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OCT/NOV 2005

Updated: 11 Nov 2005

Part 2 - Second leg - 20 to 30 October
Part 3 - Third leg - 1 to 13 November

Playhouse In The Park, Mobile, AL, Friday 7 October 2005
Redlight Cafe, Atlanta, GA, Saturday 8 October 2005
  • Lambert Breaks String Shock - Review by Dave K
  • Coastline Convention Centre, Wilmington, NC, Sunday 9 October 2005
  • A Special, Special Night - Comments by Laurie Kent
  • Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA, Tuesday 11 October 2005
    Gravity Lounge, Charlottesville, VA, Wednesday 12 October 2005
  • Played Straight Through And It Was Wonderful - Review by Dave K
  • Setlist
  • Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA, Thursday 13 October 2005
  • Strawbs Rock The House At Jammin' Java - Review by Kate Duncan
  • Pictures from visiting Norwegian fan, Yngve Nedrebø
  • Setlist
  • The Strand, Lakewood, NJ, Friday 14 October 2005
  • A Jewel Box Of A Night - Review and pix by Cinnie Morgan
  • Comments from Mike Graff
  • Setlist from Joan Eggert
  • Music At The Mission, Milford, NJ, Saturday 15 October 2005
  • Terrif Concert - Comments from Chris Dougherty
  • Walking On Air - Comments by John Stewart
  • The Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA, Sunday 16 October 2005
  • One Of The Best Set Lists They Could Ever Offer - Review by Judi Cuervo
  • Make Sure Your Seat Belt Is Fastened, Because They're Taking Off - Review by Cinnie Morgan
  • Setlist from Joan Eggert
  • Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA, Tuesday 18 October 2005
  • Still Her Bidden Slave – Review by Dennis Lazor
  • Bewitched by the Witchwood - Review by Rick Sheldon
  • Setlist
  • Satalla, New York, NY, Wednesday 19 October 2005
    with John Ford/John Hawken
  • Having Ford And Hawken In The House Made Strawbs Always-Incredible Show An Event - Review from Judi Cuervo
  • Emotionally Satisfying - Review by Dave Alianiello
  • A Very Memorable Evening - Review by Amanda Baughn
  • Just Breathtaking In Every Way - Review by Ken Station
  • Pictures by Roger Maltby
  • Setlists from Jean Dulskey and Lindsay Sorrell

    Picture by Rick Sarlo - more from Rick

    Picture by Roger Maltby
    Three galleries of Roger's pix from Satalla's:
    Gallery 1; Gallery 2; Gallery 3

    Strawbs Setlist from Jean Dulskey

    Simple Visions
    The Hangman and the Papist
    The Golden Salamander
    Autumn (with John Hawken)

    Cold Steel
    Shine On Silver Sun
    Antiques Suite
    Oh How She Changed
    New World
    Lay Down

    Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (with John Hawken)

    John Ford Band Setlist from Lindsay Sorrell

    Runaway Train
    Love Is A Highway
    Strange Universe
    Together Apart
    Kissed by the Sun
    I Don't Understand
    Whiter Shade of Pale
    New World
    Heavy Disguise
    I'll Be Home for Christmas
    Christmas Rendezvous
    Rain\Tomorrow Never Knows
    It's So Hard
    Nice Legs, Shame About The Face
    Part Of The Union (with DC/DL)



    Last night was by far the best "Ghosts" and "Autumn" I'd ever heard. They were ON at all times. John Hawken joined them for "Autumn" and then returned for an absolutely hypnotic "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow". I'm so not the touched-to-the-point-of-crying type but you actually felt that song--Dave's voice was so emotional and the piano was the perfect accompaniment. In the recent Witchwood poll that asked about keyboards being added to Acoustic Strawbs, I was one of the ones who said to keep it as it is but after last night, I'm having second thoughts. But then again, it would have to be Hawken. "Hangman" was another highlight--I love what they've done with that. And, again, it was so evident that they've thrown in some new little touches that just enhance the entire sound.

