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Paul Carrack's 50th Birthday - Royal Albert Hall, London on 4 May 2001

For those of you with loads of patience and nothing better to do for the next six hours, I thought I’d bombard you with too many words to tell you about the magnificent ‘Paul Carrack in Good Company’ concert at the Albert Hall last night.

I go to far too many concerts generally—I’m trying to cut down—and I’ve been to the Albert Hall about a bazillion times, and I was thrilled to see that it was almost completely full last night, with no gaping empty sections. Even some greats with more commercial success than Paul have not managed that. Somehow, despite his major achievements and indisputable talents, friends who hear me speak of my favourite artists often say, ‘Who??’ at the sound of Paul’s name, until I say ‘You know, the guy who.’ and list his myriad talents and wonderful songs. So there was always the chance that he couldn’t come close to selling out the Albert Hall, even though he deserved to do so. No one need have worried; the place was packed. Much of the audience did make me feel unusually young, but there were also children enjoying the show-just what one would expect from a man whose career has so far spanned three decades.

I was already in a bright mood after a fun and thoroughly wonderful performance by Glenn Tilbrook at the Borders’ Oxford Street branch, as well as a remarkable opening performance at the Albert Hall by sheepish Cambridge guitarist Rob Jackson, whose soothing and fascinating multi-looped instrumental ‘stories’ told sweetly by his single electric guitar captivated the audience---and little did I know how much happier I could get. Just after 9pm, Radio 2 DJ Ken Bruce walked out on stage and confessed, AA-style (meaning Alcoholics Anonymous, of course, not the car people!), that he was a radio presenter and in a 12-step programme for it. He proceeded to say warm and mushy and clearly sincerely felt things about the great man, and as he left the excited audience full of anticipation, Paul and his six-piece Sheffield band strolled on and launched immediately into the brilliant Mike and the Mechanics’ hit Silent Running.

Paul positioned himself at the keyboards a few feet directly in front of me (shame, huh? Huge thanks to Paul Copley for arranging such brilliant seats to be distributed through his Carrack website), donning his usual shades and cap with a shiny dark suit over a red T-shirt. I am normally, as you will see, quite verbose, but only one word came to mind during the powerful performance of this number: WOW. I knew we were in for something great. The music boomed, the band was enthusiastic, everything was note-perfect-in fact Paul’s voice was so truly perfect throughout the night that you would think that would get boring. During this number, Steve Beighton blasted out a winning sax solo, and the whole thing made me think of the numerous Van Morrison shows I’ve seen-in terms of a professional outfit, with wonderfully talented musicians treating us to lively solos, modern classics, and everything being alive and exciting-but without the stress that can sometimes accompany a Van concert when you see him getting upset over a failed microphone or an audience that shouts out ‘Moondance!’ during the more spiritual numbers. Plus Paul didn’t eat any roadies, or not that I noticed; he was entirely good-natured and just enjoyed himself.

For the second number, Steve switched to soprano sax, Paul moved to centre stage and strapped on an acoustic guitar, and keyboardist Paul Copley (it made me think that Carrack could get a band of musicians named Paul C, just for novelty value..) began noticeably supplying some consistently impressive backing vocals. The Way I’m Feeling Tonight was surely an appropriately titled track for Paul on a gala night that clearly set him on a high, even if the lyrics weren’t about positive feelings and having hundreds of people celebrate your birthday with you, many of them legendary (I don’t mean me, of course-I’m thinking more of the guest performers).

Paul then chatted casually with the audience as he switched to electric guitar, speaking of his four children and how he hoped that family wars wouldn’t break out over the fact that My Kind was written for only one of them, when his now teenage daughter was a baby. After a touching performance of that song, of which even a teenager could be proud, Paul and the band moved onto a perfect performance of Better Than Nothing.

By now, I was able to remove my eyes from Paul every now and then, and I inspected his band. They all seemed to perform faultlessly and clearly had a justifiable respect for the songs they were playing and the man who wrote them, yet managed to enjoy every minute of the evening, too, as if it weren’ t really work. Everything was running like well-rehearsed clockwork, but with the passion and spontaneity of a jam session. I also noticed how much bassist Jeremy Meek looked like the late Phil Hartman of NewsRadio, that backing vocalist Lindsay Dracass looked like a grungier, more fashionably dressed secretary in the Brittas Empire, that the saxophonist looked like Jools Holland’s guitarist Mark Flanagan, that guitarist John Robinson was the spitting image of Chris Rea at his hairiest, and the keyboardist reminded me vaguely of Chris Rea in a shorn state-a sort of before and after picture at once on stage. Drummer Dean Dukes looked to me like a cymbal-head with a glimpse of arm, but I’m sure that was just because of the angle of my seat.

