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Camel at Harrogate Royal Hall

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Hercules View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 20 2013 at 08:12
I suppose the first question was: after 10 years away and with no new material issued in that time, would there be any Camel fans left?

Well, the concert was a sell out and, from the moment the band walked on, Andy Latimer and the band had the crowd enthralled. They even got a standing ovation just for walking on and had to wait for it to end to start playing. At several points, Andy seemed choked with emotion at the reception and the waves of goodwill emanating from the crowd.

The tour was promoted with news that they would play the entire Snow Goose live, featuring some small rearrangements and additions as in the re-recorded version. They started with this and the entire first set was devoted to it. This was an experience few will forget, except for a few who arrived late and missed part of it, but disrupted the enjoyment of the rest of us who had to move to let them in. 

After a 15 minute interval (for me, spent mostly in the colossal queue for the toilets!) they came on and launched into a set which covered the time span of their massive discography. Never Let Go and Mystic Queen (much to the delight of one guy at the back who had shouted for it at every gig in history, according to Andy Latimer, and did so again here on cue) featured from the debut, Song within a Song and Air Born from Moonmadness, Tell Me, Echoes, The Hour Candle, Watching the Bobbins, the ever amusing Fox Hill (Colin Bass makes this song memorable) and the exquisite For Today were all highlights. Colin Bass and Andy shared vocals and acoustic guitars, with Denis Clement stepping off the drum stool to play some extremely impressive bass guitar. Guy LeBlanc played most of the keyboards and sang backing vocals, ably backed up by Jason Hart (Renaissance) who played keys, sang and played acoustic guitar. The most obvious thing was that they, encouraged by the audience's reaction, relaxed and began to enjoy themselves, gently poking fun at each other. 

The main set ended and they launched into Lady Fantasy for the encore, which was just wonderful. They finished with another song titled Never Let Go - this time an unrecorded song dedicated to Peter Bardens.

And, as we all walked out, it occurred to us what thay had NOT played. No Ice, no Lunar Sea, no Stationary Traveller - for many bands, those songs would be the highlight of their careers, yet Camel could leave them out and still send the fans home happy.

If anyone thinks that Andy Latimer's serious illness has diminished his powers, forget it - he's as good as ever and actually more energetic than the last time I saw him. If he has one irritating habit though, it's turning his back on the audience to face the back of the stage when soloing so you can't see what he's doing.

The sound quality was generally excellent and not too loud (I wouldn't have said that 30 years ago!). I'm sure that others would have preferred, like me, to get to the front and stand instead of sitting, but that apparently is forbidden at The Royal Hall, as is taking photos/filming (and one guy in front of me was duly given a major rollicking right in my line of view!). There were a few minor errors in both mixing and playing (it was the first night after all) but these were trivial compared to the big picture: Camel are back, Camel are still brilliant and I'm quite sure that we will see them again.

I for one can't wait.







Edited by Hercules - October 20 2013 at 08:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 08:41
^ Fantastic feedback. Great to hear the energy is all there and hopefully a new studio album next year
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aapatsos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 09:26
^^Great feedback Anthony, can't add much to it - I was impressed by the overwhelming welcome and so did the band as it seemed.

First time I saw them live and felt that "Watching the Bobbins" and "Fox Hill" were the highlights, as of course was the entire "Goose". Unfortunately I had to miss the encore (tears for Lady Fantasy) as I would have never got home if I did not.

Agree with the few low points, which did not really spoil the show.

I noticed that people were allowed to take the odd photo (I, for one, took a few undisturbed) but recording was indeed not allowed and a few people were told off. I just hope you were not seated at M30... Embarrassed


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrewp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 09:57
The review was spot on. In the front of the Grand Circle, the view & sound was excelllent, I agree about the volume, for once my ears didn't hurt all the way home.. Andy L still lives every note he plays with passion. I thought the last night of their farewell tour in Sheffiled was emotional, but seeing them walk on stage last night was more so and by the end of the evening Andy looked emotionally drained too. The fans on the other 10 days are in for a real treat. Looking forward to some more live sessions in 'intimate informal venues' and hopefully some new material, the back catalogue still sounds good though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nickslikk2112 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 10:02
Can I just echo all that Hercules has said. I didn't know what to expect, but all expectations were well exceeded! Andy Latimer is such an underrated guitarist he should be mentioned in the same breath as Gilmour.

