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I have always imagined that Neil Innes would be remembered as one of the legends long after we are all gone but now I know he already is.
Having just seen him play for the first time,I have come away with a huge grin I just can't shift the 'feel good factor' is there for sure.
They say the secret art of comedy is in the timing and Neil hits the spot every time-the odd wink here, the raised eyebrow there- I don't even think he is conscious of it it's just pure magic.
The show kicked off with 'Hero of the motorway' and each song was preceded by a humorous link. Many of the songs were new to me and I hope one day they will be available to us.
The vast majority of the audience were aged in there fifties, so I lowered the average age by a couple of years but the aplause after each song was raucous to say the least.
We were all sworn in as 'Ego worriors' and Neil came out for three encores the third one being -in Neils words- 'The Bonzo's medly of hit'...Urban spaceman. We still wanted more but I think Neil had run out of steam.
The play list I was handed by R K Thornton reads as follows...
Cats Don't Like The Rain
Mother in law
Back in '64
Intermixed with Neils songs were an equal number of Terrorfolk songs. The Rutles bit consisted of Double back ally and Cheese and Onions with the 'Day in the life ' style big finnish on piano which looked as though it hurt Neils fingers.
During Fortune teller, the tempo slowed right down as Neil sang 'Our fortunes can be made from peoples loneliness' with Neil and Ken walking off and Terrorfolk taking over with very very sad violin music and a flute that imitated bird song (you can imagine the scene) then very gradually the tempo built up and up and up until it was an absolute aural inferno with violin, clarinet and guitar playing faster than iv'e ever heard. After that, Neil and Ken re apeared and Neil announced that he would be slowing things down a bit-again, with a certain look in his eye that said 'how the hell did they manage that'?
Being a staunch Neil Innes fan, if I had to complain I would say that Terrorfolk played too much and Neil not enough but i'm sure thats just me being selfish. Terrorfolk are highly skilled musicians.
After the show,I hung around until everyone had gone and asked one of the sound people if the show had been recorded? he said no way as Neil and Terrorfolk record labels clash- thats a real crime. I hung around a bit longer and R.K.Thornton appeard on stage to collect something so I handed him a fan letter I had prepared and asked him to pass it onto Neil which he said he would. He handed me a playlist off the stage floor which is the only way I can relay it. I asked him if Neil would be coming out as I had my Rutles Archaeology CD sleeve for autograph and he said he would ask and sure enough Neil came out. I knew I would get tongue-tied in his presence so I am glad I gave him my letter. He shook my hand and when he saw I only had a pencil for him to use he dashed back to his dressing room to get a decent felt pen. He signed my booklet and thanked me for coming. I thought to myself after so many years of take, take, take on my part it was my pleasure. It was nice to be able to say "thanks for the music".
Up on stage during the show Neil was obviously having a ball and I think all in all a splendid time was had by everyone. I should say I know nothing about music nor can I play any instruments but I know what I like and I like this.
Ego Worriors was a routine that got almost everyone involved repeating the oath. Mother-in-law is a song i've not heard before, nor can I remember how it went. It's not a re-badged version of Mother, I know that song well and I know one day it will make me cry.
Ooh! New Neil song alert!
It was a good gig. The track list isn't entirely accurate, though: the slow part started with "End of the Line" (I think Neil did that first on "Innes own World" and there are a few lyrics in there that make me think it was a tribute to George Harrison), which was the one where Neil and RK left the stage afterwards. The Rutles medley also included the opening verse of "Good Times Roll" sandwiched between the extract of "Double-back Alley" and the complete take of "Cheese and Onions" (complete with some of the audience singing backing) and "Back in '64" seems to have gotten lost in the wires somewhere as it was replaced with "Urban Spaceman" in the encore.
The second half had an amusing start where the lights were brought down low and someone came on stage wearing the duck on his head (looking like Neil from the back of the auditorium). He stumbled through the opening chords of "How Sweet to be an Idiot" then picked up a set of pipes and played a quick blast of folk music, revealing himself to be one of Terrafolk, and Neil came on the other side of the stage and waved a fist at him.
I really enjoyed the gig, new songs and all, but I think when someone has a repertoire as large as Neil's you're always going to be left wishing that certain songs had been included - personally I'd like there to have been a couple of songs from Archaeology and I'd have loved him to do the French-style take of "Love is Getting Deeper". He did seem to give a lot of stage time to Terrafolk, but they were definitely worth hearing and I guess that he thought that the wider world should find that out...
Ego Warriors - for those who are wondering - was the name of a show which Neil did on the Edinburgh Fringe last year and I'd imagine that this was the title track.
Did you ever get the feeling that the truth is less revealing?
Apologies if I got a bit mixed up. Yes I thought that was neil coming out to do Idiot too. I took it to be an 'in' joke- given the history of the duck hat 'Quacksie'. It's not the first time it's been stolen.
A couple of people were taking flash photography. I thought that a bit mean at the time but if the photo's end up here, perhaps it can be forgiven?
It is my first posting.
Thank you for the review!
A friend of mine was lucky enough to go to this gig.
Is there anyone who noticed a Japanese at the venue?
He told me he really enjoyed the show.
I can't say that I noticed any Japanese people, but there was a young ish chap wearing a Trilby hat which is unusual these days- perhaps he was a fan of Nobbie Normal? If you like Neil and the Rutles, you probably like the Beatles too and today on the radio they played a Japanese version of 'I want to hold your hand' which has been 'lost' for 40 years. Hang on, 1963-2003=40 years my God, i'm an old man! I really should get a life. If you want a listen, you should find it herehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/sounds60s/playlist.shtml?focuswin
song no. 10 - 37 minutes or so into the program you can listen again
Haha! It's about 30 minutes into the stream, which is really easy to find with the 'advance 5 minutes' thing. This beats 'Sie Leibt Dich' with a wet kipper!
It's a surprise for me that the song was played on the BBC Radio!
I have a CD which contains many Beatles songs sung in Japanese recorded in '60s released recently on CD. I feel it is like a comedy album because the songs are so different from the originals.
Legend in his own lunchtime (or even longer)
I remember Spike Milligan did his own orbituary on Q9 (or was it Q something else???) once. I don't think I've ever heard Neil talk about how he would like to be remembered.
Neil I think would be remembered for lots of things:
Everything from a member of the Bonzos through to The Rutles and lots more.
"The trouble with an open mind is people keep trying to put things in it". Terry Pratchett
"Life is too important to be taken seriously" OSCAR WILDE.
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
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