    Ford came on after Strawbs accompanied by another guy and his son--the REAL little Johnny Ford, I suppose. Fabulous reception--I don't think anyone left after Strawbs and in fact, an old friend of mine who I haven't seen in about 25 years had to work but was planning on coming to see ONLY Ford. I did hear a bit of chatter about Ford selling himself short by doiing cover versions of songs when his material is so outstanding. I see that point, but he's so damn good with the cover versions too and I suspect he enjoys doing them, so what's the problem. Ford ended with "Part Of The Union" and Lambert and Cousins joined him on stage for that--a vision that inspired me to plop myself right in Amanda's mom's view to snap a photo. Sorry Veronica!

    I suggested we all chip in to hire the Concorde to get Coombes over last night but to no avail. Yet having Ford and Hawken in the house made Strawbs always-incredible show an event.

    Next stop (for me, anyway) is Saratoga on Sunday. And judging from many people I spoke with last night, I won't be alone. Think that's going to be a very well attended show.

    EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING - Review by Dave Alianiello

    Two Concert Tickets: $70
    Two Round-trip Airline Tickets from Ohio to NYC: $600.
    Overnight Accommodations @ Hotel Deauville: $135
    Airport Parking/Taxi Fares: $75
    Misc Meals:$85
    Seeing Acoustic Strawbs w/ special guest John Hawken followed by John Ford in Concert: PRICELESS !!!!!

    It's times like these when one realizes one's own inadequacies with the English language when trying to describe an event as emotionally satisfying as last night's Strawbs concert. Watching the Strawbs go from righteous anger ("Hangman") to delicate sensitivity ("Golden Salamander," "Barcarole") throughout the evening remains a thing of beauty; and hearing John Hawken's piano during "Autumn" was absolute bliss. They just keep getting better and better, year after year.

    Added bonus: John Ford's concert after the Strawbs where he mixed covers, originals and Strawbs' classics for a very enjoyable show. And when Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert joined him onstage for a rousing finale of "Part of the Union," well, let's just say a great time was had by all !!

    Can't wait to see them next week in Ohio !!

    A VERY MEMORABLE EVENING - Review by Amanda Baughn

    Apologies to everyone who was unable to attend the October 19th Strawbs show at Satalla in New York City, but I'd be lying if I said you didn't miss out on something very special.

    For me, one of the highlights of the night was seeing "The Hangman And The Papist" performed live again. I've seen it performed three times on this tour already, but it seems to get better and better each time. It's one of my favorite songs and it's evident that DC, who has been in incredibly good voice during the duration of the tour, has the power now more than ever, to support such a demanding piece.

    Another great addition to the set list is "Barcarole (For The Death of Venice)," which was recently added at the start of the tour. It sounded fabulous. The song, which relies mainly on the harmonies created by Chas and the two Daves is nothing short of perfection. Another example of how the harmonies have gotten stronger with each tour is "Shine On Silver Sun." Chas truly "shines" during this song and I can hear him come through better than I had on the past tours. It's very enjoyable.

    The most memorable part of the show, however, came towards the end of the first set. It was then that we got to see John Hawken, the "surprise guest," at the piano performing "Autumn." John hadn't rehearsed with the guys prior to the performance, but by the sound of it, you'd never be able to tell.

    The guys broke for a short intermission and then played a few more songs which included "Antiques and Curios," which remains one of the most impressive pieces and a real surprise to anyone who is seeing the band for the first time.

    To conclude the evening, John Hawken once again joined the band on stage and finished the night off with the beautiful song "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow," from the "Deja Fou" album. This hasn't been played in the US since the conclusion of the Electric Tour in the summer of 2004. It was a real treat for those of us who have seen the electric tour and were already familiar with the song as well as a very pleasant surprise for those who had not.

    It ended up being a fabulous night and it was evident that everyone there, including my friend, Kristin and my cousin, Carla who were seeing the band for the first time, clearly enjoyed themselves and wouldn't hesitate to see them again.