I did manage to get some sneaky clips filmed from the front row by wedging my phone in the folds of me chin - which explains much

Gig of the year for me. Here's what I shot:

http://youtu.be/BUpPTSQ-f9E

http://youtu.be/_xSeOy7hBaI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 10:42
Originally posted by aapatsos aapatsos wrote:

^^Great feedback Anthony, can't add much to it - I was impressed by the overwhelming welcome and so did the band as it seemed.

First time I saw them live and felt that "Watching the Bobbins" and "Fox Hill" were the highlights, as of course was the entire "Goose". Unfortunately I had to miss the encore (tears for Lady Fantasy) as I would have never got home if I did not.

Agree with the few low points, which did not really spoil the show.

I noticed that people were allowed to take the odd photo (I, for one, took a few undisturbed) but recording was indeed not allowed and a few people were told off. I just hope you were not seated at M30... Embarrassed



No, I was down near the front - you might have seen me (big bloke with long blond hair and a beard).

Shame - if you'd lived anywhere in the area I'd have happily given you a lift home (if you could cope with my driving and my hairy car!). The encore was not something to be missed without a damn good reason (like sleeping in the street!).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manc56 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 13:44
Agree with all who were at last night's Harrogate gig - incredibly emotional night. I'm a 57 year old bloke and had tears (of joy I hasten to add!) running down by face several times last night. Camel's music, and in particular Andy Latimer's guitar playing connects with something deep in my soul - technically brilliant and full of feeling in his playing.
Was an outstanding gig - got ticket for tomorrow in Manchester as well and have a feeling it'll be just as memorable!
Easily the best gig of the year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 13:49
Originally posted by Manc56 Manc56 wrote:

Agree with all who were at last night's Harrogate gig - incredibly emotional night. I'm a 57 year old bloke and had tears (of joy I hasten to add!) running down by face several times last night. Camel's music, and in particular Andy Latimer's guitar playing connects with something deep in my soul - technically brilliant and full of feeling in his playing.
Was an outstanding gig - got ticket for tomorrow in Manchester as well and have a feeling it'll be just as memorable!
Easily the best gig of the year.

Glad I'm not the only one who was in tears!! Camel stir emotion like no other band.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 17:41
Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

This was an experience few will forget, except for a few who arrived late and missed part of it, but disrupted the enjoyment of the rest of us who had to move to let them in. 




Hercules, you're obviously unaware that there was an error in the printing of the tickets bought through the Eventim and See agencies. They had printed on them: "Doors Open At 7.30pm" implying that the band were due on at 8. In fact, the doors were at 6.30 and camel due on at 7.
Those of us who travelled across the country to be there were gutted to discover that we were an hour late through no fault of our own.

As the last fan to leave Sheffield on the occasion of the last Camel gig in 2003, I was utterly heartbroken to have been robbed of the chance to welcome Andy back on stage in Harrogate and to miss most of The Snow Goose through someone else's error.

Please be aware that the latecomers, of whom there were many, weren't being rude, we were all terribly upset by what happenned. The venue told us they only found out about the error when late fans arrived and they could do nothing but suggest we complain to the agencies responsible.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 18:00
Originally posted by PaulE PaulE wrote:

Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

This was an experience few will forget, except for a few who arrived late and missed part of it, but disrupted the enjoyment of the rest of us who had to move to let them in. 




Hercules, you're obviously unaware that there was an error in the printing of the tickets bought through the Eventim and See agencies. They had printed on them: "Doors Open At 7.30pm" implying that the band were due on at 8. In fact, the doors were at 6.30 and camel due on at 7.
Those of us who travelled across the country to be there were gutted to discover that we were an hour late through no fault of our own.

