TR and JJ in Liverpool

Review by Anthony McGarrigle (Switch to

I thought that the gig in Bristol last week could'nt be topped and just could not wait to see these superb musicians in the flesh once more. Rolled out of home at 10.00am and drove to Belfast for the 1.00pm short flight to Liverpool where I was picked upby my sister who was accompanying me and my two daughters to the gig. Got to the Philharmonic Hall at around 3.30 and parked the car. I decided to stalk the stage door and tour bus to see if I could possibly get a glimpse and maybe a word with the Man but all was quiet apart from a Joe Jackson lookalike adjacent to the tour bus. Cursed my luck and we decided to walk into the town for a drink and a pre-show dinner. As we walked through Clayton Square Shopping Mall I could hardly believe my eyes as I saw TR walking towards us. I called "Mr.Rundgren" to him and he stopped. I have to say the man was pure class. I was a little starstruck and mumbled my way through a few platitudes after Todd complimented me on my shirt before asking if I could have a picture which Todd readily agreed to.That was when disaster struck as the frickin batteries in my camera had died. Todd was patience personified as he waited on my frantic efforts to reive my camera. He said that he had travelled down from Edinburgh on the train, had enjoyed the UK part of the tour immensely but refused to say if anything special was planned for this, the last UK gig. Eventually my daughter got a snap of us on her mobile and after another handshake and good luck he was on his merry way! It is always afterwards that you think about all the things you should have said and asked but I was exceptionally taken by his patience and demeanour which more than compensated for my disappointment last year at not having a VIP Pass for the Manchester gig. Thanks Todd!

After a nice Mexican we made our way back to the Hall for the show. I think I enjoyed Ethel a little better in Bristol.Don't know why! Maybe it was the freshness of the sound on first exposure. They were excellent again and were quickly followed by Joe Jackson for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration. Joe performed the same set as he had in Bristol impeccably and he was appreciated by the mostly Todd audience. Interval and a quick glasss of wine and a chat to a Todd fan from Bradford who had travelled to the gig after having been to the York show earlier in the week. It amazes me how many of the fans take in more than one show which I guess is due to the paucity of appearances this side of the Atlantic over the last 10 years. I have travelled from Ireland 4 times in the last twelve months to see the man and I would do the same in the next 12 months if I had the chance. Anyway on to the show! Todd opened with Love of the Common Man and his acoustic set include ISTL and Afterlife which he hadn't played at Bristol. Some amusing repartee with the audience especially the guy who was congratulated on his "copious knowledge" of Todds'catalogue which outdid Todds own! (He had requested 'Marlene'), and the guy who prompted Todd to ask when the gig had turned in to a Press Conference after an extremely long-winded Beatles orientated question wwhich was followed by 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away'.

Piano set was the same as Bristol and Todd returned to the guitar and ukelele to finish with 'The Wheel' another song I hadn't heard at Bristol. Ethel then returned and we had 'The Lord Chancellors Nightmare Song' (impeccably sung!), Pretending to Care (what can I say? My 13 year old has been singing it all day!) and the sublime ' Stood Up'. Joe returned and did his two before the rousing encore George Harrisons 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. What a night! What a day! It's hard to believe that the standard of the performances has taken a quantum leap from the American leg of this tour and I have to ask myself what the hell do the US fans want? This was live performance at its best. Strings break and people miss notes. That's life and part of the LIVE experience. If you want perfect renditions of the recorded works listen to the cd! Sorry about the length of this review but as you might be able to tell I really enjoyed my day. Come back soon Todd!

Todd Set List

Love of the Common Man
Beloved Infidel
Black & White
I Saw the Light
Song Of The Viking
Hello It's Me
Bang on the Drum/ukelele
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
The Wheel
Lord Chancellors' Nightmare Song
Pretending to Care
Stood Up
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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06/09/2005 - Philharmonic - Liverpool, England

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