After an astonishingly stunning version of Love Will Keep Us Alive with Paul playing acoustic guitar, the band left the stage and Paul introduced the first of the night’s stellar guests: Rod Argent, probably best known as the Zombies’ creative keyboardist in the 60s, and writer of the monster hits She’s Not There and Time of the Season, not to mention two ITV football World Cup themes since then. Rod took his seat at the battered piano at the side of the stage (again, right in front of me-how sad) and began pounding out a lengthy, passionately played mad medley that seemed to cover various genres, particularly classical and jazz, with a smattering of riffs from She’s Not There included. Paul stood in the centre of the stage holding a mike, admiring the magnificent talent of his friend but also looking a bit surprised, though happily so, that the piano intro was continuing for quite so long. Then, as I hoped, the intro burst into an amazing rendition of the classic She’s Not There, with Paul belting out every word immaculately. It was all I could do not to leap to my feet and dance around like a dervish, but one doesn’t do these things in London, certainly not at the Albert Hall. Not even ex-pat Americans; I adjusted to these ways long ago.

Paul then said he had decided to delve into some self-indulgence—it was his party, after all—and he and Argent performed a gorgeously smooth and soulful version of Georgia On My Mind that seemed to leave the Hall breathless and would make Van Morrison, who also enjoys performing that song live, fairly jealous.

Next, as though Paul had noticed Van Morrison (vs Georgia) on my mind, he began to belt out Into the Mystic, whilst strumming the acoustic guitar along with Argent’s fascinating piano work. When they finished another breathtaking song, Rod Argent left the stage to deeply appreciative applause, Paul introduced yet another sterling songwriter, one of the greatest in the country, he said, and on walked an absolutely glowing Nick Lowe.

The magnificent Nick Lowe was a surprise to me—clearly I should have expected him after his long collaboration with Paul, but I suppose since he wasn’t one of the names being bandied about as an expected guest, I was completely taken aback when this glorious glowing long white thin Duke of Cool strolled on stage, with that amazing thatch of white hair, donning a dark suit and looking like a dream. Naturally, this was the point at which my camera decided to fail, so I couldn’t add a blurry, too-dark photo of one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters to my collection of other blurry, too-dark photos (of other all-time favourite singer-songwriters that night), which left me temporarily heartbroken. I admirably managed not to hurl my camera in frustration against the side of the stage, but I was so busy fretting about that and staring in awe at the two amazing men on stage that I couldn’t swear which song they performed-Hold Back the Raindrops, perhaps, with a country feel that I only enjoy Lowe-style. Next, they moved into the modern classic (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, with Nick singing the slower, softer, more heartfelt version of the song than Elvis Costello does, while Paul created lovely noise on the keyboards. Sadly, all too soon, Nick Lowe left the stage. I did rather pray that he’d return at the end for a grand finale, but ‘twas not to be. Still, there were compensations.

That would be a difficult act to follow, I thought, but Paul quickly took up my challenge and began playing slow beauty on the piano whilst soulfully belting out a stunning performance of the lovely Eyes of Blue, which echoed throughout the Hall and no doubt moved even the merchandise sellers outside (who, damn and blast, I didn’t get to see—not even to buy a Rob Jackson CD, as intended). Without giving us time to recover, he began to play the next heavenly number, after commenting that ‘Rod Argent’s mashed up me piano’ when it didn’t respond as smoothly as he’d expected, at first. He treated us to an absolutely gorgeous The Only One, with lovely lyrics written by Chris Difford including a favourite phrase of mine: ‘Loving you is everything, the meaning to these years. Partners in time, partners today’ that, like the rest of the song, was a fine tribute to long, solid relationships—an apparent myth, so it’s wonderful when they turn up in such heartfelt songs---and far more beautiful than, say, any similar songs written by Chris DeBurgh about his red-donning wife.

Paul then removed the earpieces that singers always use today—much of the time, he only wore the right one anyway with the left one dangling on his shirt, as if he wanted his left ear to remain in tune with reality rather than succumbing to the technological advances of today—and began banging out a slow, raunchier style of piano and sang what I think was called I Always Will Love You Marie.