    John Hawken guests with Acoustic Strawbs - picture by Roger Maltby
    Three galleries of Roger's pix from Satalla's: Gallery 1; Gallery 2; Gallery 3

    JUST BREATHTAKING IN EVERY WAY - Review by Ken Station

    While I fully agree with Amanda's critique (above), it hould be noted there was an air of serendipitous cool-ness about the night. John Hawken did indeed add to the total vibe. All acoustic, with John at a baby grand, taking "Autumn" to a new level of pristine clarity and baroque aesthetics. When the "Hold On" motif arose the emotion was almost too much for me. Then Dave L's gorgeous vocal on top of Hawken's piano ... man, just breathtaking in every way.

    It's no secret to those that know me that "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" is a religious experience for me. To hear the Strawbs play it this way was just a beautiful moment for me and for all the fans - it was so quiet with each member of the audience in rapture at this truly sweet moment.

    It was a double bill with John Ford coming on next. John did not disappoint (he never, ever does). He appeared with his son on bass (John Jr.) and long time guitarist partner Joe Cesare. John ran through most of his classics including some Beatles covers. I sat at the bar with Chas Cronk. A great moment for me was singing along with Chas, the harmony to John Ford's take on the Beatles "Rain". So yeah I had an impromptu sing along with Chas. As everyone knows when I sing, it brings tears to peoples' eyes.

    The show closed with the two Daves joining John on "Part Of The Union" At the show were the usual suspects, Amanda and her very cool ma' and pa', Judy Cuervo, Joany, the other Ken (Prospero) and a few Procol Harum fans, Unsteady Freddy and Donald Milone. I had great chats with all the Strawbs including an amazing insight into John Hawken's Mellotron technique. He described how he made the Mell. sound in "Autumn" so smooth and seamless.

    The night ended for me having my usual 'cupa tea .. well nobody wanted the night to end. It was one of the greatest gigs ever. Our friend Bill F. once posted "Is there anybody better than Lamby and the Strawbs" ? The answer is an obvious and emphatic: NO !!

    Pictures by Roger Maltby

    Pictures by Roger Maltby - Lots more in three galleries of Roger's pix from Satalla's: Gallery 1; Gallery 2; Gallery 3


    Benedictus/Simple Visions
    Cold Steel
    Shine On Silver Sun
    Oh How She Changed
    New World
    Lay Down

    Hero And Heroine


    STILL HER BIDDEN SLAVE – Review by Dennis Lazor

    Rather than procrastinate and ruminate too long on this evening's show (and because the wine and the beer won't let me lie down peacefully for another hour or so), I thought I'd post this review of the show tonight. The Iron Horse is a small theater with a large reputation in one of the Northeast's smaller, but quintessential, towns: Northampton, Massachusetts. I left work early with a co-worker to catch the show, making the trip up through the bucolic countryside that much more enjoyable, as the leaves are in the throes of changing their colors (Emily Dickinson, who lived not far from Northampton in Amherst had once remarked that Spring comes but twice for this reason).

    A Welshman, Martyn Joseph, opened for the Strawbs, and the choice was a good one. The best comparison to be made for those (like me until tonight) who aren't familiar with Martyn Joseph's music would be that he sounds like Richard Shindell after he went out drinking with Billy Bragg: emotionally genuine songs that deal with issues of contemporary life. Anyone who works in a gray cubicle, suffers in commuter traffic two times a day, stares aghast before the mindless commercials that parade across the television, abides by values no longer even paid lip-service to in the current "me-first" world of entitlement, and wonders how some of the greatest powers in the world can be ruled by men of such little stature or consequence would find much to admire in Joseph's songs. He performed with much self-effacing and self-deprecating humor, pushing the message of his songs to the forefront, through his passionate vocals and steady Travis-style playing. Standouts for me included "Wake Me Up" (despite the technical glitches) and "The Good In Me Is Dead" – both of which are on his latest release, Whoever It Is that Brought Me Here Will Have to Take Me Home. Despite his joking that the Strawbs were here to cheer us up after his set of politically depressing tunes about the problems of contemporary views of women, the plight of refugees, and the soullessness of modern life, the energy and conviction by which he conveyed those messages through his vocals and musicianship was energizing and powerful. Do yourself a favor and visit to see for yourself.

