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Thread: Strawbs 50th Weekend Event

  1. #1
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Strawbs 50th Weekend Event

    There are a few threads in the What's On, What's New section of PE but I thought Actual comments on the event needed to be on the Main Board.

    I arrived Thursday afternoon at the host hotel. The variety of accents at the check in counter was an indication of how big this was going to be! It is kind of like a Strawbs Summer Camp where the band members are everywhere...sharing an elevator, sitting at a meal.....or just Band Members hanging out at "the butt" station outside the front door.

    I'll mention this here as there are Two Weddings taking place at the hotel too. Yesterday, I saw some wedding band musicians hauling in their gear as The Strawbs were all assembled waiting to get into their shuttle to the theater. What would it be like to hump your gear in past a band that have been at it for 50 years? None of those kids were over 40. But then again.....this is a New Jersey wedding band.....they probably never heard of The Strawbs. ( my room overlooks the front entry so with all the door slamming I pretty much see all the comings and goings.)

    Set lists for the weekend are Very tight lipped! I saw folks around me diligently taking notes so you might see a set list later in this thread. Check-in was Very chaotic but since it started almost an hour late (7pm) I think everyone who wanted to be there was in.

    One person counted 12 cameras......mostly go-pro like on microphone stands so video is happening.

    I'm in the fourth row center so good seats. They asked for no photography and the folks around me were pretty good about it! I Do have a woman and her daughter behind me that are unable to Shut Up! They found the celophane-wrapped concession crap too!

    A Modern Collection of Antiques & Curios - Hosted by Wesley Stace included various performers. All were very good but the set was stolen by Sophie B. Hawkins! Wow....to hear that voice coming out of that woman.....inspiring! Stace announced that his set included songs that the Strawbs themselves were Not going to perform over the weekend so.......No reruns!

    Dave Bainbridge - The "new kid" of Strawbs. He performed solo. It started out with guitar against canned background....I thought uh oh.....instrumental karaoke? Half way through the first number I was converted......an Excellent Set! Very personable guy. When ever he ventured into some familiar Strawbs number, the annoying woman behind me started humming the tune......so I was wishing this whole thing was Louder just to drown her out.

    Dave Lambert's Fire - Holly Crap! What A Set! Played a few Strawbs tunes as well as pre-strawb and influences such as Tobacco Road.....Chaz on bass....Tony on drums....John Hawken on keys.

    Classic Strawbs w/ Terra Nova Orchestra. - Once again, someone will post a set list but an Amazing set! Sound was corrected by the first tune and balanced.

    I know a few members of this Terra Nova Orchestra.....to set the record strait.....this is not a going concern.....it is a local pick-up orchestra. They were hired for this gig only. They rehearsed only one day (Thursday) for this. They sounded fine....but they are all Professional musicians so sight-reading the orchestrations are a piece of cake. It was amusing to hear the well-wishers gushing about how long they must have rehearsed this gig....they politely nodded their heads and said nothing. Sorry if I burst your bubble....

    One quibble I'm having is there is no set intermissions. One set ends.....another sets up....a quick sound check then their off! This causes the first song of every set to be chaotic as 1/2 the audience is filing back in and crawling over each other. They don't seem to be enforcing a "seating between songs " rule.

    I guess another bitch (hey! Git Off My Lawn) is now concerts have a sporting event component of Eating And Drinking during the performances! That's fine in a stadium or club but a theater? Do you really need to eat the pretzel wrapped in cellophane during Oh How She's Changed?

    There was probably an after party in the hotel bar but I was beat!

    Well, it's 9:05AM and the band / wives are starting to assemble in the Butt-corner in front of the hotel. Must be a shuttle soon to the theater......curtain is at 1PM.

    Rumor has it there will be a Two hour dinner break somewhere in this 10 hour day.
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  2. #2
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Thanks for posting!
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  3. #3
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    yes, thanks for posting. An interesting diary of the first day.
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  4. #4
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Oh.....did I mention there seems to be an Open Bar? They keep giving me back my drink coupons.....
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

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    I saw them last week in sellersville and they were really good even though Cousins seemed to be under the weather. Would have loved to go this weekend since I’m a big Strawbs fan but the practicality of it was nearly impossible. Thanks to anyone who gives any update. I appreciate any little snippet of news.