Afterwards, Paul moved towards centre stage again and picked up the acoustic guitar whilst introducing his next guest, saying that he couldn’t understand how the man could be so widely known for bashing up people when he was such a lovely guy. I sat there thinking, he’s bringing out Vinnie Jones??? That sounds ludicrous, of course, but the actual guest was just as surprising. Out came Barry McGuigan, the 40-year-old former featherweight boxer, who proved that a new life begins at 40 by amazing the Hall with a wonderful vocal talent that I’m sure most of us never imagined he had. Fortunately, Paul knew, so we were exposed to this fabulous new light, which must have been more fun for Barry than getting repeatedly bashed in the head by an opponent. The crowd started clapping to the beat while Barry’s lovely, clear voice sang out the Mike and the Mechanics song ‘Whenever I Stop,’ which makes my foot tap even when I think of it now. This lovely surprise performance let a big ‘WOW’ creep into my head again, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in that evaluation. It was truly a grand experience.

When Barry left us, we barely had a moment to recover before Paul was bringing on the next guest, singer/songwriter B A Robertson, who launched into a lovely, slower version of the Mike and the Mechanics’ favourite All the Light I Need, as if choked out through a sad and touched deep voice, while Paul played piano and sang a verse himself. Robertson is probably best known for his hits around 1980: Bang Bang, Knocked It Off, and To Be or Not To Be, as well as the 1982 Scotland World Cup Squad theme We Have a Dream, followed by a lucrative songwriting career including the theme from the Terry Wogan’s long-running BBC television talk show. For someone who was then known for his tongue-in-cheek style, he certainly gave an impassioned and moving performance of this song, which rang throughout the auditorium at a crystal pitch. When Robertson left the stage, Paul soothed us by saying he would be back later.

Paul’s band then returned to the stage and launched into the wonderfully smooth Satisfy My Soul, Paul’s vocals reaching new heights. I instantly adored this song when I first heard it upon grabbing the new album on its release, and the arrangement was as perfect, easy and soothing live as on the recorded version. Since first buying the album, I have kept checking the liner notes to make sure the song wasn’t once a big hit for the Temptations or the Four Tops and written by someone like Carole King, but the credit still belongs to Chris Difford and our Paul. Amazing; the song is a time machine.

We had barely had time to recover from that before Paul introduced his next guest. I must say, I kept expecting him to say, ‘and I will leave you in his capable hands’ with one of the guests, as normally when you have a long energetic concert featuring one main man, the main man leaves the stage at one point to rest his voice, powder his nose, get a pizza, change to dry clothes, whatever, leaving the audience to be entertained by either the backing band alone or a special guest. It is standard practice. But Paul remained on stage every second of a performance that lasted over two hours, where his faultless vocals were in demand almost constantly, and it was a truly amazing feat, and so rewarding for those of us who had come to see him.

The next guest was the fabulous Chris Difford. I’ve seen Chris join Jools Holland on stage in the past, and now I got to see him with the keyboardist who replaced Jools with Squeeze. As Paul rightly called him one of the best lyricists around, Chris strolled on wearing a smart double-breasted suit over a tie-less pink Oxford shirt, an absolutely huge unfailing grin and an acoustic guitar, looking surprisingly handsome, frankly. Paul joined him on acoustic guitar and sang another of their co-written songs, How Wonderful, which was certainly appropriately titled for the performance. Chris was very dear, and though he seemed to be a bit of a shy person, whenever he saw someone (like me) rudely pointing a camera at him, he would look directly at him or her and give that person a massive smile. If only I could take a photograph that actually came out, that would have been a dream come true! In any case, he kept grinning away so naturally, and despite being a grumpy pessimist normally, I found that I had the same incessant smile plastered to my face—it was all such wonderful fun.

Just when we thought it could not get much better, Paul introduced ‘Mr Golden Tonsils himself,’ and Glenn Tilbrook joined Chris and the others on stage. I must admit that the prospect of seeing Difford and Tilbrook together again, as well as the magnificent Paul Carrack who I had loved since I was a wee babe listening to How Long, one of the first songs I remember loving (that wasn’t by the Beatles), that convinced me to ditch my prized tickets to see Neil Finn at a sell-out concert across town, though he had been another favourite for over two decades who tours here all too rarely. It was a fair trade though, I have to admit.

