All these reviews were originally written as postings for the List for Whoever. The Boeblingen and the Offenbach one were written right after returning home from the concert, so please excuse any typos, bad english and senseless blabbering.
[29. Nov. 2000 - Boeblingen] [2. Dec. 2000 - Offenbach] [12./13. Dec. 2000 - Brixton Academy, London]
[29. Nov. 2001 - Munich and the pictures I took]
03. Dec. 2004 - London: Photos from the concert and the List for Wheover meetup
Concert Photos by Alan Harrison are available for
2002-07-22 - Paul Heaton's solo gig as Biscuit Boy in the Garage, Glasgow
2003-10-08 - The Beautiful South at the BBC Radio 2 Janice Long show, in the Foundation, Newcastle.
29. Nov. 2000 - Boeblingen
Until Tuesday I wasn't even sure if I could manage to go to the concert. But luckily I was able to, and it was well worth the 400km drive. I arrived only at 19:30, and although the gig was scheduled to begin already at 20:00 I still got a good place at the centre, fifth row. But before this there was the first and only real disappointment of the evening: The security guys collected my recording equipment *grrr*. So I guess there won't be a bootleg from Boeblingen. But at least they didn't took my camera... so I took some nice photos (which are going to end up on this site sooner or, err, later)!
Opening act was the German band "Lost in Venice", four young guys from Stuttgart. They were quite good after all in my opinion, and I also bought one of their 4-track CDs (quite cheap: DM10). Their music was quite different to TBS, but I still liked it. And "Ugly Faces" proved to be a fabulous song. They started their set at 19:45 and played 45 minutes. Another 35-minute-wait and TBS entered the stage to something like a circus march or so. The setlist was the same as in Cologne. I managed to get hold of a setlist after the gig, but it wasn't easy! the crewmembers on stage didn't hear me asking for a setlist, and security was first asking me (for their level quite polite) to shove off, then they were about to kick me out. Just in time I caught the attention of a crew member who eagerly passed me and another fan a setlist each. When they saw him loosening the pieces of paper from the ground, security was at least generous enough to wait until we got them in our hand before they threw us out the hall.
About the first half hour of the concert was a bit poor regarding audience response. But until the end the atmosphere was really excellent, one band member also said so after the show. The entire band enjoyed themselves and even Hamster was walking around a lot, smiling and, well lot of dancing compared to his usual level. The performances and the sound were fantastic. During Perfect 10 Paul was pointing to Sean when singing anorexic chicks and to John Hoff (not sure about the surname) afterwards - Dave R.'s stand in. I noticed that Paul even altered the lyrics in the beginning to "Hes a perfect 10" and so on. The song seemed to be big fun for everyone in this version. Paul made some mistakes in Alone, one can see here what happens if the practice is missing ;-) They didn't play Alone anytime last tour, did they? Paul's rendition of Rotterdam was great as well. He introduced the song like "This is a Jacqui song that I have to sing now, so don't be to harsh with me". Of course the cheering after the song was fanatic and Paul said smiling "Thanks for your generosity." :-) I was happy they added The Med, and Baby Plase Go, still my fav track of PIR, kicked ass! The acoustic version of the River should have been at least b-side to the new single. This song and afterwards Let Love Speak Up Itself were an amazing moment. But okay, I'll stop the babbling about specific songs, which wouldn't lead anywhere than "everysong was great..."
Sometimes during the show Paul said something like: "Guess how many people are on
the guest list tonight. No one! It's a shame, isn't it? ... Next time there will be big
guest list with hundreds of people. I promise!" After the show I waited at the stage
exit for the South (with only three other fans). I missed Hamster, Kev Brown and Gary
Hammond, but got autographs from everyone else on the hard-fought-for setlist. I chatted
some words with a few of the band members, and some more with Paul (who was once again
sober, congrats to him for his willpower!). And now comes the best part :-))) I told him
he could now make his promise true (about the guestlist), because I'm going to attend the
Offenbach concert on Saturday with some friends and fellow memebers from the List For
Whoever, and if this was okay I'd of course love to be on the guest list! He said, yeah
okay, and called Phil Cass, the manager to write done my name and with how many friends
I'll be coming! Phil said I could be at the door about half an hour before the gig, and I
said I thought it was even possible to attend the soundcheck when one is on the
guestlist... Even so Paul said that the soundcheck really isn't much and not interesting
he said it's okay we could also attend the soundcheck! Wooohoooo!!!! :-))) I only hope
Phil Cass does a good job and won't lose this little piece of paper!! The entire band was
very kind and nice when talking to them, they all seem like lovely folks. Oh, and I forgot
to say I even got a picture taken of me and Paul :-) Hey, can you imagine how madly I was
grinning on my way home?!?
