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Early dates - from the Turks Head warm-up gig to Maidstone
The middle leg - from Liverpool to the QE Hall
Finishing in style - from Worcester to Newark
Strawbs 2000 Tour Dates

Neptune Theatre, Liverpool, 30 April 2000
  • Comments from various people
  • Setlist
  • Ronnie Scotts, Birmingham, 1 & 2 May 2000
  • Comments from various people
  • The Music Hall, Shrewsbury, 3 May 2000
  • Comments from various people
  • The Old Mill, Banbury, 4 May 2000
  • Comments from various people
  • Varieties Theatre, Leeds, 5 May
  • Comments from various people
  • Mechanics, Burnley, 6 May 2000
  • Fire And Exuberance - Review and photos by Myron and Irene Hrynkow
  • Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill, 7 May 2000
  • Comments from various people
  • Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 8 May 2000
  • Faultless Strawbs Fill The Hall - Review by Dick Greener
  • Rising To The Occasion - Review by Graham Owen
  • Comments from various people
  • Setlist

  • Setlist

    Keyboards: Blue Weaver

    Guest appearance: Tony Hooper, gtr, vcls (on songs marked * below)

    Live Inside Your Hell Tonight [Lambert]
    Heavy Disguise [Ford and Hudson]
    The Winter And The Summer [Lambert with Ford, Hudson, Weaver and Willoughby]
    Witchwood [full unplugged band hereafter]
    Queen Of Dreams
    A Glimpse Of Heaven
    Hangman And The Papist

    New World
    Out In The Cold/Round And Round
    Tears And Pavan
    Simple Visions
    Josephine For Better Or For Worse *
    Oh How She Changed *
    The River/Down By The Sea
    Lay Down
    Part of the Union
    Hero And Heroine

    Burning For Me
    On My Way *


    FAULTLESS STRAWBS FILL THE HALL - Review by Dick Greener

    The Strawbs turned in a faultless performance on Monday night when they revisited London's Queen Elizabeth Hall - their last appearance there a concert 30 years ago in July 1970, which established Strawbs' electric line-up and, in doing so, crowned Rick Wakeman as the rock press's latest keyboard god.

    The band, already performing well as they hit the third and final week of the current tour, rose spiritedly to the occasion in front of an extremely welcoming crowd which included a substantial proportion of overseas visitors (if conversations at the merchandsise stall were any guide!). Lambert opened as usual with his solo number "Live Inside Your Hell Tonight", followed by Hud and John's "Heavy Disguise" ("on the album I was backed by a silver band, but tonight I've got Hud" was John's comment). Dave Cousins was indeed in the building and came out to join his colleagues after a gentle "Winter And The Summer" for "Witchwood", "Glimpse Of Heaven" and "Hangman And The Papist".

    The opening chords of "New World" were instantly recognised and applauded, followed by a storming "Out In The Cold/Round And Round". Turning down the heat, they next produced a perfect "Tears And Pavan", which drew lengthy and heartfelt cheers from the near capacity crowd. Dave recounted his current passion for Gwyneth Paltrow (with beard) and swung into "Simple Visions", to my mind one of the highlights of the set.

    A well-received Tony Hooper joined the band for "Josephine" and Tony then took the lead for "Oh How She Changed". "The River/Down By The Sea" just grows and grows in power with the two lead guitarists obviously having a ball tonight, bouncing phrases at each other from either side of the stage. The opening of "Heartbreaker" worked particularly well in the booming cavernous space of the hall, and "Lay Down" and "Part Of The Union" had a few of the younger fans taking to their feet and dancing at their seats or in the aisles. "Hero And Heroine" closed the main set, but the audience clearly wanted much more and got it: "Burning For Me", followed by "Sheep" and, said Dave - a final indulgence - "On MY Way", their first ever recorded track in a professional studio, tonight promoted to the final number, with Tony Hooper once again on board. The audience responded with a well-deserved standing ovation (no pun intended!)

    I'm often asked why I do this website for free: after Monday it's not difficult to explain why at all. I wish I'd been at the QEH the first time round - but I'm as pleased as Punch I was there in Y2K, to catch this line-up's quintessential defining performance.

