What an amazing place to end our UK tour... Salt of the earth people to welcome us when we came in and the same with the audience ..just warm kind and generous folks… This was as “together” a show as you would find between an audience and the performers on stage. There was no line drawn ... we were all in it together.
Thanks to Ian who did a great job with the sound.. and as part of a folk band, with Tim and John.. the boys did a cool little opening half hour set. Thanks boys! We were on stage 8:45.
One of the great things about the show was that, aside from the fact that you had generous lighting on stage to show off Goran, John and me, it was not so blinding that I could not make out the faces of everybody in the room. And that made a difference to me ... some of the warmest and kindest faces inspired me throughout the show.
This will be our last show and before I mention anything else, I want to mention the mastery of what John Platania and Gøran Grini have brought to the station on this tour. I am constantly getting chills from what I am hearing on my left and right got it and inspires me all the time to get to truthful feelings.. huge thanks to these wonderful friends!
We blasted off with “The Real Thing”.. which introduced the audience to the energy of country music back in the mid 70s .. when I was somewhat a part of the movement with Willie and Waylon, Gram Parsons and my friends, John Prine and Kris Kristofferson .. this song was the theme song for the renegade movement on the most famous station playing this stuff, KFAT in Santa Cruz... The audience seem to love the energy of this… And seems like many of them knew the song.
From there we turned our sights on songs from the new album, “Whiskey Salesman“... and this felt like such a lived-in section of the show where the audience got to know about the little films that were part of the album’s release and cheered and smiled and clapped at the success of the film of the title song.
The next song we played, “I Like Ridin’”was inspired by my wife’s joining me on tour for these last few years… and the simple joy we have going to place to place
Not only did the audience love this song… expressing that by clapping long and hard at its end.. but what surprised me was that several in the audience already knew the song and smiled about the video when I talked about that… So I got the feeling that several had seen it and heard it .. what a nice surprise!
Next came a love song for Joan from Whiskey Salesman.. which is a favorite at every show on the tour. One part of the song finds me being locked in the bathroom of a train on my way to see her .. rescued by a traveler who hollers “pull the handicap lever on the left”... several in the audience got a good little chuckle at this part of this otherwise serious song… And several smiled at me at the end of the show mentioning that.
We interspersed the silent parts of the show with some very cool up-tempo things like Johnny Cash’s “Big River“.. ”A Sip or Two of Good Scotch”.. and “Track 224”... but it was the soft silent ones again.. that were the real magic and the real connection of the show.
From 2001, Black and Blue America.. there was a magical connection with the song “Theme for an American Hero“ .. and the album’s "big hit,“ What a Smile You Had .. brought huge response and some cheers.
By the way, just the mention of the album “Black and Blue America” brought applause throughout the room... it is nice to know that finally it has been released on Spotify and other streaming sites (only last week) and that there is quite a good reaction to that fact.
Some of my favorites tonight… Again the silent ones .. “Nothing coming out of Me that I Like“ , “Dance with a Hole in your Shoe“… Which was really special tonight.. this song just seemed to go where it wanted to go tonight and John, Goran and I just followed it its end.
“Angel of the Morning“ was so beautiful tonight… And I totally got lost in its spirit... and so did the audience… There was a total connection here and a huge response at the end of it!
The true rock ‘n’ roll spirit was all over this room ... everybody in this room showed that sort of passion in their eyes .. I loved seeing that from the stage .. and that spirit led to a magical and loose and soulful version of “Wild Thing “.. with brilliant solos by John and Goran.. and all of us singing together at the songs end! .. just great stuff!
Somewhere in the middle of the show I paid tribute to my brother BARRY.. The folks here seem to like stories about BARRY, maybe since he has always had such a love for Scotland and has a terrific, maybe Scottish–like sense of humor .. and also because he is crazy and brilliant.. and the audience now knows he invented the formula that predicts when volcanoes will erupt... The audience laughed and cheered for Barry .. who is truthfully revered among his community of scientists.
Barry and I wrote a song together.. based on a poem Barry was writing for our grandfather... for my Last Chance album.. he has threatened me, saying he would have spies at the show to tell him if I did not sing this song… And break my kneecaps before I got on the plane.. so I made sure to sing it tonight and the folks seemed to absolutely love it.
The fact is I want Barry’s spies to make sure that they tell him the truth.. that I played an amazingly great version of our song.. and the audience totally agreed it was such!
OK OK… Now back to the rest of the show!
Somewhere toward the end we paid tribute to our great friend! Tony Pankhurst, who is our chaperone for this entire tour, driving every place, selling the merchandise and enjoying the spirit of good camaraderie throughout the tour,.
I asked Tony to select his favorite song that we would play. He chose one of my favorites from 1975, from an album called This Side of the Big River. The song’s name is “John Tucker‘s on the Wagon Again”.. he speaks of a true fan from Charlotte North Carolina, who used to come to see John play at a place in New York called JP’s.The audience sung along and cheered at the end.
Then I told a story of how a song I wrote for prisoners, and eight years later, became a very big hit ... and we proceeded to play, “Fuck all the Perfect People” .. with the audience singing along al the end .. like we were in church.. which we were....... all night!
We encore with a song from “Last Chance”.. “I Wasn’t Born in Tennessee“.. with everyone clapping along and me doing some yodeling at the end… And then some cheering... and then good night!
What a beautiful night!
Got a chance to say hello to several but most it was just shaking their hands and looking into there eyes and saying their name as they passed bye… I love seeing all these folks.
Then some stopped and I got some names and signed some autographs... so let me mention a few of the folks I met:
hi Raymond.. thanks so much for your sweet words about “ I Love You Today“ .. please send best regards to Lynn from Joan and me!
Jason… Our host tonight
Huge thanks my friend! … You made us feel so at home and were so responsible to all our needs… We appreciate it so much!
Hi Andy .. thanks for those kind and encouraging words.. You as well Paul .. so good to meet you.
Hi Nick... good to see a “Last Chance“ fan.. thanks for the support over the years Nick.... Hey Stephen.. so good to meet you .. such kind words ..… Much appreciated.. Hope to see you soon
Douglas and Rochelle... so great to see you tonight .. you have such a great spirit together… And I really appreciate the words… Joan says a big hello!... hope to see you next time!
hi Warren.. Great to see you again.. I will listen… So you be assured of that.. .... please tell Douglas that I said hello and that I miss him.. and if you run into any of the Belle and Sebastian folks… Send my best regards
Hi Ian thanks for the good sound!! And for the good music with your friends Tim and John.
Special friends of Joan and mine from New York - Linda, Itamar & Betsy.. who made the tough trip from Edinburgh to here .. taking a train and a cab showing up in the wet rain to hear a few songs!
Love you guys!! Thanks!