October 19, 2022
Review by Laurette Maillet,
London I. October 19th
A lucky day.First I changed my morning bus for an
evening/ night bus. Well inspired as my first night couchsurfing host
canceled my stay. I would have been sleeping in St Pancras as many years
Arriving in the morning (on the 19th) I can walk to my Hostel,
booked for the next 6 days, close to Hyde park and 40 minutes walk to
the Palladium. It's a mixed dorm of 14 bunks ...but cheap and convenient.I
can't check in so early but leave my bags and walk the streets around. I
found a change (euros to pounds) and a copy shop. I print more of my
paintings as they are my chance for a free ticket, and cash.Good.I check
in, take a shower, have a nap.And ....walk to the Palladium.
By 5 pm Bobby's bus is already parked in front the backstage door. With a
bunch of Fans stalking the bus.I'm wondering what trick they will use to sneak
Bob inside.The sound check is already over as I see Donnie and Tony walking
But today I need a ticket. So by 6 pm I put my sign out. Tonight
we have scalpers, maybe five of them. Buying and selling! No good :(I
don't see so many British Bobcats, except Steve Vallely and the ones
already on the road.They were a lot more in Paris.
I have my sign out for almost two hours. It's now 7.45pm and there
is still a long line queuing to get in.A woman waves to me. I approach her.
She says she has an extra ticket.
I ask how much. She asks me if I really will go to the
show. Well! Of course yes. Then she says she gives it to me for free.
Woah!We walk inside together. The seat is on the floor (here they call
STALLS). Far back but the theater is small so the view is great.
Bob starts maybe after 8 pm. But I'm sure all the patrons are not inside yet.
They tune with "oh Sussana" then Bob is right away into "Watching the river
flow".The sound is loud.Powerful for the three first songs.After "I
contain multitudes" Bob moves center stage. Black/white shirt.He will do
it again after "Black rider".And no more until the final pause.He's making
a slight mistake on "I'll be your baby tonight". He forgot "kick your
shoes off" :)The public responds on the English allusionsThe Rolling
Stones ( And them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones) and William
Blake.But nothing on "the size of your coke will get you no where". That
was for the Americans :):)Also the cities mentioned in "I've made up my
mind to give myself to you'.Or Brussels for the Belgians.A little reaction
on "You may be an ambassador to England or France".When Bob moved
center stage few fans in the public stood up. So Bob stopped presenting
himself :(He sticks to the piano.
I focus on Doug Lancio tonight.Permanently behind Bob except on
"Serve somebody". "That old black magic" and "Jimmy Reed".
He's moving in front of Bob Britt for guitars duos.I feel that
Bobby's voice is lacking of energy on "That old black magic"
maybe just because he doesn't sing close enough to the
mike."Jimmy Reed" is a bit chaotic. His piano doesn't fit the Band
Presenting the Band he will add after asking Charley to stand
up. "This is the place where you have to shake your jewelry!
Shake your jewelry!" ...referring to John Lennon remark.
Presenting Bob Britt ...he mentions him being from Orlando Florida.
"He had a promising career as a model but he gave up. We're happy for that. I
'm sure you're happy too."???
Then "Everything grain of sand" with a harp solo.A final pause and
he disappears in the dark between Britt and Tony.
I had a nice day and since I was uncertain to get a ticket...I enjoyed myself.
Thanks the Samaritan Lady who gave me the ticket. Thanks Steve Vallely
was the conversation. Thanks the gentleman who bought me a print.
See you tomorrow.London 1t was a great show but for me nothing
compare to the ambiance Paris 1 and Paris 2
Review by Jonny White,
Having been to see Dylan every time he’s played in London since Wembly
Stadium in ’84, plus some out of town gigs and a memorable ’86 LA show
with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, I finally hung up my Bob Cat boots in
2009 after a show at London’s Roundhouse that left me cold.
