Try as I do to divorce this site from the real world, I should mention the rather good gig that I was at on Tuesday. Imagine, if you will Ben Folds and The Divine Comedy double-headlining. If you can, you'll have a good idea of what transpired.
I first saw The Divine Comedy last October (see here), and it was certainly the best gig I had ever seen. But now they've split up, and only four of them are on tour. Neil strums his guitar and plays the electric (euch) piano. Others play the double bass, electric guitar and keyboard, and percussion. Trumpets, trombones, saxophones, clarinets - any combination of these would have made it sound much better, especially on such obviously brassy songs as Woman of the World, Becoming More Like Alfie and National Express. Scarily, I didn't know that they had started playing the last of those until mid-way into the first verse. And there was no audience participation.
I don't want to be a doom-and-gloomer, though. The set-list was absolutely fantastic; present were The Frog Princess, Your Daddy's Car (sung by Mr. Folds rather archly), and A Drinking Song (Barbershoppy), which didn't make it into the last gig.
The encore was perhaps the highlight of their set. Neil and Ben collaborated for all five of the songs (in addition to the Bernice... and Mess that were done earlier). Ben pianised to Songs of Love, as I enjoy doing myself; Neil sang Brick lovelyly; Ben did Your Daddy's Car; then they both sang Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and Race for the Prize, a Flaming Lips song that I didn't really know (and, to be quite honest, the only one that I didn't sing along with all night).
In all, The Divine Comedy were great, whereas they had been fantastic last time. Perhaps they suffered in comparison with...
Mr. Ben Folds
It was just him and a baby-grand piano - no bad or other irrelevance. He reminded me why I like playing the piano. He also reminded me why I'll never be as good as him. One Angry Dwarf... was an epic overture, with the crowd challenging him to go faster, and he did. Song for the Dumped in a minor key (sad song) was excellent, with an intriguing bridge, although I did miss the piano solo.
And then there were the harmonies. On Where's Summer B?, Not The Same and Army, the audience fulfilled the role of the band, and bloody good we were too. I was a trumpet in Army, and the basso profundo in the other two. Seeing Ben jump up on his piano to conduct us was one of the more surreal events of the evening.
One last thing, Philosophy quoted Pulp Fiction. I need say no more on the matter.
The support was Chris T-T. He was a large man who set up his own acoustic guitar and played a short set. He was great too. If you can find it, listen to Dreaming of Injured Popstars.
all around wales the bands are on fire
as the flames lick higher they run from their homes
it only took one match to burn down kelly jones
I bought his CD (The 253), and jolly good it is too. I also picked up a Ben Folds t-shirt ("Sham on").
There's so much else that I want to say (kafkaesque job, meet the manager, new dream, bathetic theme park, etc.), but I'll save it for later. Morrissey's about to come on Radio 2. Goodnight.
PS. I think I'll tell you about the bathetic theme park. Here's the link.