Glenn had gone for a different look since his performance in a sloppy T-shirt and cargo trousers in Borders earlier that evening, but it is fair to say that a corner of the History section in a bookshop is a far cry from the Albert Hall, and the latter clearly deserved a sharp suit to display him in all his glory. The last time I had seen these three together was in the same venue, during the Some Fantastic Place tour when Paul had briefly rejoined Squeeze-one of the greatest concerts I have ever seen, and I have seen far too many and all sorts of amazing greats. Despite having loved these chaps for years, I am always astonished by their talents whenever I hear them live. To the delight of the crowd, with Chris still on acoustic guitar, Paul on piano, and Glenn on electric guitar and vocals, they treated us to the Squeeze hit Up the Junction. It was truly incredible. I am normally the most laid-back person on earth, but I found my smile to be so big that it almost burst my face, and my legs were actually shaking a bit, presumably as the only outlet for my internal excitement at seeing such wonderful performers together in an electric atmosphere (or maybe the American soul in me was trying to dance without anyone knowing). Even Glenn looked excited, as he was laughing easily and bouncing up and down a lot between songs, endearingly a bit like Tigger.

When Paul switched to organ, we knew what was coming, but still could never have anticipated its brilliance. They performed an absolutely breathtaking rendition of Tempted, just like they had done it in Squeeze, with Glenn and Chris each taking a couple of lines in the second verse, and now with the whole audience singing along. I’m afraid I have to say it again, unimaginative though appropriate as it is: WOW. It was truly a high moment in life, and I’m certain that, during that performance, not a soul amongst the hundreds of people in the Hall could possibly have been thinking about any worry in their life or any remotely depressing thought-all stress would have vanished.

After that, Chris gave us a chance to catch our breath by saying a few words in tribute to the birthday boy, the first person to wish him happy birthday. Knowing his eloquence could not easily be topped, smiley Glenn leaned into the mike and muttered, ‘Yeah, me an’ all’ in his south London accent, which made the audience laugh and applaud in agreement. The band then launched into the powerful, pounding, exciting live sound of Hourglass, Glenn belting out the odd first line, ‘I feel like I’m pounding on a pickle’ [see epilogue] which doesn’t warn you of the fast and furious frenzy that follows with the quick ‘take it to the bridge, throw it overboard’ chorus where Chris and the others joined in. Glenn was as mad with excitement as the house, and he gave us a gargantuan guitar solo in the middle-I normally am no fan of electric guitar solos but this would have impressed Clapton----and the atmosphere was indescribable. At the end-so sad that it had to come-Tigger Tilbrook bounced over to Chris and Paul and they had an amazing group hug, which I sadly couldn’t capture for blurred overexposed posterity because the press photographers leapt up to lap it up. It was charming to see. I should also note that the photographers, who at most concerts are shepherded in front of the stage for the first song, take the photos they need, then rush away to meet their deadlines, remained snaking on the floor throughout the evening and clearly, if they weren’t already die-hard fans, were by the end of the night. I shall always remember them fondly, not least for the numerous photos of the back of their heads that I now have in my collection.

Again, I thought, well, that really cannot be topped, not the wit and wisdom of Difford and Tilbrook performing again with the huge talent of Carrack—that is as good as it gets. Surely Paul would say goodnight now, go backstage for a well-deserved rest, and we’d all go home ecstatic about what we had seen. But not yet. On came a tall, lanky, charming man: the great Mike Rutherford, like a modern long-haired James Stewart with George Harrison’s face wearing a surprisingly fashionable purple crushed velvet top, as if he were going clubbing later, and a shy, subtle grin. Paul picked up the acoustic guitar, the saxophonist switched to the organ (these multi-talented people just emphasise how completely useless I am at everything), and since Mike and ‘Chris Rea’ were also on acoustic guitars, we could see what was coming: the incredible foot-tapping Mike and the Mechanics hit Over My Shoulder. The entire Hall leapt to its feet (at last!), even the people up in the gods, and it was like being at the best party in town but with better music than imaginable. It was, of course, a party, but the birthday boy was working so hard, rather than relaxing and stuffing himself with cake.

After that priceless performance, Paul told the audience how touched he was that so many people over the years had let him know how much a particular song he sang meant to them, how they could all relate to it as he had, and of course he was introducing the incredible Mike and the Mechanics hit, The Living Years. B A Robertson joined the band on stage again, playing piano. Needless to say, the song was tremendously moving, and the audience was singing along again. Of all the times I’ve seen fabulous and legendary performers at the Albert Hall, I have never seen the audience on its feet so much. It always takes a while if it happens, but this time they barely sat down during the latter part of the programme. Usually, people walk away saying that it was a rocking show but they can’t believe that everyone remained in their seats. The quiet Englishness of everyone disappeared tonight in tribute to the talent of this lovely, good-natured man.

