A degree of anxiety in the air following yesterday’s blog: I can reassure you that, on first listen at least, the new Calexico album sounds pretty strong, being a return to the border territory of “Feast Of Wire”. Apologies for being a little mysterious about this stuff, but one or two other anticipated entries on that playlist aren’t working for me at the moment. Let me listen some more and I’ll report back.
Today, meanwhile, we’ve started warming up for the Hop Farm Festival by investigating what Neil Young’s been up to in the early shows of his European summer tour. The setlists over at Sugar Mountain suggest a big crossover with the electric set at this spring’s extraordinary British shows, though we’re particularly pleased in the office to see the regular inclusion of “Love And Only Love”. The band, incidentally, seems to be the same as that last line-up (uncommon consistency here, surely), only with Bluenote Chad Cromwell subbing for Ralph Molina behind the kit.
Thanks to Damien Love (who also filed a hefty review of Lou Reed doing “Berlin” in Edinburgh) for alerting us to this fantastic ten-minute clip of Neil playing “All Along The Watchtower” in Verona. Quite a solo, as you might imagine, which involves a fairly energetic sit-down about halfway through, a lie-down with ecstatic leg movements (reminiscent, perhaps, of a baby having its nappy changed), and ultimately, a transcendentally erotic bout of arse-wiggling in front of the drum riser. Pretty wild.
Thrashers Wheat, meanwhile, have got a snatch of him trying out The Beatles’ “Day In The Life” in Lyon, which annoyingly cuts off before the song properly gets going (though why anyone would spend a gig filming it on a phone is beyond me, so I guess I shouldn’t complain). The air of men of a certain age mucking about in the garage hangs heavy here, but then, Neil can away with just about anything when he’s in this form, can’t he?
Anyone seen the shows yet? Send us your reports, please; we’re dying to hear more.