    The Strawbs took the stage shortly after, opening with tight a capella harmony with "Benedictus." From there, they launched quickly into a rousing rendition of "Simple Visions." It was clear, when during the instrumental bridge Cousins turned to Cronk and smiled, there was a level of enjoyment being felt on stage that could only mean the level of enjoyment of the audience was going to increase. The omen proved true, and Cousins handled the intros to the songs with great variety, setting the stage with emotions that varied from the humorous, to the ominous, and the spiritual. Sitting next to me was a Strawbs fan who was unsure how the acoustic trio could replicate the sound of power of the album versions of the songs, but somewhere into "Ghosts" such questions were laid to rest. If any doubt remained, "Autumn" settled the matter, and served as the first of three points in the show when the crowd offered up a standing ovation (not counting the two encores). Lambert was playing with real power as usual, his left hand quaking with raw energy, his strumming in the early portions of "Autumn" ratcheting up the intensity level. Cronk added marvelous pedal work, adding a "hissing" that was suggestive of the emotional deflation that comes with the season.

    The banjo appeared, and Lambert added a gravelly, more visceral sense to "Cold Steel," and Lambert seemed genuinely pleased by the appreciation of the crowd. The first real surprise for me of the night was when the banjo remained in Cousins' lap for "Shine On Silver Sun" – a real treat, especially since I expected "Alice's Song" or perhaps "Flying" instead. Lambert then took over the vocals for "Oh How She Changed," with Cronk playing the role of Tony Visconti, simulating the emotional effect of strings. Lambert added a nice lead, and the harmony, despite the high standard set with "Benedictus" at the concert's opening number, continued.

    The second surprise of the night was "Dragonfly," off their second album, and Cousins was at his best with the softer vocal, mirroring nicely the emotional delicacy of the lyrics. Though the pace of the song seemed slower than the original album, there was a fuller, richer sound, in part due to the nice work by Cronk on the twelve string, and Lambert's flute-like, almost spectral touches from his guitar. A real highlight of the show for me.

    One of the Strawbs' great strengths has always been the arranging of their songs on their albums, playing the emotions and energy of the songs off each other, and the same is true of their concerts. After the ethereal "Dragonfly," the energy level was raised again with the hands-down best version of "New World" I have heard them do. Cronk's bass work, Cousins dead-on with the vocal, and Lambert causing his own revolution on guitar, pushed the song to its zenith and brought the crowd to its feet for the second time.

    "If" then followed – why this song never hit the top of the charts is a crime against humanity that should receive a tribunal at the Hague.

    The closing number, and no surprise to those in attendance who were yelling for it, was "Lay Down." You could have powered New York City for three days based on the electricity they generated throughout the song, before leaving the stage with the crowd again on their feet. The Strawbs soon returned, Cousins promising that next time they come they would play all night, but unfortunately, that wasn't to be the case. But the audience was appeased with an excellent version of "Witchwood" (minus a false start that provided a humorous moment and a chance for yet more of Cousins' wit). I remarked to Charles Cronk after the show that the lyrics from "Witchwood" especially ring true these days. Especially tonight, it seemed the three were nature's instrument, her bidden slave, driven to play out of a compelling urge to do so, and for everyone in attendance, the magical spell they weave as a consequence is still unbroken. That magic continued into the final encore of the night, "Hero And Heroine," a great rousing finish to the night. See them again if you can, bring a friend.

    Bewitched by the Witchwood - Review by Rick Sheldon

    Autumn in New England...the perfect time for a much-anticipated visit by Mssrs. Cronk, Cousins and Lambert to the intimate and inviting setting of Northampton's famed Iron Horse Music Hall. There was a chill in the air, but the warm reception afforded our stalwart travellers, who had ventured here from Philadelphia, could not have been warmer. The sixty or so appreciative afficianados were treated to a marvelous evening, from the accapella beginning of "Benedictus/Simple Visions", to the magic of "Ghosts", followed by the appropriate offering of "Autumn"; here the beauty of Dave Lambert's vocals had me close to tears and genuinely goose-bumped! But Mr. Lambert's "Cold Steel" from Deja Fou also had the crowd in its powerful grasp, only to be followed by the re-worked "Shine On Silver Sun" (Lazarus), "Oh, How She Changed", the seldom-played "Dragonfly", "New World" (whose power had the crowd again on our collective feet). "If I Should Live One Thousand Years" and "Lay Down" closed the show proper, with Dave Cousins citing time constraints; the enthusiastic gathering coaxed the musical magicians back for encores of "Witchwood" (after a false start which Dave C. attributed to the infrequency with which this sublimely beautiful tune is performed), and brought the evening to a rousing close with a dramatic rendition of "Hero And Heroine".