We then lost Mike Rutherford and B A Robertson, who left to rapturous applause, but we were perfectly content with Paul on acoustic guitar and his band bashing out If You’d Ever Needed Someone, a truly lovely, foot-tapping experience that the audience adored, complete with a wonderful solo by ‘Chris Rea’ (John Robinson).

Paul then turned to the audience and asked which of us got our tickets from the website, and those of us with the greatest seats in the house thrust our hands into the air without hesitation, no doubt to the envy and note of those behind and far above us. That was Paul’s way of cueing Paul Copley, who not only runs the Carrack website and tipped us off about this fabulous gig, but is also an amazing singer and keyboardist. Here was his chance to shine, fitting in well amongst the legendary guests who had taken the stage during the night, and he belted out in a deep, raunchy voice-the type that growls with impressive skill-a funky and soulful version of Some Kinda Love, while Paul Carrack accompanied him on keyboards. Everyone was clapping to the beat and having a wonderful time. (I have to say that Paul Copley is one of my favourite people of the week, as I have never ever had such a good seat at the Albert Hall—even an aisle seat, perfect for a semi-claustrophobic with a big briefcase—with no one but the press between me and Paul Carrack. Thank you!) Paul Carrack then told a thrilled audience that he was going to do the first song he ever wrote, though he then qualified the status of the song with ‘probably,’ and stood in front of us asking for our participation, which was duly given as he began lending his transfixing tones to How Long, which he ended by changing the lyrics a bit to introduce each member of the band again, who each did a bit of a solo to strut their stuff. They then all left the stage.

Let’s take stock here. The man had been the one person to remain on stage the whole evening, never resting. He had been performing for two hours and ten minutes, having done 25 songs so far. It was 11.15pm; I was certain that the Albert Hall only had a public entertainment licence until 11pm, but more importantly (she says selfishly) my last train home left from about 25 minutes across town in about fifteen minutes. Normally, I would have left any concert by then, no matter how great the performer was. I looked around—the Hall was still full. There is barely any parking in Kensington—didn’t these people have trains to get to? Clearly, like me, they couldn’t bear to leave, and I think we all made sacrifices in terms of a safe and easy early way home just to stay and carry on having such a wonderful time. It was the weekend, as well—why not? I decided to stay, as it was probably too late anyway, and after the amazing supply of guests that Paul had been bringing on, I could almost expect him to come back on and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome John Lennon!’ Somehow, I’m sure he could work it, as Lennon would no doubt be yet another huge admirer of Paul’s talent and Paul seemed to work miracles to bring us the best....

So I stayed. We all stayed, gladly. Paul and his band returned for an encore, with him fiddling with the electric guitar (which a roadie had to come on to fix, and Paul proved he wasn’t dear Van once again by refraining from killing the roadie and storming off stage) and Mr Brittas’ secretary, really the singer Lindsay Dracass, standing up front with him at last. They played a funky version of Make Your Mind Up, with the whole audience on their feet and dancing, so appreciative of the talent before them. They left the stage after that, but the audience refused to budge. Twenty-six amazing songs and performances by some of the greatest modern singer-songwriters in the country simply weren’t enough; we wanted more.

Paul and the band returned, looking as if they hadn’t planned to perform anything else, and they decided to do, I think, Sly and the Family Stone’s Dance to the Music, featuring our Paul Copley on vocals with Paul Carrack. Everyone was going mad, having the best time, and it was almost a shock to the system when it was over, but it really was, at last.

I felt that the audience should then launch in unison into a truly deserved rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ to Paul, but since I’m no Marilyn Monroe (in any shape!), I did not have the courage to lead them, and no one else took the initiative.

Paul Carrack stayed on the stage for a few minutes, almost waving to each of us individually, no doubt basking in the fact that he had filled the Albert Hall on his own merit, that almost all of us remained despite having no certain way of how we were getting home, that he had proven he was one of the greats, and surely feeling that it had been a fairly decent way to turn 50, to say the least. Thank goodness he shared it with us.

With that, I grabbed my briefcase, accidentally bashed most people around me with it (apologies to all!) and rushed like the roadrunner out of the Hall and down Exhibition Road towards the Tube station at break-neck speed, no doubt looking completely mad in sprinting along in my suit, holding a huge briefcase, wearing a panicked and horrified look on my face yet with a highly satisfied smile creeping into my expression. I’m sure I looked no more odd then than I did look out of place stiffly dressed for work at the Albert Hall amongst all the relaxed-looking punters.