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2. Dec. 2000 - Offenbach
As you may remember, I and my fellow concert-goers were put on the guest list by Paul when I chatted with him after the Boeblingen concert on Wednesday. And he also gave his okay that we could attend the soundcheck.
First we had some problems with the security: The guest list wasn't to arrive before 7pm, and the security guy wouldn't let anyone in without the guestlist, unless someone from the band gave his okay. So we stood there waiting and hoping someone who'd recognise me from Wednesday would come along incidentally. At least the security guy let us standing inside, we hadn't have to wait in the rain! When the soundcheck was already running someone from the TBS-staff saw us standing there (I don't even realised who it was) and let us in. So we got to the soundcheck finally! Like Paul said, it wasn't really that much, and since we already missed the first minutes of it, it was over soon. But it was nevertheless great to attend it!!! It was interesting to see, that they did the entire soundcheck without Paul and Hamster.
Some hours and a Pizza later we picked up the guest tickets. I was told that at the most venues the guests can get into it on a side entry, avoiding the long queues at the main entry. But unfortunately we had to enter the venue through the main entry. Where I was, once again, checked by the security, and.... well, anyhow, again no Bootleg. Grrrr. Also the doors were open quite early, so that we were a bit late and got "only" places centre stage third/ninth row. The opening act was "Der Junge mit der Gittarre" ("The boy with the guitar"). And it was in fact just a guy with a guitar. He played it very well, sang German, and he was quite funny after all. For an opening act he got lots of applause, so he even played sort of a mini-encore (1min or so). He played about 40mins in total, and after the inevitable break TBS entered the stage.
The setlist was the same as on the previous German shows. And this second review gives me the chance to comment on some more songs ;-)
Alone got an extended extro, which was fantastic (*Angry frown again to the security guy who took the MD recorder!*) Table was the song that missed Jacquis participation the most. The "Tables only turn when tables learn..." bit with Jacqui and Paul singing is one of my favourite moments on Quench. Of course I enjoy Paul and Hamster singing together, but this just wasn't the same.... it sounds way better with Paul and Jacqui.
Tony Robinson (Trumpet) played a pretty wrong note in You keep It All In. But according to his own statement about it after the show, this was just because of a little fly which landed on his finger when he played the note. :-)
Paul left the stage during The Med. That's a pity, because his "a-ha" in the chorus was obviously missing. You know, when Dave sings "is the reliable meditteranean" and Paul does this "a-ha" in the background. (That reminds me of Böblingen, where I sort of automatically sang along this a-ha during the first chorus of the med. Just that Paul wasn't there singing it, so I was quite alone with this a-ha. Gladly I didn't see how the people around me (most of them probably not even knowing the song) looked at me - they probably thought of me as quite strange.)
When the show ended the most critical time came: two of us had after-show passes, but four not! We just kept together and tried to be inconspicuous. But it didn't help much, because nevertheless soon a security guy wanted to see the after show pass of every single one of us. He was quite kind and we tried to convince him somehow that all six of us could stay, but he'd probably had done his duty and asked the four of us without after show passes to leave. And at this place I want to say a very, very big "THANK YOU!" to fellow member of the List For Whoever Thomas, who we had met before at the soundcheck and again at the after show party. He became my personal hero this evening, as he, besides other generous actions, somehow managed we got four more after show passes! Thanks again, Thomas!!!!
So we really were there at the Beautiful South after show party. Wow, I can still hardly believe it! In fact it wasn't quite much of a "party". There were some problems with the drink supplies, and it all just took place in the corridor of the venue, between the hall and the wardrobe. At first there was still the booth where drinks were sold during the gig, but this was soon dismantled. When Tony ordered two beers and a coke there, the barwoman charged him 14DM. Can you believe it?!? I couldn't. I explained her that this guy was from the band, but she wasn't much impressed, and said something the like "what do I know about who's of the band and who's not. And anyhow." Phhhh! But of course it was really unimportant if this was much of a party or not.