    Many hung around after the show to meet and greet, including this greatful progger who got his copies of Deja Fou (mysteriously not in stock at the merch table!) and my brand-spanking new copy of Live at Nearfest signed by this terrific trio. I was proud to tell them that I had loved their Nearfest performance aand their deserved headlining stataus at that prestigious event! All the folks I spoke to were absolutely delighted by this evening's performance, which felt all too brief. Mr. Cousins promised a return engagement by the electric ensemble in the hopefully not-too-distant future. Mr. Cousins' voice showed the strain of travel and performance a bit, but this did not detract from a bewitching evening here in Western Massachusetts that will never be forgotten by this enthralled audience. My only disappointment was the merch table having no copies of the Complete Strawbs DVD, to complete my Strawbs DVD collection...maybe next time so please come back soon!

    Setlist from Joanie Eggert - Early show - no intermission

    Simple Visions
    Cold Steel
    Shine on Silver Sun
    Oh How She Changed
    New World
    If (I Should Live a Thousand Years)
    Lay Down
    Hero And Heroine

    Glimpse of Heaven



    Usually, the only real difference between any band's early and late show is starting time. Last night at Tin Angel Strawbs shattered that reality with two distinctly different shows that, together, comprised one of the best set lists they could ever offer: "Hangman", Antique Suite", "If", "Golden Salamander", "Dragonfly", "Barcarole", "Cut Like A Diamond". I hope another Witchwooder will provide the full set lists since I was distracted enough with it being my first attempt at taking photos at a show. I certainly won't be giving up the day job anytime soon though my ignorance scored me a bonus in the form of a 45-second filmclip of "Cold Steel" thanks to my pressing "record" by mistake.

    There seems to be a lot of new nuances to even the songs that we've been hearing acoustically for the past three years. I don't know enough about the technical aspect of the songs to put my finger on exactly what it is, but suddenly the old familiar guitar arrangement seems to feature such a different sound that it turns what had been familiar into something new. Maybe it is Chas' contribution that's bringing a greater fullness. When Brian was in the band, his "layer" felt like a more defined one, a separate one that hovered outside of the Daves' and, yes, that was an interesting element. The sound now, though, feels more cohesive and powerful as opposed to "pretty." Again, as a non-musician, this is the only way I can describe it.

    I still maintain that last year's Tin Angel shows were the best I've ever, ever seen the band--including the electric lineup--but the early and late shows then were nearly identical. This time, they deserve tons of extra credit for the two almost entirely different set lists. I do have to say, however, that I think the long intermission between early and late shows last night interrupted the flow a bit and they had to come out of the gate and warm up a bit before the second show really hit its stride. But then, with an absolutely flawless "Antique Suite", that was can be completely forgiven!


    I thought I had seen THE Strawbs show at The Strand, but I was wrong. And then I started thinking, well, you've lost your objectivity. But, after conferring with the Bitchwooders present for both Tin Angels shows, several of whom had also been at The Strand, we agreed. It seems as if it's not just these shows -- it may be the whole tour that is quintessentially beyond our usual superlatives. If you've seen a show or will see one (or more), you'll have to judge for yourself.

    But these WERE two extraordinary shows. Certainly the best I've heard at the Tin Angel. Two essentially different shows, with a few songs in common. The second ran somewhat longer and included "Cut Like A Diamond", a pleasure for sure.

    Following the shows, I asked each one of the lads if he felt there was a difference in performance and if so why. Chas was bewildered, DL said he definitely noticed the difference but couldn't say why. DC said absolutely, there has been a great step forward and attributed it to Chas being more forthcoming on stage. Thinking about it, that's certainly right. It goes back to my comment about his performance at The Strand. So, three cheeers for Chas! You ain't NEVER heard nothin' like this, guys! If you haven't been to a show on this tour yet, make sure your seat belt is fastened, because they're taking off.

