Updated: 30 Oct 2012
Saturday 13 October 2012 - Gesu Theatre, Montreal QC
Sunday 14 October 2012 - Capitol Theatre, Port Hope ON
Tuesday 16 October 2012 - Hugh's Room, Toronto ON
Wednesday 17 October 2012 - Hugh's Room, Toronto ON
Thursday 18 October 2012 - Peter's Place, Gravenhurst ON
Friday 19 October 2012 - Aeolian Performing Arts Centre, London ON
Saturday 20 October 2012 - Molson Canadian Studio at Hamilton Place, Hamilton ON
Sunday 21 October 2012 - Festival Place, Sherwood Park AB
Monday 22 October 2012 - Live At The Royal, Nelson BC
Tuesday 23 October 2012 - Minstrel Cafe, Kelowna BC
Wednesday 24 October 2012 - Hermann's Jazz Club, Victoria BC
Thursday 25 October 2012 - Nancy Appleby Theatre, Athabasca AB
Saturday 27 October 2012 - Crescent Heights Community Hall, Calgary AB
WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2012 - HERMANN'S JAZZ CLUB, VICTORIA BC
It was a great show. Audience enjoyed every minute of it. Their Canadian tour is nearly over -- just two more stops, then home.
MONDAY 22 OCTOBER 2012 - LIVE AT THE ROYAL, NELSON BC
After an insanely long, although incredibly picturesque, twelve hour drive from Edmonton, The Strawbs played to an appreciative audience at The Royal in Nelson, BC, Monday night. Probably because of the lengthy journey, the doors of the Royal, originally set to open at 6 PM, remained closed as the Strawbs were still doing their sound check. Eventually, the doors were opened to allow early patrons into the venue and out of the near freezing evening temperatures of Baker Street. The early fans were treated to the final few minutes of the sound check.
At the end of the "check", one punter approached Dave Cousins with an autograph request for his English pressing of "Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios". Mr. Cousins informed the fan that his copy was one of only a small number pressed before the back cover of the album was changed. Apparently Rick Wakeman, the well known Strawbs keyboard player at the time, disliked his appearance on the cover and insisted it be changed.
The first set was the same as the set as the first set from the Oct. 13 show at the Gesu Theatre in Montreal. Dave Cousins continued his historical recounting of the story of the Strawbs, providing interesting background information about the origins of each piece, as the band played songs in a more or less chronological order.
The second set varied somewhat from the Oct. 13 setlist. At one point, Mr. Cousins informed the crowd that the Hero And Heroine album was most popular in Canada, and went platinum in this country. The band performed several songs from the album, including the centrepiece, "Autumn".
Many in the crowd commented on the fine vocal performance of all three musicians. The harmonies were fabulous, and for all intents and purposes, could be the same as those heard on the original recordings or at Strawbs concerts from back in the day. The musicianship was spectacular. Chas Cronk was amazingly versatile playing 12 string acoustic or acoustic bass, while often adding glorious colour with strings or other effects from a foot pedal setup at his feet. Dave Cousins displayed fine technique on both acoustic guitar and banjo. As for Dave Lambert, the man is a monster! His playing was amazing, with delicious solos throughout on acoustic guitar. He is one of the most tasteful guitar players in rock'n'roll, IMHO.
After an encore of "Shine On Silver Sun", Dave Cousins made himself available to sign autographs (including the rare copy of Antiques and Curios) as well as listen patiently while fans shared their Strawbs experiences and used the opportunity to shake their hero's hand.
A terrific evening was had by all, including the fine staff at The Royal, who fed patrons wonderful food fare and ensured that their glasses were readily refilled, as required.
Photo by Greg Archibald
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER 2012 - MOLSON CANADIAN STUDIO AT HAMILTON PLACE, HAMILTON ON
Tears and smiles at our table and others, after hearing such powerful and melodious vocals last night at the acoustic Strawbs show in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada). How do they keep sounding so great as time goes on?!? I "reconnected" with their music in 2002 when I turned 40 and flew to the UK to see them with a friend at St Mary's in the Castle, Hastings. Saw them two more times on this side of the Atlantic shortly after that, but then quite a dry spell until last night.
I just couldn't believe my ears at how wonderful they sounded. The crowd was enthusiastic and spellbound as we were. The venue intimate, and you could hear a pin drop with Dave's storytelling, as he took us on a journey through time. How refreshing it was. One of our guests, who did not have the privilege of knowing anything about the Strawbs, raved about the concert, and a lot of it had to do with Dave's narrative between songs.