Dave R. and Sean left very, very early, but the others were all there. We took a lot of pictures of us and bandmembers - I only hope they'll turn out well!! The most time I chatted with Tony and Gaz Birtles (sax). They both are very nice and kind.
Tony judged it "cool" when I told him I run a TBS page and he said he's gonna check it out *big smile*. Also he'll see if he can put me on the aftershow list for one of Brixton Gigs. Woohooo! Unfortunately for all the fellow listers who will also attend the Brixton shows (and who I hope to meet at the LfW-pre-show-meeting!) it wasn't possible that I could take a lot of people along, like it was this time with the Guest List :-( One problem is, that the London gigs are already overcrowded with record-company-people guests. And like Gaz explained to me, the Brass section usually more fills the guest lists on the, I think, northern gigs, while the band itself puts a lot of people on it on the gigs in London and a like. So I will be lucky and very happy when I just can go to one of both aftershow parties with my sister and a friend who will fly with me to London for the gigs. But Tony said, he would try to get five after show tickets for me, and if this wasnt possible, at least three. Fantastic!!
Well, can you imagine how unbelievable happy I was to get into the aftershow party?! If someone had told me this 5 days before, phhh, I'd declared him insane! This was truly an amazing evening and I'm still on cloud 9! :-)))
I forgot to mention some things above, so I'll just add them now:
Paul asked during the concert, if everyone has bought the new album. After the cheers from the audience he said: "Who said "no"? [Pointing on someone] You? You're right, it's shit. Wait 'til it comes out for five Deutschmarks" :-)
Fellow listmember Lori said, the cologne audience was quite poor compared to the shows
she knew from USA. She's not alone with this: Gaz swarmed about the US audience, which is
very enthusiastic, sings along a lot and responses to everything happening on stage. This
of course also leads to the musicians to be more active.... Gaz said, e.g. Paul is dancing
all time long during US concerts. And he rated the Offenbach audience as not too bad but
also not brilliant, which is probably right. Well, except us of course, he even said he
saw us dancing and jumping wildly from the stage :-)) His explanation for the enthusiastic
US crowds is, that only people, who are really into the music or maybe also english music
in general, come to the shows. Others won't care about it and wouldn't even know about the
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12./13. Dec. 2000 - Brixton Academy, London
Were should I begin...? Maybe you remember that Tony wanted to put me on the Aftershow-Guestlist for one of the two gigs and that he told me he would give me a ring nearer the time to let me know for which one, and if I would be on the list with three or five persons in total - I had asked him if I could bring along not only my sister and my friend but even two fellow Listers. Unfortunately I didn't hear anything from him until I left for London, so I thought he either hasn't been able to put me on the list or had forgotten about it. But hold on, that's just what I thought at this time....
I was able to meet fellow listers Nigel and David T. It's great to meet listers in person that you only knew from mail so far.
About 19:00 my sister, Aneka, who is a friend who flew over for the two gigs from Germany as well and I headed for the venue. It was a few minutes after open doors, and the queue reached almost around the entire block! It's interesting to see that there's really a big difference in queuing in England and in Germany. You would never find such an organised crowd over here!
Despite the long queue we got a good place, maybe sixth row a bit right from the centre of the stage - and this without being rude in order to get to the front! The Bluetones were a fine opening act.
The Brixton Academy is a beautiful venue. Much more style and atmosphere than the halls TBS played in Germany. The start of the TBS show was fantastic. Just Dave R. and Paul doing Prettiest eyes, with a black curtain behind them. And the crowd singing along. Well, the crowd means a lot of the audience minus me: I had to keep quiet (and hell, this was difficult!!) because thanks to Aneka who managed to get the MD-recorder into the venue I recorded the show. And with the mic on my collar I had to shut up - you know, I enjoy singing along during the concerts, but I know it's not a pleasure to listen to me singing along!!
After Prettiest Eyes, Dave disappeared, and Paul standing alone on stage, launched into Pretenders To The Throne with just the piano playing. After the chorus the entire band joined in and the curtain was suddenly raised. This might not sound like much, but it was... extraordinary... amazing... fantastic!