    RISING TO THE OCCASION - Review by Graham Owen

    The rain poured down as I crossed the Hungerford Bridge heading for the QEH, but nothing was going to dampen my spirits in anticipation of the Strawbs 'return' to the QEH after almost thirty years. This was to be a special gig, marking a return to the venue where the Antiques and Curios concert had produced a significant milestone in the evolution of the Strawbs odyssey. There were rumours that Tony Hooper would be making an appearance. Would there be a Wakeman on stage again (father or son)? Tony Hooper obliged later that evening, but Wakeman sat on the bench!

    Not much can be added to the eloquent words of Dick Greener in the review of the concert already posted. Just a couple of remarks though. The band was certainly in fine form - well-trimmed, relaxed and they truly rose to the occasion. Tony Hooper's appearance - in tinted, round sunglasses reminiscent of the style seen on the inside cover of the 1st album - led to Dave Cousins explaining that the years had not been too kind on poor Tony, leaving him saddled with the burden of blindness. A reference by Dave Cousins to the U.S. audiences of the 70's and 80's consisting of a large number of people in chemically-altered, acid-tripping states, brought a quip from Blue Weaver that the band themselves were on acid drops!

    An excellent concert, a worthy follow-up to the 1971 event, that will be remembered for a long time to come. By the way, did Dave Cousins ever make it to the bar in the foyer after the performance? It turned out to be closed and he was rumoured to have ventured to a hostelry in the vicinity of Waterloo.

    Comments by Richard Grainger

    Nice to see the Strawbs playing to capacity audiences again and being so well received. At the Horsham (1999) concert it was like regressing back 27 years to the Grave new world tour (a bit spooky), specially Lambert who hadn't seemed to have changed at all. But this years QEH gig showed that the band still have the talent and enthusiasm to progress even more. What about some new songs from Cousins & Lambert. Thanks again for a great night

    Comments by Aage Fredheim

    Strawbs has been my absolute favourite band for nearly 30 years, but the first time I saw and heard them live was on the '99 tour in Bergen. It was one of the greatest moments in my life, and I will never be the same after that. Now I have got tickets for the concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall on the UK 2000 tour! What more can you expect of life?

    Comments by Peter Rowland

    Great gig at the QEH last night. It felt like meeting up with some old friends again after a long time.

    Comments by Neil Lamb

    Great to see and hear Dave Lambert again after so many years ( QEH 08/05/00 ) - what a talent ! Really enjoyed "Heartbreaker" - I remember writing at the time and begging the band to try to get it released as a single when the album Burning For You came out....haven't changed my mind since. The dual lead guitar partnership between Dave and Brian Willoughby was sensational.....if you haven't witnessed it yet don't miss them on the current tour !


    Comments by Kathy Fraser

    Went to the the Strawbs gig in Burgess Hill last week. First time I'd seen them live. Excellent evening . Would be glad to know when /if they are touring in our area again.

    Comments by John Oughton

    Saw the guys yesterday evening at Burgess Hill, West Sussex. An excellent concert with the acoustic set being a triumph. Really liked the way they joined us for a drink afterwards (signing my Grave New World album)and thanked me for coming to the concert! The thanks is with The Strawbs for still playing unique and excellent music. Good luck with the big one this evening [QEH]

    Keyboards: Adam Wakeman

    As for Liverpool


    FIRE AND EXUBERANCE - Review and photos by Myron and Irene Hrynkow

    The band line-up consisted of Richard Hudson, John Ford, Brian Willoughby, Dave Lambert, Adam Wakeman, and of course, Dave Cousins. Sadly, Blue Weaver was not able to be present owing to the illness of his wife. Adam Wakeman covered Blue's absence in eloquent style, and appeared to enjoy playing the harpsichord piece in "Tears and Pavan" etc.

