Total Music Magazine

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Total Music Magazine

Like the bus service many of the faithful rode into town this evening you wait ten years for a Todd Rundgren concert to come along and then lo and behold the bugger turns up twice in very short order (OK, you seldom wait ten years for a bus down here in the west country but on occasion it can seem like it). Unlike last years Liar tour though this visit is in mixed company, a seemingly ill-conceived double header with Joe Jackson and a left field string quartet thrown in for good measure. That it works so well is due in no small part to everyone here being so damn good at what they do, Ethel proving that string quartets aren’t the sole preserve of tea rooms with middle eastern and blues influences punctuating the classical overtones, Joe Jackson rattling out early après-punk classics like Is She Really Going Out With Him through less frenetic hits like Steppin’ Out and beyond and bill topper Rundgren chopping between acoustic guitar, piano and ukulele for a stripped down set which negotiated broken strings (two), idiot hecklers (one) and Rundgren classics (numerous). Even the, generally inadvisable ‘everyone onstage for the finale’ gatherings worked well – especially Jackson’s Got The Time and Rundgren’s Stood Up – leaving the audience heading home happy, and hoping the bus, like a revisit by any of tonight’s acts, wouldn’t be too long in coming. Kris Tomas

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