The audience laughed at times, reflected at others, and vigorously applauded. I looked around and could see audience members lost in the moment when one song or another caused them to contemplate what it meant to them. I thought about what an impact the Strawbs music had on me and smiled the whole night through.
Photo by Tony Palma
I just wanted to say how much my husband and I enjoyed the acoustic renditions of your music, on Saturday night in Hamilton Ontario. The music was amazing.. We appreciated the opportunity to meet with the members afterwards, during the signings. My husband took a picture of Mr. Cousins and myself. Thanks for coming to Hamilton.
Photo by Dorie Jennings - more pictures from Dorie
FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER 2012 - AEOLIAN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, LONDON ON
It was a great show and it was wonderful to be there. My wife and I were delighted to hear Dave mention how pleased they are to find out about those who have used "The Winter Long" as a part of their wedding celebration. Such was indeed the case for us as well. We have always loved their albums, particularly Hero And Heroine, but the last few minutes of "Autumn" is a special gem among the numerous in their musical history.
Photo by Al Bod - a few more pictures from Al
TUESDAY 16 OCTOBER 2012 - HUGH'S ROOM, TORONTO ON
Photo by Peter Rowe - More of Peter's pictures
SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER 2012 - CAPITOL THEATRE, PORT HOPE ON
The only show in the "area" that I could make due to my work schedule was the show in Cobourg this past Sunday. So my wife, son and I piled into the car and drove the almost 150km to the Capital Theatre. It's a lovely place, and well worth the drive. I'll have to keep an eye out for other concerts and events there.
I'd been on a couple of grams of industrial strength anti-biotics a day for a week at this point, trying to get a nasty infection in my leg cleared up, so I wasn't even sure if I'd be able to go. Fortunately, the drugs did their job.
Without tickets, but having contacted the box-office and knowing there were good seats left, we parked right in front of the theatre and were able to get front row, off to the right...in front of the amazing Dave Lambert.
I grabbed the last copy of "All Our Own Work", along with "Of A Time".
I wore my Strawbs at Natural Sound T-Shirt and promptly ran into 4 people who'd also been at that event!
What can I say about the show? It was, as always, great music with evocative lyrics played by masters of their craft, who loved what they do. Far better wordsmiths than I have written about the experience of going to a Strawbs concert, so I won't make the attempt. I did get some good pictures, though. And the set list, which is always a nice keepsake.
The band was, as always, pleased to meet the fans after the show. I'd've loved to have bought them each a pint, but there was that simple matter of the 150km drive home. So, I thanked them very much for years of great music, and for being a part of my life, and that of my family.
The Man Who Called Himself Jesus
The Weary Song
Josephine For Better Or For Worse
Oh How She Changed
The Hangman And The Papist
Chérie Je T'Aime (!!!)
Shine On Silver Sun
SATURDAY 13 OCTOBER 2012 - GESU THEATRE, MONTREAL QC
The Gesu is an intimate theatre in downtown Montreal, with no bad seats and good sound - a great venue for Acoustic Strawbs as you can hear every note and all the quiet bits.
A word about the opening act - Stephen Takacsy at FMPM/ProgQuebec arranged to have Conventum, a 70s Quebec group, open the show. I wasn't familiar with them, but they impressed with a highly original set of chamber rock (you might call it). A combo of three guitars, one also doubling on violin, they played intricate, interlocking guitar pieces. One piece featuring violin soloing over interlocking harmonics was particularly brilliant. Very enjoyable and fascinating to watch - well done to all concerned.
Been some years since I've seen the acoustics, but, well, it's a bit like putting on an old jacket, innit. Cousins' patter this time evolved in semi-chronological fashion, along with the setlist, beginning with descriptions of the White Bear days, who Josephine was, their first single, Gus Dudgeon, and offering the tantalizing, if unrealistic prospect of playing the first track from all 30-odd Strawbs albums, given that they started with "The Man Who Called Himself Jesus" and "The Weary Song" - the first tracks from the first two records all those years ago. "Weary Song" also happens to be my personal favorite from Dragonfly, so not a bad start.
What followed was no less engaging, and it seems somewhat redundant at this point to praise such classics as "Witchwood", "Ghosts" or "Autumn". One track, however, is worth mentioning in particular - in a very well appreciated gesture to the Quebec fans, they performed the French version of "Grace Darling", "Cherie Je T'Aime". Cousins always seems to deliver this with a little extra emotion - wistful and somehow a little heartbreaking, it was perhaps the biggest highlight of the show.