For the first time in three years I have not been to a concert in Hyde Park with my son and bis wife and various friends this year. Two years ago we saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. We were all heartbroken whenTom Petty died not long after that. The concert was rather fine. We felt privileged to have been there. And we danced!
Last year my Spanish sister came over and we all went along and saw Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Paul Simon, the latter on his supposedly final tour. Again we danced and sang and this time occasionally wept, my sister having been recently bereaved.
This year I saw that Bob Dylan and Neil Young were performing. Neil Young we might have bought tickets for but we agreed that Dylan has gone beyond the point at which we might spend money to hear him mess up songs we know and love.
So instead Phil and I are heading back to Manchester tomorrow to see K D Lang in concert there. A treat is in store for us!
And today I have come across a review of the Dylan (78) and Neil Young (73) concert.
Here’s a sample:
“The gig had barely been announced before Young issued a statement via his website, decrying the show as “a massive fuck-up” and declining to take part at all unless somebody did something about its sponsor, Barclays, “a fossil-fuel funding entity”. Evidently rattled – the promoters were presumably expecting something more along the lines of how much he was looking forward to seeing his fans and rockin’ London – Barclays’ name and the British Summer Time branding was discreetly dropped, the gig went ahead, but notice had been served: age has not rendered two of the most unbiddable figures in rock history any more biddable.”
Neil,Young was described as being “still entirely capable of making such an unyielding racket onstage that people feel impelled to write letters of complaint to the national press” but this time being in “uncharacteristically crowd-pleasing mood”.
Bob Dylan was described as “eager as ever to demonstrate that when it comes to unbiddable live performances, the boss is in town. It’s an article of faith among his devotees that his gigs represent astonishing nightly feats of musical reinvention, in which a consummate artist presents his oeuvre not as a back catalogue carved in stone but a kind of living entity, constantly shifting and changing according to his mood”.
So there we go!
This summer’s visit to the southern branch of the family is just that, a family visit.
This morning I have breakfasted in town with my son and his small daughter. The small girl and I have been mermaids in the park, swimming as we ran over the grass, would you believe!
And I bought cherries at the Saturday market, incidentally receiving lessons in queueing from a lady at the fruit stall. Despite my being in the queue behind her, she was at pains to tell me that I needed to queue to pay. Yes, that was my intention. This queue, she then told me, was for those who had already selected what they wanted to buy. Yes, I had done that. “You don’t understand!” she declared, clearly exasperated with me. “No, I don’t!” I agreed with her.
Bits of madness everywhere!