As the last fan to leave Sheffield on the occasion of the last Camel gig in 2003, I was utterly heartbroken to have been robbed of the chance to welcome Andy back on stage in Harrogate and to miss most of The Snow Goose through someone else's error.

Please be aware that the latecomers, of whom there were many, weren't being rude, we were all terribly upset by what happenned. The venue told us they only found out about the error when late fans arrived and they could do nothing but suggest we complain to the agencies responsible.


I do apologise - my ticket clearly said 7.30pm start (they came on at 7.35) and the theatre website said doors open 6.30. It was clearly a great shame for you that your agency screwed it up and caused you to miss the most memorable return I've ever seen this side of Jesus returning to earth, if he ever does. I would want their collective testicles to be delivered to me on a plate, personally.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PaulE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2013 at 18:40
Thanks. It was heartbreaking to have missed that moment.

 I've complained very vociferously to Eventim via their "Customer Service / complaints" form online, for ruining an utterly unique and important moment for lifelong fans of the band. I'll let you know what kind of reply i get.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pugwash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2013 at 07:00
I too was one of the unfortunate late comers due to the error on the ticket so apologies for any disturbances to anyone seated on row J. This wasn't helped by discovering our seats had been occupied, presumably by someone seeking better seating thinking they were not going to be occupied.

I have also complained to Eventim regarding this. What should have been a momentous occasion was almost ruined by the incompetency of the ticket agents.

Fortunately, the rest of the evening was amazing.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aapatsos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2013 at 07:12
Sounds really unfortunate, I got an e-mail from the organisers saying clearly that doors were 6.30 and show at 7.30. See what response you get.

Edited by aapatsos - October 21 2013 at 07:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sagichim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2013 at 08:35
I envy you all Clap Sounds like the place to be.
 
Anybody knows how many people were there?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2013 at 08:55
Originally posted by Sagichim Sagichim wrote:

I envy you all Clap Sounds like the place to be.
 
Anybody knows how many people were there?

The Royal Hall seats 1000 and it was a complete sell out. They had a considerable number of enquiries after it sold out, too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2013 at 08:58
Wonderful reviewClap

I wish I'd been there! So nice to hear that Andy is back in shape and ready to play his heart out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manc56 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2013 at 06:21
Another great performance in Manchester last night and brilliant to see the band enjoying themselves so much. Not perhaps quite as emotional as the reception when they walked on stage for the first night in Harrogate but the crowd was buzzing all night.
Looked as though there were more ticketing problems - a group of 5/6 people expecting to sit in the front section arrived to see all the seats taken and the theatre staff were still trying to sort it out at the interval. Don't know what was going on there.
Looking forward to a new album and tour next year ....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Bradley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2013 at 15:48
I was at the Manchester show and the welcome Andy recieved was touching. A great concert. The new Snow Goose album is excellent. It is an updated version sounding a little more modern and crisp with slight changes here and there whilst retaining the charm of the original. Some may feel it loses its rustic charm and is a little clinical but I think this may come from comparisons with the original. If it is just considered as an update it works really well on those terms.  I really love it and havn't stopped playing it. Great to have Camel back.

Edited by Paul Bradley - October 22 2013 at 15:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pugwash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2013 at 16:14
Originally posted by Paul Bradley Paul Bradley wrote:

I was at the Manchester show and the welcome Andy recieved was touching. A great concert. The new Snow Goose album is excellent. It is an updated version sounding a little more modern and crisp with slight changes here and there whilst retaining the charm of the original. Some may feel it loses its rustic charm and is a little clinical but I think this may come from comparisons with the original. If it is just considered as an update it works really well on those terms.  I really love it and havn't stopped playing it. Great to have Camel back.


I totally agree about the re written Snow Goose. I had my doubts about whether it would work or not but work it does. Marvellous and seems to get better with every play.

Was there a ticket issue at the Manchester show? I heard that some seats were double booked.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Junges Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2013 at 19:16
What are they selling in their shop before and after the concert? New T-Shirts? Does the new album come in vinyl (the re-recorded Snow Goose)?
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