I preferred it when Cale played acoustic guitar, alone; or the band was muted; as in the two encores, Close Watch and Thoughtless Kind. There were some truly great moments; but there was a bit too much loud ‘rock’ for me. Having said that, Cale’s been touring alone for years with just a guitar and piano so he has every reason for wanting to branch out.

Having never seen him live before (James saw him at Oxford, during Cale’s masked, ‘punk’ days) I’m planning to catch him again at Brighton in December. I’ll make sure I’ve heard Hobosapiens about a hundred times first, though. Maybe I’ll ring Chris Newman to see if he would be interested in going. Jacques called in last night, having been to see ‘Attila the Stockbroker’ – an angry, ranting poet/musician – at some underground club in Worthing! On the strength of this, I’ve lent him my tape of Paris 1919.

Overall, I thought it was a great performance, full of energy, with some lovely touches, marred only by excessive volume and my lack of familiarity with the songs, from someone who is a true original. There’s simply no one remotely like John Cale. I’m sure when I hear him again in a couple of months I’ll appreciate that even more. Mama’s even talking about coming with me, again!

dod liv and jul,
i expect to hear that at least one fo you made a cake, that you have all got suitable prezzies and that mama is taken out for the customary fish and chips on the big day!!!!!
love t

Hello everyone,

Well Tan and I have now been together for the princely term of 4 years; and an interesting 4 years it’s been.
Pressure has been exerted upon the Gibbs household to come up with the fabled Bali and Australia photo CD, that seems to have disappeared without trace. Hopefully you’ll receive it soon.

Michou: I don’t know if Tan has told you, but so far the apis seems to have worked incredibly well. Long may it last!!

WE’re off to do some more wwoofing tomorrow.