    More pix from Cinnie


    TERRIF CONCERT - Comments from Chris Dougherty

    This was a terrif concert. They opened with "Benedictus" acappella style and moved through both old and new material. The set included "Autumn", "Dragonfly" and "To be Free." They closed with a dedication to the lovely countryside in New Jersey with a "A Glimpse Of Heaven" and then "Witchwood." for a second encore. The crowd was very enthusiastic and you could tell they were feeding off it. Great stories abounded too, including their six week stint with the Rolling Stones at a festival on the Thames during which Dave Cousins noted that Brian Jones came up to him and said he really "dug their music" ......and that was the only thing the Stones said to them during the festival.

    My friend Peter [cue song title - {grin} - DG] was relatively unfamiliar with their music but he really loved everything he heard and said he'd be doing some shopping in the future. Hope this review helps.

    WALKING ON AIR - Comments by John Stewart

    I am relatively young, but I have been a Strawbs fan as long as I can remember. Driving in my dad's car and listening to his copies of Bursting At The Seams, Hero And Heroine, Ghosts and Nomadness on the 8-Track machine bring back pleasant memories to me. When I became old enough to have my own record collection. I scoured for copies of those records as well as anything else I could find.

    Somehow I managed to sneak into the Lone Star Club at the age of 16 to see them play in 1985 and again at The Bottom Line in 86 in NYC. It had been a while since I see the Strawbs and last Saturday I got to see Acoustic Strawbs at Music at the Mission in West Milford, NJ. It was a great show and this time I got to share it with my wife. Seeing them was food for the soul and I left with the feeling of walking on air. Also as always Dave Cousins is a great storyteller and I go to hear the stories as much as to hear the music. I must add that all three,Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk are really gracious individuals and took time and care to talk with their fans about the music.

    My regret is I cannot make more shows due to a busy work schedule. But if I could I would be at tomorrow night's New York City gig and Thursday nights Town Crier gig in Pawling, NY. Anyway best of luck to them all and may they keep coming back to play more.

    I also must say that the Strawbs are a band that have always gone from strength to strength; it was the Baroque and Roll CD that piqued my interest in seeing the band. I wish I had been at the Nearfest show in 2004.

    The one constant about the Strawbs is whether it is the A&M stuff or the recent releases it has been music of high quality. I am glad that they take great care with the music and my final impression of them is that they are a group that has played in front of 100,000 people and yet they seemed to be glad to be playing in front of a 160 people that night. That is the mark of a great musical band.


    Simple Visions
    The Hangman And The Papist
    Golden Salamander
    Cold Steel
    Shine on Silver Sun

    Oh How She Changed
    Antique Suite
    Barcarole (for the Death of Venice)
    New World
    If (I should Live a Thousand Years)
    Lay Down

    Hero And Heroine


    A JEWEL BOX OF A NIGHT - Review and pix by Cinnie Morgan

    The Strawbs rose to meet the grandeur of this magnificent theater, with a nearly perfect performance. The crowd was far less than capacity but not embarrassingly small, and there was a strange sort of hypnotic attentiveness that I'd never seen before in a Strawbs audience.

    The set spanned their career, including "Dragonfly", which I had never heard live before. Also included were many of the usually expected songs -- "Lay Down", "The Hangman And The Papist", "The Antique Suite", etc. And, as always, DL wowed them with "Cold Steel", which is always unexpected to the unitiated. DC, whose voice was strong and never cracked once, was exceptionally talkative between songs, telling new tales, along with the old ones, and completely captivating the audience.

    Of particular note was Chas's performance. Both his fine voice and playing seemed to be better than ever -- notably so. Can fabulous get fabulouser?

    After the show, they sat and signed autographs and greeted friends old and new, until everyone was taken care of. A finer bunch of musicians and gentlemen you will not find in the music business. It was a jewel box of a night.

