It’s taken me a while to pen this review. I think I wanted to continue to just revel in the moment and not get too over analytical about it. After all I never thought I’d ever get to see a Nez solo show, let alone one in my home town.
So right now the concert is, in my mind, in a weird place in time. I know it was only just under two weeks ago, but it’s already hurtling far into the past as I try to hang on to it all in my memory.
Before I list my own personal highlights I feel compelled to comment on the amount of technology on the stage. It was interesting to see computers and ipads in use in a concert context. I was intrigued as to what was sampled, pre-recorded and played there and then. I know there was a few people who have found this not to their taste but I have to say that I didn’t really mind at all. Maybe it is because I am used to electronic sounds, loops, samples and keyboards that sound like lush strings or stinging brass rather than just plinking out a tune. I will concede that the percussion track occasionally felt intrusive but only occasionally, and I was putting that down to the fact that I was on the front row and that’s not exactly the best position for sound at concerts. Other than that the stage sound was really well mixed and produced.
Something that did strike me with all the tech on stage was that the musicians all had proper music stands with proper paper sheet music on it, which added to the feeling that was an evolution in performance methods rather than a revolution.
On the way back from the gig I posted to facebook that “He had me at Propinquity.” This wasn’t strictly true, but it sounded good and I like the word Propinquity. He had me from the opening number. Papa Gene’s Blues was a regular tune on the playlists I would create to accompany the editing and printing processes of my now defunct 60s fanzine, Brand X. It was one of a brace of Monkees tunes we got that night, the other being Tapioca Tundra.
I said I’d list my personal highlights didn’t I? I don’t think I can. It was all a highlight! I liked the idea that we were given a scenario to envision as each of the songs were played. I had avoided looking at set lists for the pervious two gigs but could work out what song we were about to get from these little scene setters in most cases.
It was lovely to be reacquainted with songs I hadn’t heard for a long time, such as Casablanca Moonlight and the trio of songs selected from The Prison, as well as getting to hear familiars friends like Grand Ennui, Tomorrow and Me and Laugh Kills Lonesome.
The encore of Thanx For The Ride included a sample of the late Red Rhodes on the Hawaiian pedal steel guitar, which was a rather nice touch.
As with any concert by an artist with an extensive back catalogue there’s a plethora of tunes that could have been on the set list, but the selection we got was more than satisfying, besides there are a few tunes that would have simply reduced me to a small emotional mess – *cough* Wax Minute *cough*