    The Burnley gig was split into two sets with the first set being an acoustic one. This enabled Dave Lambert to begin with "Winter and the Summer" and a little later Richard Hudson to left his drums to sing "Heavy Disguise" with John Ford whilst clapping the Spanish rhythm. Dave Cousins joined the set to cover many of the songs from Grave New World, Hero and Heroine, Bursting at the Seams etc. The acoustic set enabled the audience to appreciate more fully the harmonies, rhythms and words, which are all cleverly interwoven and are a strong feature of many of the Strawbs songs. This current line-up shows the band at its most versatile and expressive, well able to perform the more intricate and complex songs with passion and belief.

    For the second set, when they returned to full amplification, and electric guitars (apart from Dave Cousin's semi- acoustic), the true power of the band was again realised. There can be very few bands from the seventies that are still able to call up and return to the raw energy and drive that made them household names. Most are a mere shadow of themselves, but not the Strawbs, who with this line-up, seem to be capable of delivering their songs as if they have only just written them.

    The audience are treated to the original fire and exuberance that led to their success thirty years ago. When you experience it in the audience, it gives the goosepimples that are only associated with superb music. Music which communicates direct to the senses! Strawbs musicianship is not slick and showy, its emerges more as an art form, which is peculiar to this band from the seventies. Their work is well crafted and mastered.

    Brian Willoughby and Dave Lambert are an extraordinary partnership/combination, which, musically, offers the best of best worlds. Brian Willoughby creates beautifully crafted and executed expressive solos and lead guitar runs, all in his own unique, understated and thoughtful, style, whilst Dave Lambert brings an anger and energy to the rhythm and lead runs, reminiscent of punk rock. He also brings his own particular brand of lead guitar, just as intricate and expressive as Brian's but in a different way. The two together are an amazing match of differing and yet complementary styles.

    John Ford was a pleasure to watch and listen to. His bass was played with similar energy, accuracy and style, maintaining the complex patterns and rhythms faultlessly whilst still keeping the atmosphere of the songs foremost.

    His bass was complemented by Richard Hudson's drumming which is fascinatingly well designed and structured, doing much to give added value to the atmosphere, changes and development within each song. It was pleasing to see Richard having opportunity to sing harmonies front stage during the acoustic set, he like the rest is muti-talented and deserves recognition.

    Dave Cousins, of course, is the Strawbs but this line-up gives him an extra energy and power to his songs. He, like the rest of the band is a true professional. To watch and listen to Dave with this current mix of Strawbs is pure delight! The band received rapturous applause.

    Anyone who missed this latest Strawbs UK tour has missed an experience, which will last a lifetime. Let's hope that they can tour in this form, as far north next year and subsequent years for a long time to come!

    photos from Myron Hrynkow

    Keyboards: Adam Wakeman

    As for Liverpool.


    Comments from Steven McCabe

    My wife and I went to see them at the City Varieties in Leeds the other week. One of the best shows we have ever been to. Hadn't seen them for a few years, so the set list took me by surprise. Never thought I'd hear "Sheep" live - complete with a Wakeman on the keyboards!

    Comments from Oz Hardwick

    Leeds gig on Friday was amazing! Whilst agreeing with Dave C about what a wonderful venue the Varieties is, though, there was a real frustration at not being able to get up and dance about a bit - this line-up rocks! Great to have Dave L & John in the line-up: VERY powerful. Also, Adam Wakeman slotted in perfectly - I've only seen him before with Rick, where inevitably he is going to be a little in the shadows (not necessarily for musical reasons), so it was good to see him excelling as the sole keyboard player as part of a band.

    Highlights? - "Hero And Heroine", "Burning for Me", "Queen of Dreams", "Down By The Sea", ... hmm... I'm just going to list the whole set here! Special mention for "Revelations", though, as I really like those first couple of Hudson-Ford albums ("Such a Day " and "Dark Lord" would be nice!) - any chance of CD re-issues? Anyway - thanks for a great night.

    Keyboards: Blue Weaver

    As for Liverpool.


    Comments from Colin Mander

    Saw the band on Thursday in Banbury. A great gig with the acoustic set a highlight. "Burning For Me" as an encore was a surprise . The band played exceptionally well for 2 hours and it is a gig I will remember with great pleasure. Look forward to the release of the boxed set.