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  6. #6
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Ok. It just ended. Holy Crap today was a lot to process! Heading down to the bar now to see if a party is breaking out. Last night a 30pc Orchestra. Tonight was the UN Choir! Now That is a going concern! I'll break it down tomorrow morning before the brunch (for 225 VIP patrons!)
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  7. #7
    Sounds like a wonderful weekend!
    Sleeping at home is killing the hotel business!

  8. #8
    Member Joe F.'s Avatar
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    Looking forward to hearing the details next time I see you, Gary!

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    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more. What a cool event.

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    Looking forward to the dvd


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  11. #11
    Thanks for the report. What a great weekend! Did you notice the high profile critics who were in attendance?

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  12. #12
    Member Dok's Avatar
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    Still waiting on that report GH!

    Picture index here - http://strawbsweb.co.uk/live/1904/1904ga.asp
    Last edited by Dok; 05-03-2019 at 07:45 AM.

  13. #13
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Ok. It's been almost 2 weeks now. I just completed a 4500+ mile road trip around New England hitting National Parks and Harley dealers. Stuck here in Newark for 5 more hours waiting for my flight so here goes....

    Saturday -

    Brian Willoughby & Cathryn Craig - So.....I'm Not a big Strawbs fanboy but have been a casual fan for 45 years so I do not know all the comings and goings of Strawbs personnel. The set started off kind of mellow......think kind of like a Nearfest Sunday morning Prog church......fun first tune but then Brian took a solo....Holy Cow......I may not recognize the tunes but I can sure appreciate guitar-craft formed over fifty years! Wow can he play.....subtle and the Tone! Seems to be a humble guy....he took the Mike for a bit and was quite funny. It was all over too soon....and off we move to the next set......

    John Ford Band - The audience seemed to be getting into the stride of things and stayed put between sets today......John came out with his band.....all local Long Island dudes including his son on electric guitar. He had the Jonny Depp / Capt. Jack look going on.....but......maybe Depp has the John Ford thing going on! . Played some tunes from his solo work and the between song banter was quite funny......The son is the "musical director" so he sometimes had to correct "dad" as to the proper key....etc. A fun set with great tunes throughout.

    Acoustic Strawbs - Started out with Dave, Dave & Chaz but as the set progressed.....more and more Strawbs came out as well as Anne Haslam to do Sandy Denny.....I can't remember if it was here or dispersed in other sets but tunes from the Intergalactic Touring Band album were performed. I have only heard Electric Strawbs so these tune with Chaz on 12-string were a treat.

    Grave New World - WOW! I'm assuming this was recorded. It was asked that applause be held between tunes.......a really neat addition was a bit of narration between songs by Wesley Stace. He did a Fantastic job and it really connected the tunes together. John Ford knocked Heavy Disguise out of the Park! I think a bit of bit editing can remove some of the uncontrolled applause and Dave C. had to start a tune 3 times before it took hold. If they can clean that up....you are going to have a Stellar new recording to hear! I had to consciously sit on my hands after a few of the tunes.

    Larry Fast & Dave Cousins - I think this was supposed to be originally with Dave C. and Rick Wakeman. I can't recall exactly what was performed because I was still blown away by the last set.

    Strawbs 50 Years On - After a 2 hour break we started the final set of the weekend......The current incarnation of Strawbs. I had last heard them at Rosfest in 2015 so the set started out pretty predictable.....The tunes from The Ferrymans Curse were a particular treat.....Seasoned performers at their peak.....If there are "difficulties" of 70+yo musicians recreating their 20+yo parts that is not an issue here. Once they settled into the set....it just kept building.....
    The finale....We Have The Power....the last tune on The Ferrymans Curse......Ok.....I, like many of you now burn a new Cd to the computer and neglect to dissect the liner notes......I always thought the "choir" was synthesized on the tune....but no.....it is the United Nations Choir! I do not know the details of this organization but I will be researching it soon. They took the stage in the Traditional Dress of their countries. Go ahead.....put on We Have The Power and imagine Strawbs with a live choir singing that.....add Anne Haslam and the past Strawbs and you have something you will never see again!

    The evening ended with a tune from the UN choir repertoire ..... It kind of reminded me of the ending of the "Concert For George (Harrison)". A peaceful ending to a stellar weekend.