Like on other shows before, the first half of the set was sort of disrupted a few times by slow songs. I really love the live versions of their slower songs too, but it's a bit cruel to break from Old Red Eyes into Alone or from Baby Please Go into Especially For You...
I cut my comments to every song and jump to Father & I, the last song before the encore, which included the most amazing moment in my TBS-fanship so far. During the song the brass section came to the front of the stage and danced and clapped and so on. What, by the way, really gave the ultimate kick for the atmosphere. They should be even more involved during the entire gigs!
Anyhow, when the brass section came to the front, both Gaz and Tony recognised me from stage, pointed to me and waved!!!!!! :-)))))) And Tony even showed me "five" with his hand: He had put me and four mates on the aftershow list!!!! *mad grin* Those are top guys, aren't they!?!
The encore was once again The River with Paul playing harmonica (great!), Let Love Speak Up Itself and Good As Gold. The entire set was about 1:50h, and this is the entire setlist.
After the show we wanted to go to the aftershow party, but we encountered a big problem: Obviously, the security wouldn't let us in without after show stickers. And we soon learned that the guest list was only available before and during the concert... after the show had ended this list was -whyever!!- unavailable.
Stupid me! I hadn't even tried to ask if I'm on the list before entering the venue because Tony had not given me a ring/mail. How stupid I was - I just should have asked at the box office!! Security wasn't very helpful and we spent a lot of time arguing and explaining our case to various guys from the security crew. At last we tried the stage door. In the meantime Nigel and his mate Steven had to get their last train home. And I wasn't able to spot David and his mate Paul or anyone else from the LfW. So when we finally found someone helpful at the stagedoor, we were just three. I don't know who this guy was, but he spoke German and had a say to the security. We explained what had happened and he finally took us along to the after show party to ask Tony if we were really invited (With words that translated meant something like "And may god help you if you've lied"). Of course Tony gave his okay and we were finally at the after show party!!! He even apologised for not phoning me before the shows! *smile*
In opposite to Offenbach this was really a party with music and free drinks. There I also met fellow lister Chris Bounds along with Mike and Simon from The Beautiful Southmartins.
Again I chatted the most time with Gaz and of course also with Tony. The atmosphere was totally different to the Offenbach after show party. There were fans who took photos with themselves and the band and got autographs. In London it seemed more like the bandmembers meeting with people they knew good. Taking photos or getting stuff signed would have been somehow inappropriate. It was also not so easy to get in touch with bandmembers you didn't already know as it was in Offenbach. But that was okay, since we had a good time chatting with Gaz.
It showed that getting into the aftershow wasn't the only problem - staying there was another one! When Aneka went to the bar to get a drink, she was taken aside by security, since she had no after show sticker! They wanted to kick her out, but after tough negotiating she got 30 seconds to rush in and get assistance to prove that she was really invited to the after show. Well, this led to her, my sister and me standing at the back door and arguing once again with a guy from the security. He was already about to kick us out, when Kev Warcup (from merchandising) incidentally came along. Of course he didn't know me, but I knew him, so that I was able to shortly explain our case to him and to beg him if he could ask Tony to come to the door to calm the security! It seems as if he didn't found Tony, but he sent Simon Moran (he's something like the tour manager). Once again we explained why we had no after show stickers and he was very kind and said no problem and he got us the stickers!! Phew, lucky again!
I don't remember for sure when the band left, but I guess it was around 1.30ish. And before leaving, Tony said he would also put us on the list for the next evening :-)
On Wednesday we just arrived in Brixton during the last half of the Bluetones' set. This time we got our aftershow stickers before the show and entered the venue through the stage door :-)
I think the second concert was much better - atmosphere like. The crowd was more
enthusiastic and thus the band was also more in it. Hamster even encouraged the audience a
bit to sing along "carry on regardless" during his part of Good As Gold
the first time I have seen him doing this. And Paul was more chattier and made more jokes
on stage. This last cocnert was the very best TBS-show Ive ever seen!
Performancewise I don't think there was a difference between Tuesday and Wednesday show.
Both gigs were absolutely fabulous and the entire sound was excellent!