I arrived at Charing Cross ten minutes after my last train home, so I got to look into taking the night bus for the first time ever. Of course, it pulled away as I tried to cross all the traffic in Trafalgar Square, which is impossible to jaywalk if you want to live, so I got to stand on painful, numbly cold feet for well over an hour until 1am, with nothing to read for once (I wanted my bag to be lighter as I was lugging it to the concert), nothing but an extremely light Mac on (I didn’t want a heavy coat as I figured I’d be sweltering when running for the train), no guarantee that a bus would come at all, a real struggle not to fall over as I was almost nodding off on my feet (having had two hours of sleep the previous night), and more than a little fear that one of the highly aggressive screaming druggies who seemed to be constantly urinating on the gates of Canada House beside me and challenging everyone around them might be attracted to my fluorescent City outfit and decide to take my handbag and briefcase from me, including—most worrying of all—the film I’d taken at the concert that would serve as a timeless memory even if it were just a series of blurry outlines in darkness.

Nevertheless, I was pleased I did not miss any part of Paul’s big night. Paul Carrack in good company, indeed. Even though I had an absolutely vile long journey into night/morning afterwards, once I was safely home at about 2.30 am after a dreadful journey and a tense walk at the other end, I could confirm that it was entirely worth it. I cannot wait for his 60th!

Now, if anyone has actually stuck with these ramblings this long, you deserve a serious award. I have nothing to give you, but I thought I’d acknowledge that you deserve one. Go put your feet up, have a cup of tea, and put on Satisfy My Soul, so you’ll know how all of us who attended the concert feel. Then let’s hope that one day, we have either a DVD or a live CD of that great night at the Albert Hall, so we can re-live the experience at any given time. There were cameras there projecting images onto the wide screens for those in the gods to see, and the size of the audience proved there is a market for it, so one can hope...


First: one of the live songs has in fact so far been made available as a B-side of a 2003 single, so there’s hope that we’ll hear more....

Second, re: Squeeze and ‘the Pickle song’. I sent this message about that to a relevant discussion list shortly after the review above was posted:-

"A couple of people have suggested that I misheard the lyrics, and I’m sorry to be contradictory, but Glenn did actually sing ‘pickle’ on the night. I know what is on the album, but don’t forget that this was a special gala evening. In fact, Glenn introduced the song by saying, ‘We are now going to perform a special birthday version of the song Hourglass for Paul, in which I alter the original lyrics of the first line.’ He then produced from his left jacket pocket both a jar of Branston pickle and a huge green dill of the crunchy variety (I had real good seats, don’t forget, I could see these details), and from his right jacket pocket, he removed two kitchen utensils.

"Refraining from playing guitar during the beginning of the song, as clearly his hands were otherwise engaged, Glenn proceeded to smash the jar of Branston with a meat tenderiser to the beat of the song, whilst using a potato masher in the other hand to bash the smithereens out of that crunchy dill, in perfect rhythm. So, what with this clear demonstration and all, I am in absolutely no doubt that ‘I feel like I’m pounding on a pickle’ was what he said and was, indeed, an accurate description of what he was doing at the time, hence the particular pickle-related feeling he had.

"Did I forget to mention this in my review? I’ll have to re-read it to be sure, but keep in mind that I was very tired when I wrote that, and I did, of course, want to keep it short, so it is perfectly understandable that I left out petty details like the fact that Glenn smashed various pickle items and sprayed bits of pickle mush and glass shards onto the front row of the audience. It was fairly unmemorable and often happens at the Albert Hall—I witnessed something similar at Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s 50th birthday party there in 1994, so I think it’s tradition when you hit that age, and that would explain why no one else who attended the concert would have mentioned it, even if they were one of the victims in the front row. Such minor details can easily slip one’s mind.

"So, apologies for being unclear in my review about my certainty of the true words that were sung, but some things I just took for granted that you would naturally assume, like how I didn’t feel the need to quote the real lyrics for that opening number that Paul sang about seeking treatment from the doctor for his diarrhoea and painful feet where he keeps repeating, ‘Can you heal me? Can you heal me runs? Can you heal me runs; can you heal me corns, too?’

"Really, can you blame Glenn for changing the lyrics? I mean, ‘pounding on a big door’----how ludicrous is that!!"

Copyright © 2001 by TC. All rights reserved.

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