    Comments from Mike Graff

    I saw the band last Friday night at the Lakewood Strand and last Saturday at Music at the Mission in W. Milford NJ. I was completely blown away. The show on Sat. featured two encores. This was my fifteenth Strawbs show in the last three years. It seems like the shows keep getting better and better. We spoke with Dave C. after the show last Friday about how he keeps the concerts fresh. Unfortunately, I cannot attend any of the shows left on the current tour but I am hopeful about going to more shows next year.


    Benedictus/Simple Visions
    Cold Steel
    Shine On Silver Sun
    Oh How She Changed
    New World
    Lay Down

    Hero And Heroine



    I estimated the crowd at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia last night, to have been between 60 and 70 people. This was the first I had ever seen Strawbs with an opening act. Martyn Joseph opened for the band, playing six or seven songs, which were lyrically insightful, well sung, and self accompanied with beautiful guitar work. Mr Joseph, a bit overshadowed by the excitement of the audience to see Strawbs, kept his set short..although, if he had been playing singly and not opening for Strawbs, I could have definitely enjoyed hearing more of his impressive music. I particularly enjoyed that a good many of his songs were very much politically motivated and I found it refreshing and timely.

    Strawbs came out on stage looking rested and prepared. Considering they have been traveling many hundreds of miles a day, I found this a little surprising, but I thought they all looked great and very up for the "task at hand." Beginning with a lovely accapella intro into "Benedictus", I could tell from the start that the harmony was going to have a perfect night, and I was right on the money. They immediately launched into the lovely "Simple Visions" with no pause.

    Following these two songs, Dave Cousins kept the audience laughing between the remaining songs with various anecdotes and "asides" that were even funnier than his usual fare. He was in exceedingly good form both in his story telling and in his vocal performance. "Ghosts" was performed perfectly and extracted enormous applause from the audience. It was followed by the hauntingly beautiful "Barcarole", that was sung with such beauty and such perfect harmony that it brought tears to my eyes. The plight of Venice, put into this simple poignant song was emotionally overwhelming! What a pleasure to hear it, despite my emotional reaction.

    "Autumn", "Cold Steel", "Shine On Silver Sun" and "Oh How She Changed", all followed with practiced expertise. And oh those harmonies!!! They were simply outstanding! Dave Cousins discussed the recording of their first albums, and he then introduced "Dragonfly", a song that was very lovely in this acoustic form. This was followed by..without question, the best rendition of "New World" that I have ever heard the band perform since the original album. Dave Cousins belted out the piercingly relevant lyrics with a passion beyond all comprehension. I was seriously fastened in my seat, overpowered in completely pervasive awe. Again the audience thundered their practically non stop applause and appreciation. This song alone was worth the price of the ticket.

    Encouraged by the enthusiasm, Cousins immediately introduced Deja Fou, and gave a brief description of the new CD, then played "If", and the band ended with a wonderfully harmonized version of "Lay Down". Naturally we could not let them off that easily, and applause brought them back for the stunning encore of "Hero And Heroine", which also was so well performed it left me breathless. I know it must have been an exhausting perfomance for the band, filled with true spirit and abounding energy. Many of the songs are the same, that's true. But this new infusion of power and energy brought a joy to my heart that made me so glad that I was there! I feel positively energized, and am forever fascinated by the fine artistry that continues to emanate from this ever evolving group of magical musicians. Haven't seen them?? Do not pass not collect anything..drop everything and hie thee hence straightaway to their nearest show!

    A "forever" Strawbs fan.



    Simple Visions
    Cold Steel
    Shine on Silver Sun
    Oh How She Changed
    New World
    Lay Down

    A Glimpse of Heaven.



    I saw the Strawbs in Atlanta the past weekend, and they were wonderful. I had the good fortune to have some business in Richmond on Wednesday (great planning on my part) so I was only an hour away from the Gravity Lounge in Charlottesville, VA. The Strawbs were playing there last night. My daughter (who lives in Richmond) and I went to see them. Twice in less than a week is a real treat!