Some random thoughts to come to an end.... Both gigs were incredible. And the second one was even a better show. The lightshow was very, very good imo. The band really seemed to enjoy themselves on stage and it was so good to see Hamster getting into some more action!
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29. Dec. 2001 - Munich, Bayern3, Studio2
[see the Photos from the concert!]
I wasn't even sure if I would get tickets until a week before the gig or so. But than
all the efforts I've been putting in my TBS-site payed back: Due to the cooperation for
the release of SB that I had done with the german label Motor Music (maybe you have seen
the Hidden Jukebox special for SB) I got four tickets from Motor: Two for myself, two for
giving them away in a competition. You couldn't believe how happy I was, from hoping to
win tickets in a competition I turned to creating one myself! :-) I was jumping up and
down in my room out of pure joy!!
Congratulations to the winners of the tickets: Susanne and Kirstin (who had the luck that unlucky winner Thomas couldn't go the concert)! And sorry for everyone who took part in the competition but wasn't lucky!!
Before and after the concert itself I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few fans I mostly only knew from the net so far. Big Cheers to Jenni, Klaus, Kirsten, Susanne and of course Tom! The concert was held in a quite small radio studio, with about 150-200 listeners seated at tables across the room.
The concert was AMAZING! The initial setlist was a s follows:
Especially For You
Old Red Eyes Is Back
Blackbird On The Wire
Song For Whoever
The Root Of All Evil
One Last Love Song
Let Love Speak Up Itself
You're The One That I Want
Dave joined for Blackbird, the start saw just Paul and Dave R. on stage. Tony Robinson (trumpet), who did the roadies job, came to the stage in the middle of OLLS, played his bit and disappeared again, just like in the UK concerts.
It was fantastic! Those boys can sing!!! The audience went **absolutely** quiet during all the songs bar three (Perfect 10 which featured a bit of not to loud singing a long by some guys of the audience I won't mention here ;-) ,Don't Marry Her which started with clapping along by the audience and You're The One That I Want which produced laughs and cheers). Paul even commented on this:
~You go so quiet when we sing. I mean, that's great, but so you can hear every sniffing and so.~
Laughter from the audience, start of the next song: of course Paul and Dave H. sniffed and cleared there throat very loudly before it :-)
They seemed to be in a really great mood all the time. They joked so much - if they'd stop with music they can as well start as comedians! ;-) Paul before P10:
"Jacqui wasn't out of the band for two minutes, before Dave came to my room and suggested this version of the song. Ain't it so, Dave?" Dave smiling: "Yeah, right..."
The atmosphere was just amazing. What's that english idiom like...? It sent shivers down my spine. That describes it quite good! When Paul and Dave sang a chorus together... the voices fit so well to each other and they can sing exactly on point. And Dave R..... well I'm not a musician myself so I can't really tell, but for all I can say, he played great!
Paul used the harmonica on quite a few occasions! One got almost reminded to the HM with such an use of the harmonica.
After the encore, when the light went on and the music from tape already started playing, the audience just went on clapping, cheering, stamping with the feet. So they indeed came out again for a real encore that wasn't planned beforehand! They did a brilliant Don't Marry Her.
One word about You're The One That I Want: That was just hillarious! Really, really great, very funny, fantastic! This "rocked the house". :-) Paul introduced the song with "We'll finish with a song that we haven't heard before. So we're doing it our way."
The entire concert lastet somthing like 90 minutes.
After the concert, Tony unfortunately couldn't give away the three setlists laying around on stage. But he was so nice that he even made me a copy of one sometime while we were still there standing and witing for the band!! Thank's a lot!!! i said it before, and I'll say it again: the guys from the brass section rule!
Some minutes after the gig has finished Dave H and Paul came out again. A lot of autographs were given, and a lot of photos taken. They were really nice and kind.
Well, and than they headed for their hotel and everything was over. This was a wonderful night and a most amazing concert! Just fantastic.
Just a personal side note to finish with: Me and a friend we had driven to Munich from near Frankfurt (~380km) during the afternoon. After the concert we took a drink with Jenni, and than headed home again, where we didn't arrive until 4am in the morning (It was pouring cats and dogs!). Guess who's alarm rang at 7am. I had to be at university at 8pm to do a laboratory practical... And yes, I *was* tired! But it was definitively worth it!!!
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