    The after-party at the Ramada Was A Zoo! It was Packed! . Everyone was there at one time or another.....but I didn't see Dave Cousins......

    Gary's "Git Off My Lawn" moment.......it was impossible to get a drink......you either had to be one of the "beautiful people" or "bark orders" at the overwhelmed bartenders.....I was waiting at least 1/2 hour when a woman came up to me and asked if she could cut in line in front of me because "her husband was a band member!". You know.....the "band member" is really a humble guy and he would never have pulled that stunt.....had I saw him first.....I would have gladly bought him a drink......as it was.....the bar tender charged ME with their bar order! I found this out the next morning when I got my bill.....by the way......they were charging $12.00 for well drinks at the Ramada!

    One other observation....this may be "catty" but there were quite a few women at this event trying to look about 30 years younger than they were......maybe I'm the oddball here but I like my women to "age gracefully"....work the grey! . There were men there too who had everything but the mullet. At least the beer belly comes by honestly......

    Sunday in the next post......
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  14. #14
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Sunday - Brunch for 225! I arrived an hour late but everyone was still at the trough. Seating looked full so I sat in the back room to eat my grub. Dave Cousins sat down at the next table.....he was Exhausted! Food was the usual steam-table fare but good. Around 11:30 Dave C took the stage and played a few acoustic tunes. John Ford was next....told a few antidotes then played a few tunes......Next up was Blue Weaver.....also a good story teller.....it seems his entrance into Strawbs And the BeeGees occurred after a bit of intimidation of "big dudes" ..... it was humorous.
    Here are a few factoids he revealed about the BeeGees. The guitar riff on Jive Talkin' was inspired one night by driving over a grated bridge deck in Miami at 25mph. It seemed Barry Gibb Made this discovery. Also....the chord progression of Staying Alive started out as the 60's hit A Summer Place with an inversion of the third chord.....maybe one of you keyboard players can explain this better.

    Finally, Blue Weaver asked for all of this weekends performers to come up and take one final bow......we all clapped in rhythm as they assembled......then it hit me.......we will probably never see this assemblage again.....It's been 50 years in the making....there will probably not be a 60th.......

    And like that....it was over.....I felt bummed out on the drive up to Kingston, NY all afternoon.....the traffic was brutal for a Sunday afternoon......

    Performers- Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert, Chaz Cronk, Tony Fernandez, Dave Bainbridge, John Hawken, John Ford, Blue Weaver, Brian Willoughby

    Cathryn Craig, Larry Fast, Tony Visconti, Anne Haslam, Eric Bazilion, Wesley Stace, Sophie B. Hawkins, Richard Barone, Dag Juhlin, Bridget St. John, David Lewis, Pete Donnelly, David Nagler, Tammy Faye Starlite

    I think I forgot to mention it before.....Eric Bazilian wrote / performed the Joan Osborne hit One Of Us on Friday....I thought he did a better job of it than Joan did all those years ago......

    And one Last Gary's "Git Off My Lawn" moment.......as Blue Weaver was speaking on Sunday.....there was a woman in front of me at the next table crinkling sugar packets then incessantly tinkling her tea spoon against the cup as she stirred. I was getting ready to tap her on the shoulder to "knock it off," when I caught a profile of her......it was Anne Haslam.....so I retreated and let her tinkle away.....sometimes it better to just take a deep breath and relax....
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  15. #15
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    And now.......head home and get ready for SeaProg in Seattle next month!
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  16. #16
    Member Dok's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great review Gary! What about Tony Visconti? Did he have any comments about his time with them? He directed the Terra Nova Orch on a few songs the first night right?

  17. #17
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dok View Post
    Thanks for the great review Gary! What about Tony Visconti? Did he have any comments about his time with them? He directed the Terra Nova Orch on a few songs the first night right?
    I don't remember any public discussions but I did hear the original orchestrations were lost to time so he had to rewrite them......
    The orchestra folders were in a box in the bar and I noticed attendees helping themselves to the parts on Saturday......most were taken home by fans.
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

  18. #18
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    Sounds like one amazing weekend. Thanks for the review! Much much appreciated.


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  19. #19
    Setlists.