    They arrived a little after 6PM. We were standing outside the door as they walked in and we said hi. I spoke to Neil as they were walking in about all of the travelling they had done. After Atlanta, they had an 8 hour drive to Wilmington, NC on Sunday. They then packed up and drove to Pittsburgh, PA (a 10 hour drive). After Pittsburgh, they had a 7 hour drive to Charlottesville. No wonder they looked tired. But you couldn't tell when they got up in front of the audience (approximate 40-50 people).

    This was quite a different concert from the one at Atlanta. Dave Cousins was in quite a different mood and he recounted quite a few anecdotes - some entirely new ones that I had never heard before and they were hilarious, particularly one about his hero, Earl Scruggs which he told as he was setting up his banjo to play "Cold Steel".

    There was no intermission; they played straight through and it was wonderful! I wish they had sung "Hero And Heroine" and "Witchwood", but we can't always hear everything we would

    They hung around a bit after the show to sign autographs and, in my case, take a couple of photos. I have been trying to get some photos taken with them at each show I attend, and they have been most accomodating.

    One last thing. I know that this is probably a really neat thing to nobody but me, but I want to tell about it anyway. As they were walking into the Gravity Lounge, I said hi to all of them. Chas walked up and said "how are you doing today, Dave?" I was really surprised, obviously, that he even knew my name (God, was I that obnoxious in Atlanta??? lol). That really meant a lot though. All three of them are really wonderful people, and it really has been a privilege to hear their music as well as to know them to the superficial extent that I can.

    Well that's it from here. They are playing tonight in Vienna, VA, and if I could have finagled a client visit on Friday, I would have seen them

    Respectfully submitted....Dave


    A SPECIAL, SPECIAL NIGHT - Comments by Laurie Kent

    [DG] Laurie was the organiser of this invitation only show.

    The show at the Coastline on Oct. 9 left me speechless (until now)...Very intimate...very special....especially when the guys did "The Golden Salamander".(one of my personal favorites ) - EXCELLENT !!

    The Coastline is an old railroad station set by the river's edge. It was a misty evening with a subtle breeze coming off of the river. The mood was right and the crowd was ready and they blew us away. Everyone there was SOOOO happy. We even birthed a new fan in the process! (One of the caterers)

    Because of the size of the crowd, everyone had the opportunity to chat with the guys and take pictures (Hopefully, I can send you some soon.)

    What an ethereal feeling all throughout the evening! What a special, special night with very special people! God bless them all.



    My wife and I attended the concert at the Red Light Cafe. I have seen the Strawbs only three times prior to this concert, but each has been a wonderful experience, and this one was equally wonderful. People streamed in throughout the hour prior to the concert and even after. I tried to count how many people were there and I believe it ended up between 60 and 70.

    Most of the songs I had heard before except for one at the start of the show; "Bacarole". They sang all of the standards and they sounded wonderful.

    One interesting moment occurred during one of the songs (I am embarrased to say that I cannot remember which one it was). In the middle of the song, Dave Lambert just stopped playing as he broke a string. Neil came running up on stage to grab the guitar to put a new string in, and while it was being done, Dave Cousins started talking, telling a couple of anecdotes. Then he and Chas did a duet of "Grace Darling" to fill in the time. When the new string was put in, they went back and resang the other song. If someone was there and can remind me the name of the song, I'd appreciate it.

    The concert, including the 20 minute intermission was about 2 1/2 hours. They came back for one encore; "Hero And Heroine". The acoustic version of this song always gives me goosebumps, and they gave a superb rendition, as always.

    While this has only been the fourth time I have seen them, one thing continues to stand out; their appreciation of the crowds is so obvious by their conduct offstage. They are warm, conversant, and really seem to enjoy their fans. People would line up for pictures, autographs or just to talk, and they would stand there and talk to them as long as people wanted to chat.

    Because of my travel schedule, it looks like I will be seeing the Strawbs in Charlottesville on Wednesday night, and possibly in Vienna, VA on Thursday. The same opportunity occurred last year, and curiously, Chas actually remembered me from the two concerts last year. That really meant a lot to me.

    I know these long tours have to be taking some toll on them. I hope they can take some time off to relax and enjoy life, for they have given us much enjoyment over the years.

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