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Roy Harper Royal Festivall Hall Tuesday 22 October

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Kosmos View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 23 2013 at 11:36
Hats off to Roy!

View extreme left stalls 8 rows back .. nowhere near Jimmy Page who unlike the 70th birthday concert 2 years ago stayed in his box.

The sound quality was brilliant and all the usual Harper trademarks were present and correct with plenty of echo on the voice and guitars. 5 of the numbers were from the new CD Man and Myth. Let me put my cards on the table. I am a huge Roy Harper fan but in my opinion he has rarely come close to matching his best material from the early 70's. Until now that is. His latest work Man and Myth is exceptionally good. Anyway on with the gig. Despite the Hall being packed out Roy managed to create an intimate mood as though he was performing to old friends.

1st course (or Hors d'Oeuvres .. Get it? oh well)

Jonathan Wilson Roy's American co-producer on the latest record Man and Myth) opened with a brief acoustic set. Not unpleasant but I suspect you had to be in Laurel Canyon circa 1967 to appreciate songs about valleys with silvery moons. To be fair he is an accomplished guitarist.

At the end of the set a slim and white haired Roy ambled on stage with a small orchestra.  5 string and 3 brass players. Roy called them The David Bedford Players. I noticed the conductor and the first violinist were bare foot for part of the gig. Perhaps it's a religious thing. He was accompanied by Wilson on most numbers on on guitar banjo and percussion.

2nd course (proliferated by the usual Roy banter)

Highway Blues (a short version not as deranged as on Flashes From The Archives Of Oblivion)
2 songs from Man and Myth
Time is temporary
Heaven is Here (1st ever public performance and a quite stunning 15 minute epic about Jason and The Argonauts)
Hallucinating light (a false start as he became overcome when the strings came in thinking about David Bedford who sadly passed away 2 years ago)
I'll see you again (beautiful and wrought with emotion)

Interval

3rd course

One more from Man and Myth The stranger (dedicated to Richard Fariņa)
another from Man and Myth January Man (a touch maudlin)
and another The Enemy (excellent song)
12 hours of sunset (another classic performed expertly with a sympathetic brass arrangement)
North country
Me and my woman (a storming performance though I felt the orchestration was a touch heavy in parts)

Dessert (Encore)

When an old cricketer leaves the crease (what else. In my view his greatest ever song delivered beautifully complete with orchestra and brass)

That was it. He was off. So was I into the sunset or should I say the pouring rain on my way to Waterloo Station.

Quote of the night "I'd like to see you again but it's in the balance".  Retirement? Surely not

There were a couple of false starts, a few words forgotten and a few bum notes but for a man in his seventies who rarely plays live these days that's understandable and did not detract from the overall performance which was superb. His voice was simply stunning.

I do hope I will get to see him again. "be with you tomorrow backwards in time"
But laughing in my courtyard play the pranksters of my youth
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Chris S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2013 at 11:41
Man....thank you, this feedback is priceless and sad at the same time. Much overlooked is RH but only the presecence of LZ is testimony to how important he is to it allUnhappyThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2013 at 11:44
The same old rockApprove
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