I haven’t reviewed a gig for years, the last thing remotely musical that I reviewed was The Farms "don't you want me" for "what's the score " , the less said about that the better.
Anyway, myself and Mr Potter met for a pre gig Latte(clear signs of getting old) then headed to the Epstein theatre to see John O'Connell and his simply Dylan band rounding off a UK tour. The ambiance and lay out of this place is a far cry from the heady days of the Scottie club, Beer-Keller et al when Groundpig would have hundreds of match going chaps manically dancing on tables to a bizarre diversity of tunes such as Ruby, postman pat, even Nelly the elephant had the punters in raptures, the sight of hardened hooligans dancing to nelly the elephant was like a hallucinogenic experience. We can’t forget the other classics like Salisbury hill, Cecilia and of course the odd Dylan tune.
Anyway, enough of this nostalgic nonsense and on with the review, John had to cancel this gig two weeks ago due to losing his voice and the vicious rumours about him now sounding like Joe pasquale were dispelled emphatically as he opened with a rousing rendition of Positively fourth street., a brilliant solo version of "masters of war" . (First time I have ever seen John looking angry whilst singing) . Johns band are brilliant talented artists in their own right. James the young lead guitarist who would not look out of place in any boy band is special, the violinist , and female backing singers truly complement and enhance Johns work. , oh and not forgetting Paul, a stalwart of early Groundpig days on bass. A brilliant version of "can we talk this over” was followed by the equally brilliant "is your love in vain", I am certain I seen a tear in Mr Ps eye during that tune?. a few more classics followed , "changing of the guards" , "forever young", "just like a woman" and the excellent hurricane (which was nearly spoiled by an over zealous theatre employee shining a torch directly into mine and Mr Ps eyes because someone close to us pointed their phone in the general direction of the stage), we now know how Ruben carter must have felt when he was "pulled over". . John finished the gig with like a "like a rolling stone", which had people dancing in the isles .
If you’re a Dylan fan or someone who just appreciates good music", then get your arses to next years "simply Dylan gigs!