Manchester gig,6-11-08

Review by ROBERT JOHNSTON (Switch to

This is my first attempt so go easy on me folks!

Well firstly I was introducing a 23 yr old Bangor Uni' student to the pleasures of seeing Todd live.He had never hear'ed of him until I introduced him to the Utopia Theme and others on my car stereo, back in May,an immediate convert,I thought he was good raw material though. I drove from N Wales to Manchester a 2hr trip, found the venue, then had a couple of beers before going into the hall.It was all standing, I set up camp about 8 rows back,left of centre sort of in between Jesse and Todd as you look on.My young friend made for the barrier at the front right under Todd's nose.I know that 'cus he was on about his sweat dripping on him as he performed.(I later suggested he took samples back to the Uni' for cloning attempts.) we don't get enough of Mr Rundgren over here,you see. The gig,it was the same set list as recent shows in the US although I was expecting the covers to be dropped following a recent comment made by Todd,I was hoping for an inclusion of Heavy Metal Kids,I thought it would fit with the uptempo set,but OH knows where he's at and he'll perform what he wants to, as has always been his way and why shouldn't he? The sound was good, many thanks to Robert for that, and the band was right on, allot more polished than in Kauai,as you would expect more playing time etc.A very tight cohesive set,Todd's voice was in good shape,Jesse was mercurial, he gets so many sounds out of that guitar of his.Prairie his usual solid driving self along with Rachel who seems to be smiling much more than at Toddstock,I think she has grown into the roll,watch out Kas you may be on the key's and rhythm permanently at this rate.(only joking) Kas performed his roll with a smile as usual,encouraging the crowd upfront with some interaction.A really enjoyable gig played by a band that was obviously at ease with the material and comfortable with each other. All Todd shows rate highly for me, this was about 3rd after Utopia Oct1975 Brum UK and the Ra gig Oxford Poly' Jan1977,along with Toddstock of course but that wasn't just about a gig performance more like a spiritual pilgrimage,I was floating for weeks fueled by my thoughts from that,anyhow I digress. Having witnessed some of Jesse Gresse's flamboyant summer wear at Kauai I took a brand new set of clothing to give him along similar lines for his collection,it never fit me and I dont know too many people who would wear clothes as jazzy as these numbers.I left it with Robert Frazza on the mixing desk on the way out,I just hope he appreciated it. I met up with my student friend who thanked me several times for "Opening His Eyes" to Todd,(excuse the pun) and told me what a great show it was. I also bumped into Carmen outside, aka Bondgirl we spoke some then it was off into the midnight home.........Robert Johnston

PS I totally agree with a previous review regarding TR and his lack of an appearance on Jools Holland's Later I contacted them more than once but got no response,regarding this I also made several requests for him to be featured on the South Bank Show,after 40 years of pioneering,I'm sure there would be more than enough material for an hours show and some very articulate input from our hero.......Bob

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11/06/2008 - Academy 2 - Manchester, UK

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