COMBINED REPORTS - Telford's Warehouse, Chester, England July 22, 2003 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "Alan A'Dale"
Date sent: Wed, 23 Jul 2003
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Telford’s Warehouse, Chester, England
Tuesday 23rd July 2003
There’s a saying over here – ‘You wait an hour for a
bus and then three come along at once’. You wait 20+
years to see the Hot Licks and you get to watch ‘em
twice in three days!
So, off to the historic City of Chester. The venue's name
is self-explanatory. It’s a smartly converted old building
next to a canal, one of those built by transport pioneer
Thomas Telford. The whole building got the benefit of
the music, as the band played to a lower level seated
area, packed with Hixsters.
The line up was of course Brian Godchaux (violin,
mandolin) Dave Bell (guitar) Nick Kacal (bass)
and Lickettes Susan Rabin and Robin Seyler on voc and
perc. And Dan. The Lickettes didn’t wear the blonde
wigs until the encore, but were as stunning as ever.
Susan in particular seemed to be having a ball and the
room filled with her infectious enthusiasm.
Set split into two parts tonight rather than the
straight through programme in Manchester. I think the
running order was:
'Long came a viper
Wild about my lovin’ (?? A Jim Kweskin jug Band song)
I Scare Myself
Exactly like you
I feel like singin'
That Ain't Right
Strike it while it’s hot
Song for my Father
Four or five times
Chatanooga shoeshine boy
Cowboy’s dream #19
The buzzard was their friend
The work these guys must put in is incredible. A
considerably changed set list let us hear even more of
Dan’s songs and arrangements. Top marks goes to
“Honeysuckle Rose” – Brian and Dave turned the Hot
Licks into the Hot Club of France, taking this number
along the route defined by Stephane Grapelli and
Django Reinhardt. A supreme performance by both of
them, aided by occasional cooing from the Lickettes,
sturdy bass from new Lick Nick, and Dan’s daft
Evenin’ Breeze was most appropriate, as we
were sat near an open window, and that Evenin’ Breeze
drifted in of the canal on a warm night. Perfect air
We were warned by Dan that ‘I scare
myself’ was “A Hypnotic tune, we have nurses standing
by”. As half time approached Dan said they band would
wander among us, and they would touch each and every
one of us, but we could not touch them. What a
Dan’s chats to the audience were also changed from the
previous show we attended. “Strike it while it’s hot”
worked a treat in set two – delighted to hear that one
The evening ended in tumultuous applause, and well
deserved too as they gave us another special, magical
night to remember.
We had a quick chat with Dave Bell after the show. He
was really up after the gig and delighted by the way
the band are being received in the UK.
Might have to do a “Payday blues” on the bank manager
to try and get to see these guys again.
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003
Subject: Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks,
Telford's Warehouse Chester, 22nd July 2003
From: Paul Doherty
Chester was the christian name of one of my favourite Blues singers,
Chester is also the name of my eldest cat ( he yowls too! ) and
Chester was the place where I finally got to see The Man who has
spent the last 30 years entertaining me at 33 r.p.m..
Telford's Warehouse was an interesting venue in itself. ( Thomas
Telford was a great 18/19 century Scottish designer/ engineer of
bridges, canals and roads - check out Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 1000ft.
long and 125ft. above the River Dee and still in daily use 198 years
after completion. Built to last - a phrase that could also describe
Dan ). Situated on a canal wharf, half the building is actually over
the canal to facilitate, in days gone by, barges that would have
their cargoes loaded / unloaded through trapdoors. One of the cranes
used in this operation is still situated in the bar area! The bar
area itself looked out along the canal and there was an eating area
up a flight of stairs. The stage area was down a few steps and
occupied only half the width of the building. There was a low ceiling with
exposed wooden beams which could have presented a problem for The Tall
One, but he seemed to manage ok. The backdrop to the stage was interesting
to say the least - a cartoon jungle scene. This could well have been the
first time that Dan has performed with a giraffe looking over his shoulder
( I hope someone got photo's of this ). There was seating, in rows, for
about 100 and I guess maybe another 50 or so were in the bar area ( it was
a lot cooler there ).
The performance itself consisted of two hour long sets. I find it
hard to pick highpoints as there were no low ones. Surfice to say
that the skills of all the participants fulfilled all my expectations (
and more ) and left me with very happy memories.
The tunes played were:-
'Long Come A Viper
Wild About My Lovin'
I Scare Myself
Exactly Like You
I Feel Like Singing
That Ain't Right
Strike It While it"s hot
Song For My Father
4 or 5 Times
Hell I'd Go
Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy
Cowboy's Dream No. 19
The Buzzard Was Their Friend
This varied slightly from Dan's set list, which is now in my
possession, suitably signed and decorated ( Hell I'd Go was to be the
penultimate tune of the first set and the encores were transposed ).
To Dan and the Gang many, many thanks for making a happy man feel
very old? and don't leave it too long before you visit again ( I'm of the
age where I need the stimulation - if you know what I mean ).
Cheers and thanks again
From: Steve C
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003
Subject: Telfords Warehouse, Chester, Uk
The coolest gig of my life!
Oh boy, do I feel privileged!
I've been a big fan of Dan's music for...ooh, 3 months!
Never heard of the guy before, quite how he has evaded me for so long, to
me, is unbelievable. After a chance conversation with the landlord of my
local pub about the Thomas Dolby cover of 'I scare myself', I was loaned
an early copy of Dan's LP 'Striking it Rich' which I proceeded to play to
death over the following weeks. I also bought 'Beatin the Heat' and 'The
Most of..' and they were given the same treatment as the loaned LP. Then
a few weeks later, bugger me, I hear Dan and the hot licks are playing at
Second row, great beer, sweaty hands, dead excited! Not knowing what to
expect I was slightly pensive when Dan came on stage. He's feckin' huge
and how he never 'clonked' his head on the beam above the stage must be
down to a 6th sense and years of experience. He looked a bit pissed off
too and like he was ready to eat somebody! How wrong was I?
This has to be the coolest gig I've had the pleasure of. I thought free
tickets, a nosey peek around the tour coach and back stage and a seat in
the press area of the Steely Dan concert at the NEC in 2000 was going to
be unbeatable. Wrong again? It was a dreamy, melodious evening and I'm
sure Dan was looking at me at one stage thinking I must be on drugs or
simple as I had a stupid excitable grin on my face all night. Or maybe
that was because I found my gaze mysteriously drawn to the Licket's! I
knew we sat in the second row for a reason, just not that reason and not
at the time!
It was absolutely, 100% top banana. The musicianship was superb. It's
good to see a band enjoying themselves and appreciating their audience.
The Licket's were just wonderful, they looked to be having a ball, and
the theatre of the whole performance just adds to the entertainment value
and contributes to the mood of every song. Dan's chat made for a comical
evening too, very laid back and dry. I wonder if he actually did see the
guy consistently shouting "Moody Richard" after the show. I'd have loved
to hear it too but they've got to keep some favourites for when they come
back next year- (i'm on my knees here!)
Thanks Telford's, a great, cosy and intimate venue and thanks to Dan and
the Hot Licks for the best value I've ever had out of £9!