Flight touched down in Bristol in the early afternoon and we were picked up at the Airport by friends who were joining us for the concert. Having deposited our bag we had a couple of pints to whet the appetite before hastily dispatching a glorious curry at the Old India restaurant which is about 5 minutes from the Colston Hall.
We then made our way to the Hall and took our seats. Ethel arrived on cue and gave a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging performance the highlights of which, for me, were the opener and the closing number.
Joe immediately followed and performed sublimely despite one minor fluff in Stepping Out which probably wasn't picked up on by most in the audience although he did admit to it after the song. I didn't keep a note of his set list but it included Hometown, Stepping Out, Different For Girls, Take It Like A Man, Love At First Light, Be My Number Two, Who's Your Lady Friend and Is She Really Going Out With Him. A fine instrumentalist in top form it was a pleasure and a privilege to be in Mr. Jacksons' company last night.
A 15 minute interval permitted a quick beer before Todd took the stage and launched into Love of the Common Man which lasted all of 5 seconds before a broken string brought it to a very premature finish. He must be getting used to this as the technician was on hand with a replacement and Todd strode confidently through the acoustic guitar opening period of the show. I have read other reviews stating that Black and White doesn't come across well on this show but I beg to differ as I thought the performance was powerful and commanding.
Cut to the piano for Viking (minor FUs on the 100mph bit), Hawking (beautiful and tender performance) and Hello It's Me (generally beautifully played and sung).
Back to the guitar for Hide your Love Away and Lysistrata and all too soon the solo part of the evening was over. However this was when things really took off with an emotional performance of Pretending to Care with the strings which would have brought a tear to a glass eye! (Sorry Joe!). Joe came back for an equally stunning rendition of Real Man before the surprise and treat of the night - the "World Premiere" of Stood Up. I once read that Todd could never picture this song being performed live because of the intricacies of the arrangement. I don't know who did this one but it was superb and survived OH breaking not one but two strings in the middle of the song. The strings were awesome and faithfully recreated the fee of the album while creating a uniqueness of their own (if that's possible!) Fantastic stuff!
Next came JJs Got the Time before the stunning finale While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Only regret was that Todd didn't let rip with a solo after the fiddles had done their stuff. You are unlikely to ever view a string quartet in the same way after watching this show!
A Wonderful nights entertainment. Roll on Liverpool next Thursday! If you were undecided about going to see this show get on the phone and book your ticket now!!
Todd Set List
Love of the Common Man Cliche Tiny Demons Black and White Beloved Infidel Song of the Viking Hawking Hello It's Me Bang on the Ukelele Daily You've Got to Hide Your Love Away Lysistrata Pretending to Care (with Ethel) Stood Up (with Ethel and JJ) Weeps (with Ethel and JJ)