Updated: 10 Mar 2014
Fri 22 February, Village Hall, Blackawton
Thu 27 February, Brook Theatre, Chatham
Sat 1 March, Newcastle City Hall (with C Air W Ash)
Tue 4 March, The Grand, Swansea (with C Air W Ash)
Fri 7 March, Town Hall, Hessle
Sat 8 March, Underground Theatre, Eastbourne
Sat 15 March, Kings Theatre, Southsea (with C Air W Ash)
Tue 18 March, Theatre Seven, Shrewsbury (with C Air W Ash)
Fri 21 March, Cameo Theatre, Ipswich (with C Air W Ash)
Sat 22 March, Fairfield Halls, Croydon (with C Air W Ash)
Sun 23 March, Corn Exchange, Exeter (with C Air W Ash)
Wed 26 March, Red Lion, Kings Heath
Sat 29 March, Palace Theatre, Southend (with C Air W Ash)
Sun 30 March, Cresset Theatre, Peterborough (with C Air W Ash)
The Man Who Called Himself Jesus
Josephine For Better Or for Worse
Oh How She Changed
The Hangman And The Papist
Tears And Pavan
You And I (When We Were Young)
Shine On Silver Sun
UNDERGROUND THEATRE, EASTBOURNE, 8 MAR 2014
Apologies for the title, but Pick of the Pops on the way home was March 1974 - admittedly it included Hudson Ford's "Burn Baby Burn", but it also included "The Wombling Song", and given the name of the venue I couldn't resist it. (For the avoidance of doubt - and any possible legal action - I wish to make abundantly clear that thee is no possible resemblance between Chas and Uncle Bulgaria. Absiolutely not. No way.)
The venue in Eastbourne, the Underground Theatre, was a cracking place - good wide raised stage, excellent sound, promoted by the same folk who put Acoustic Strawbs on at Hailsham Pavilion when I was last there. I found myself a place towards the side where I had a good view of the stage for photography (sadly not much success though as the lighting was moody and magnificent from a stage/audience point of view, but pants for aspring papparazzi - not unusual though, so no real criticism intended). Good sound, and a nice friendly atmosphere - people came round to people who had baggsed their places in the unreserved seating to see if they wanted drinks from the bar - unusually friendly and great customer service.
No support so a full two sets of Acoustic Strawbs, taking us through their history and development. In the first half, particularly enjoyed "Jesus", "Oh How She Changed" and "New World". In the latter, Cousins' closing snarl is as effective in the acoustic environment as the electric. Patter-wise, as ever Dave has the audience in the palm of his hand from the outset, with tales of producers from long ago, anecdores about David Bowie, Hounslow folk club tales, an insight into the long running BBC show Top Of The Pops (even including the Jimmy Saville impersonation!). (It'll all be in the book as well!).
Second half included an especially impressive "Ghosts" and "Cold Steel", "Autumn" was a tour de force, equally as lively as the electric version recently heard, and "Lay Down" in its acoustic clothes reminded one why it was such a hit in the first place. "You And I" has some great light and shade, the big harmony bit "brushing through the fallen leaves" rarely fails to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.
Wisely, the venue had promised the bar would be open after the gig, and DC and the others came down to sign stuff and mingle with the fans. I reckon that added about £200 or more to the bar takings, and it mystifies me why more venues don't take that obvious decision to maximise their revenue by doing this.
Great gig, great atmosphere, will definitely be back. (Especially if I stay in a posh hotel again as I did this time - woke up not too early next day, leisurely breakfast, stroll round the town, bright sunshine, crystal clear blue skies without a single cloud - I think I might have caught a glimpse of heaven. Sashayed back to London about 3.00pm, what a lovely break.)
Photo by Dick Greener - more photos from Dick