    Comments from Terry Iles

    Saw the new site last week when checking for new dates and information - it is excellent (except for the broken links which are probably being fixed as I write). Without your site I would not know where the Strawbs are and what was happening - I would not know that they have toured two years on the trot at all. This is the power of the internet!

    Saw the Strawbs in Banbury and they were excellent. I think it was better than last year which was the first time I had seen since "Part of the Union" was in the charts and they performed in the local theatre in Swindon. It was good to hear some of the older items and the acoustic set. I was taken back to "Folk at The Bell" in Swindon where I saw the trio a number of times.

    Keyboards: Blue Weaver

    As for Liverpool.


    Comments from Trevor Taylor

    Have just returned home from Shrewsbury Tour Date. I haven't seen the band for 30 years but even allowing for nostalgia they were in incredible form. I can,t remember when I enjoyed a concert so much! Please pass on my thanks and congratulations.

    Comments from Sue Morgan

    Hi, We've just come back from the concert at the Music Hall in Shrewsbury and we've had a great night. Not just nostalgia but great music although it felt weird to be listening to such good rocking music while being seated! A sign of age I think....


    Keyboards: Blue Weaver

    As for Liverpool, except that on 1 May, owing to Dave's illness, the set closed with "Part Of The Union": "Hero And Heroine" and the two encores "Burning For Me" and "Sheep" were not played. The full set was restored for the second night.


    Comments from Greg Lovett

    I caught the Strawbs at the first night of the Ronnie Scott's gig. I am based in Bristol and it was probably the nearest one. It was clearly not the best venue - too staid with the table layout etc. On the other hand the band were able to wander about and talk to people easily. I would have dearly loved to speak to Dave Lambert - as an amateur guitarist I have admired his abilities for many years. If I lived in Kent I would probably be tempted to try and get some lessons from him if he is still giving them.

    Dave Cousins was clearly suffering (flu?) but even so they delivered a wonderful set. The stopped slightly early - from the look of the set lists for other gigs on the tour, we probably lost 3 numbers at the end. But when you haven't seen them for over 20 years, well, you are just grateful for what you get. Dave was obviously suffering and I don't think that there was any member of the audience who begrudged them the early(ish) night. Certainly there had been a bit of doubt amongst the members of the audience near me, whether Dave would make it back for the second half. Thank God he did!. For me, the show had that magical element, where the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. "Tears and Pavan" was perhaps the best moment - the twin guitars thing was very very nicely judged.

    Comments from Steve Pritchards

    I thought the sets both acoustic and electric were excellent; I can't say the same for the venue. There didn't seem to be any atmosphere until right at the end and the beer was both over-priced and gopping in taste. My only gripe about the choice of songs was, no "Beat the Retreat" in the acoustic section, however great to hear "Queen of Dreams".

    Didn't get a chance to speak to Blue,so please pass on best wishes and my mates and I hope things are better with his wife.


    Keyboards: Blue Weaver

    As for Milton Keynes except for the acoustic set:

    Live Inside Your Hell Tonight [Lambert]
    I Don't Understand/Revelations [Ford and Hudson]
    Heavy Disguise [Ford and Hudson]
    The Winter And The Summer [Lambert with Ford,Hudson, Weaver and Willoughby]
    Witchwood [full unplugged band and same acoustic set hereafter]


    Comments from Mark Sutcliffe

    Found you on last page of tour guide. Saw the show at Liverpool on 31.04.00. Last time I saw the Strawbs was as a school boy when they visited Trinity College Carmarthen February 1971. I have enjoyed the music ever since.

    Comments from Laurie Miles

    I first saw Strawbs on their Hero and Heroine tour, and had recently started to buy their old albums on CD. Then my daughter saw an advert in the Sunday Times for the 2000 tour - I even persuaded my wife (not a fan) to attend the Liverpool (April 30th) concert. We both loved it. It's great to see so many other fans on this site who have stayed with the band through the years.

    Comments from Harry Winsor

    Was at Liverpool concert 30/04/00. Absolutely fantastic to see them again after 26 years when last in Liverpool. As good as ever if not better! Hope not as long again. Love the new site, keep up the standard.

    photos by Alison Brown

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