To: "Hix List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Harry S Fulcher"
Date sent: Tue, 22 Jul 2003
Subject: Dan, Birmingham, 21st July
I agree with Alan A'Dale who, in his Manchester gig report, said
"Reviewing this concert is too hard." That's right, there is just too much
to say about such a wonderful evening!
Ceol Castle is an Irish pub in a rundown area of central Birmingham. It
has a small venue at the back with room to seat around a hundred people. I
learned that seating is usually at tables but for Dan's gig, presumably
because of the demand, seating was in rows. It was packed by the time Dan
came on. My new drinking buddy, Johnny Bull, and I sat in the second row.
Johnny had a camera and he'll deal with letting you see the shots he took.
Dan and the band came on to a very warm reception of cheers and applause.
It was obvious how excited the audience was to see them and how dearly
they are loved. Dan introduced the evening in a wonderfully dry and
laconic style, outlining the sort of material they were going to play and
started by melting everyone's hearts with "Canned Music", followed by
"Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy".
Dan was in very good humour and looked very relaxed, wearing black and
those great two tone brogues. Susan Rabin and Robyn Seyler looked so good
that at times I had great trouble concentrating on anything else; damn,
they're HOT! David Bell, the guitarist, was smiling all the while and
played stunning solos. Brian Godchaux looks a little retiring on stage but
he played his butt off and rose to the occasion spectacularly on "I Scare
The young British bass player Nick Kacal, drafted in at only two days
notice to join the tour was a revelation. Until I spoke to him after the
show I had no idea he wasn't a regular American Dan band member. He had
the whole gig down completely and played lovely intelligent solos. All
power and praise to him!
Seeing the band live for the first time I was struck by how hard The
Lickettes work. Playing percussion all night for four shit-hot musicians
must be a very scarey pressure. Looking a million dollars, moving SO well,
pinning down the rhythm and doing vocal harmonies all at the same time
should win them a medal!
Dan's links were all hilarious as were his frequent Dylan impressions. His
occasional dancing was great, especially a routine he did with the
Lickettes during one number. There was only one bit of banter with the
audience when somebody shouted that it was great to see him. Dan paused
looking cynically amused and replied "Is that so?". There was a delightful
piece of visual humour after Dan had warned us not to expect an encore.
"After I leave the stage I don't want to come back" (was the gist) because
"I've already shot my wad". Susan and Robyn feigned shock at his use of
the expression so Dan, winding them up, elaborated on how he thought it to
be an appropriate colloquial expression. Just as he came to the end of his
reasoning a "babe" in the audience passed by the front of the stage. If
she could only have seen the look on Dan's face as his eyes followed her
progress at such an auspicious moment!
During one number Dan topped two great solos from Brian and David by
miming a spoof rock guitar solo (actually played by David, back to the
audience) with plenty of gurning and flying finger, hand and tongue work.
They came back for a two song encore (despite Dan's previous assertions)
but despite very prolonged clapping and cheering (which turned to
handclapping "More, more, more") after leaving the stage for the second
time, that was that.
After the gig Dan and the ladies did selling and signing. It was one of
the greatest honours of my life to meet Dan, shake his hand and thank him.
Nick, David and Brian hung with us for the best part of an hour and were
excellent company, warm, humorous and kind. We even met Dan's lovely wife,
and had a little chat.
It was a great show and I can't wait to see the next one.
I was there to drink it in and not to take notes so I'll list the numbers
which I can remember in no real order and with apologies for omissions.
Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy
Someone Like You
Strike While It's Hot
Working It Out
Peach Picking Time
I Feel Like Singing
'Long Come A Viper
Song For My Father
I Scare Myself
I've Got A Capo On My Brain