So, on the back of his great ‘new’ album, and the guarantee to hear
nearly all of it in concert, I took the plunge once more. I kinda wish I
So, let's do the positives first: ‘I Contain Multitudes’ was sublime,
one of my favourite recent Dylan songs (along with ‘Long And Wasted
Years’) beautifully delivered and vocals crystal clear, as was the case
with pretty much all of the RARW material. And then there’s ‘Every
Grain Of Sand’- a truly great song, sung well and happily with original
lyrics still in tact. Such a treat to hear it live finally for the first
time again since 1984! It’s been a sadly neglected song in Bob’s live
shows over the years I feel.
And, for positives, that’s about it. Yes, really. It gives me no
pleasure to say that the rest was less than great, and I’m no purist who
moans "he doesn’t play the hits, they don’t sound like they do on the
records etc etc" or one who only has time for ‘Blonde on Blonde’ or
‘Blood on the Tracks’ (you’ll often find me sticking on ‘Knocked
Out Loaded’ or ‘Self Portrait’. Hell, there’s even some good stuff
on ‘Down In The Groove’ and ‘Together Through Life’).
But, last night, I was out of excuses for the great man. RARW has such a
warm, well rounded sound, such sumptuous richness in it’s overall timbre
so it was a shame to hear those songs re-worked with a harsher edge, and
with less melody in the vocals than we know Dylan is capable of. Yes,
re-arrange a song if it works, but, for me, once the
100%-stolen-from-Billy The Kid Emerson treatment of ‘False Prophet’ is
gone, it’s just another stodgy pub rocker. The same can be said for 'Key
West’s' new arrangement- it took so much away from a great song and
sadly added nothing and, for some strange reason (Bob’s reason, I guess)
the defining guitar lick from ‘Goodbye Jimmy Reed’ was only played at
the beginning and end of the song- not between verses. A joyous, raucous,
bouncy rocker was left lifeless.
And the topic of new arrangements brings me to most of the non RARW stuff.
Yes, very refreshing that these songs are not the obvious ‘hits’ such
as LARS, TUIB, AATWT, or even the dreaded RDW 12&35, but, I found
‘I’ll Be Your Baby…’ and ‘To Be Alone With You’ hokey. They
both began with slow, free form verses before ‘exploding’ into up temp
rocking numbers, formulaic and pretty corny and, as was the case with most
of the other older songs, what on earth is the point of pretty much
writing new lyrics to all of them, if we can’t make them out?
Frustrating, as Bob can obviously sing clearly enough when he wants to-
evident in all the RARW songs.
Still, the part of my heart that stays soft for Bob is still there and
always will be. I guess it'd better be, as I’m going again on Tuesday
when I’m pretty sure, unlike the tour strap line says, things will be
pretty much ‘like they were’ last night.
Oh, and that piano? So piercing, so high in the mix? Really? Who can
defend that?! I had to laugh at it, so at least I still had a smile on my
Review by Ian Capes,
So …Wednesday night at the Palladium with Mr Dylan leading a sparkling
band . Great view and sound from the third row in the front . A bit
difficult to see Bob behind the piano . Overall the set list and gems from
it are well known . Special mentions however for Key West , Gotta Serve (
band really let loose on that one ) , To be alone with you and My version
of you . All songs treated with respect and nicely arranged . Really
noticed from my privileged position - How well Bob plays the piano as most
often the lead instrument. I would say that he’s a real good stride
pianist- not in the Jerry Lee camp but from an older school - Meade Lux
Lewis maybe The care his band has around him - the steel guitar and rhythm
guitarist taking great care to follow his lead just staring intently at
him throughout the show with the latter spending most of his time behind
Bob Slight concern as to how frail Bob is now - just a few faltering steps
to say thank you and goodbye . Finally absolutely love Dylans end of show
comment about “ isn’t this where you rattle your jewellery? “ so a
nod to John Lennon some decades ago . Applause all round - we will never
see his like again - and hoping for a tour in 2026 ? If your going enjoy !
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