    Dave Lambert's Fire
    1. The Man I Saw Last Night
    (Dave Lambert solo acoustic)
    2. The Visit
    (Dave Lambert solo acoustic)
    3. The Winter and the Summer
    (Strawbs song)
    4. Father's Name Is Dad
    (Fire song)
    5. Just Love
    (Strawbs song)
    6. Tobacco Road
    (The Nashville Teens cover)
    7. Ramblin' on My Mind
    (Robert Johnson cover)
    8. Heartbreaker
    (Strawbs song)

    Classic Strawbs with the Terra Nova Orchestra
    1. Blue Angel
    (Dave Cousins song)
    2. Songbird
    (Bee Gees cover) (with Dave Cousins and Cathryn Craig on vocals)
    3. One of Us
    (Joan Osborne cover) (Eric Bazilian on vocals)
    4. Evergreen
    (acoustic)
    5. When the Spirit Moves
    6. Reaching Out
    (Intergalactic Touring Band cover) (Annie Haslam on vocals)
    7. Who Knows Where the Time Goes
    (Sandy Denny cover) (Annie Haslam on vocals)
    8. Oh How She Changed
    9. The River/Down by the Sea
    10. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

    Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig
    1. That Ol' Guitar
    2. Malahide Moon
    3. These Old Stone Walls
    4. Two Hearts One Love
    5. Fingers Crossed
    6. Alice's Song
    7. Cotton Fields/My Window Faces the South

    Acoustic Strawbs
    1. Turn Me Round
    2. Tears and Pavan
    3. The Hangman and the Papist
    4. A Glimpse of Heaven
    5. Copenhagen
    (with Annie Haslam)
    6. On My Way
    (with Annie Haslam)
    7. Tell Me What You See in Me
    (with Annie Haslam)

    Grave New World
    1. Benedictus
    2. Hey, Little Man... Thursday's Child
    3. Queen of Dreams
    4. Heavy Disguise
    5. New World
    6. Hey Little Man... Wednesday's Child
    7. The Flower and the Young Man
    8. Tomorrow
    9. On Growing Older
    10. Ah Me, Ah My
    11. Is It Today Lord
    12. The Journey's End
    (with "Benedictus" reprise at end)

    Larry Fast and Dave Cousins
    1. The Golden Salamander
    (Strawbs song)
    2. Words of Wisdom
    (Strawbs song)
    3. Deep in the Darkest Night
    (Strawbs song)
    4. Another Day Without You
    5. Heartbreaker
    (Intergalactic Touring Band cover)

    The Strawbs
    1. In the Beginning/The Nails From the Hands of Christ
    2. Ghosts
    3. The Promised Land
    4. The Ten Commandments
    5. Cut Like a Diamond
    6. The Familiarity of Old Lovers
    7. You and I (When We Were Young)
    (with John Hawken on keyboards)
    8. Autumn
    (with John Hawken on keyboards)
    9. Hero and Heroine
    (with John Hawken on keyboards)
    10. Out in the Cold
    11. Round and Round
    12. Lay a Little Light on Me/Hero's Theme
    (with "Round and Round" reprise at end)
    13. Part of the Union
    (with John Ford) (and Blue Weaver on keyboards)
    14. Panama Tombé
    (performed by the UN Singers)
    15. (Unknown)
    (performed by the UN Singers)
    16. We Have the Power
    (with Blue Weaver, Cathryn Craig and the UN Singers)
    17. Lay Down
    (with the UN Singers and all special guests)

    Dave Cousins acoustic
    1. Grace Darling
    (Strawbs song)
    2. Beat the Retreat
    (Strawbs song)

    John Ford acoustic
    1. Together Apart
    2. Witchwood
    (Strawbs song)
    3. Kissed by the Sun
    Last edited by Wah3; 05-12-2019 at 10:26 AM.

  20. #20
    Member Garyhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wah3 View Post
    Setlists.

    Dave Lambert's Fire
    1. The Man I Saw Last Night
    (Dave Lambert solo acoustic)
    I think after the song he commented that he wrote this song the day after meeting Peter Greene for the first time.
    The Ice Cream Lady Wet her drawers........To see you in the Passion Playyyy eeee - I. Anderson

    "It's kind of like deciding not to date a beautiful blonde anymore because she farted." - Top Cat

    I was expecting to be kinda meh, but it made my nips stiffen - Jerjo

    (Zamran) "that fucking thing man . . . it sits there on my wall like a broken clock " - Helix

    Social Media is the "Toilet" of the Internet - Lady Gaga

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