Elvis/Metropole Orkest in Amsterdam, Sept. 6 '06

Pretty self-explanatory
johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:56 am

After a good nights sleep ( honestly!) I was up and on the Metro to the Heineken Music Hall by 9.30. Located in the shadow of the enormous Ajax soccer stadium there was absolutely no sign of life there. Elvis' show for tonight is listed but not tomorrows. After a stroll around monolithic shopping centres nearby ( one consisting entirely of Home Decor stores - http://www.villaarena.nl ) I made my way back through the under-construction railway station and am now back in central Amsterdam. Right now I'll relax for a bit , shop a bit , tidy up and then head back to the venue later in the afternoon. I'll be the good looking guy in the navy ' North' t-shirt with beige chinos if anyone wants to say hi.

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:13 am

Translation/summary anyone?

http://www.volkskrant.nl/kunst/article3 ... le_Orkest/

Groeiend tekort bedreigt Metropole Orkest
Van onze verslaggever Roland de Beer


HILVERSUM - God give me strength, heet de ballad die de zanger Elvis Costello en het Metropole Orkest in petto hebben voor hun optreden vanavond in de Amsterdamse Heineken Music Hall. Het is een motto waar het Metropole Orkest ook zonder Costello nog veel aan kan hebben.


Het 52-koppige orkest, onderdeel van het Muziekcentrum van de Omroep, wil vaker de studio uit en de zalen in. Het wil zich, naast zijn optredens op radio en televisie, een ‘zichtbaarheid’ aanmeten die dichter in de buurt komt bij de status die het al heeft onder professionals. Tegelijkertijd moet het Gooise vlaggenschip van de lichte muziek, dat door bandleiders tot de beste ter wereld wordt gerekend, zich afvragen hoe lang het in zijn huidige vorm nog kan bestaan.

Het Metropole Orkest kampt met een groeiend tekort, dat in 2008 de onoverbrugbare proportie dreigt aan te nemen van een miljoen euro. Het Muziekcentrum van de Omroep (MCO) zegt geen middelen te hebben tot extra ondersteuning, en twijfelt ook aan de financiële slagvaardigheid van de publieke omroepen waar het Metropole Orkest mee werkt.

Het MCO, dat ook het Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, de Radio Kamerfilharmonie en het Omroepkoor bestiert, kwam vorig jaar al tachtig musici kleiner uit een gedwongen reorganisatie tevoorschijn, en zit volgens directeur Anton Kok aan de grenzen van zijn financiële ruimte. Het nieuwe werkplan waarmee het Metropole Orkest sinds die bezuiniging opereert, schreef voor dat het 40 procent van zijn inkomsten zelf genereert door commerciële begeleidingen en het inspelen van filmmuziek. Volgens Kok is die markt te klein gebleken, en is op z’n best 20 procent haalbaar.

Kok vreest dat het orkest in de val komt te zitten en fors moet gaan beknotten op werktijden en daarmee op de spelcultuur, als de publieke omroep niet bijspringt. Terwijl de omroep juist weer nieuwe bezuinigingen tegemoet gaat, en de budgetten voor cultuuruitzendingen – op grond van de jongste wetsvoorstellen – omlaag gaan als de Ster-inkomsten dalen.

Omdat een gezelschap van 52 musici plus technici – de New York Times omschreef het Metropole Orkest na een bezoek met Costello aan het Lincoln Center als een ‘sterk uitgebreide big band met strijkers’ – geen zestig inkomens genereert aan de kassa van een middelgrote zaal, lijkt de route die het Metropole Orkest heeft uitgekozen (vaker optreden) op een vlucht naar voren. Maar, zegt Kok, ‘met binnen blijven, bereik je niets, zelfs al staat je cv vol met projecten als met Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker en Brian Eno’. Concerten met Costello volgen op een cd die de combinatie onder leiding van Vince Mendoza opnam voor Deutsche Grammophon. In oktober begint een internationale ‘Burt Bacharach’-tournee met Trijntje Oosterhuis, waar Bacharach zelf in meespeelt.

Het Amsterdamse Muziekgebouw aan het IJ moet vanaf 2007-2008 het podium worden van een nieuwe jazz- en wereldmuziekserie van het Metropole Orkest en de NPS. Met popsterren als Costello en Borsato wil het ook vaker de Heineken Music Hall en Carré in, samen met Radio 2. ‘Bij de omroepen ontbreekt het niet aan ideeën’, vindt Kok.

Tegelijk zegt Kok, behalve organisatiedeskundige ook jazzbestuurder en voormalig popbassist, ‘niet verrukt’ te zijn van de effecten die de Medianota van de voormalige staatssecretaris Van der Laan in Hilversum heeft gesorteerd. ‘Het enthousiasme van de programmamakers is groot, maar als er financiële besluiten moeten vallen, zitten de organisaties er als verlamd bij.’

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Postby johnfoyle » Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:29 am

http://www.parool.nl/

http://www.nrc.nl/

These two 'papers have features 'n photos of Elvis ( looking like he's rehearsing with the Orkest) in their print editions ; scans will follow when I get get back to Dublin.

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Postby vriesman99 » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:14 am

A very nice performance, with Elvis obviously enjoying himself. After the break a few people in the front moved to the back because of the loud volume but sound was perfect to me. Highlights for me were All This Useless Beauty in a very beautiful arrangement and sung perfectly, That's how you got killed before, A very beautiful I Want You and a surprising Green Shirt in a Steve Nieve arrangement.

At the end Elvis invited the audience to come to the front. He closed off with CCIU4 without microphone. It sounded real great at the front of the stage...

Songs played (wrong order and probably missing a few)
    Clubland
    Upon a veil of midnight blue
    All this useless beauty
    That's how you got killed before
    My flame burns blue
    Green shirt
    I still have that other girl
    God give me strength
    She
    Alison
    I want you
    Hora Decubitus
    The sharpest thorn
    Couldn't call it unexpected No. 4
    Watching the detectives
    Dust
    Episode of blonde
    Still
    Can you be true
    The birds will still be singing
    Almost blue
    Poisoned rose
    Almost ideal eyes
    3 Il Sogno tracks


For some low qulaity photo's check my page at: http://outofmyhead.multiply.com/photos/album/19

Peter

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:23 am

A splendid show. From my front row seat I had a perfect view of Elvis and the Orkest belting out a show packed with verve and emotion. The MFBB recording can just about suggest the extraordinary punch of the live performance.

Sweetest Punch and Mrs S.P. found me and were great company for the show.

I'll leave a any further comment on particulars of the show until after tonights one - yes, it looks like I might get to it after all. The venue's box office gave me the line about it being a private show so no tickets available etc. After the show I headed around to the stage door and met up with Verbal Gymnastics and friend (can't remember his tag here!). Steve Nieve and Elvis' guitar tech. Milo appeared out and we got chatting to them. I told Steve about how I'd love to get to see tonight's show but couldn't get a ticket. He asked me to give him my name on a piece of paper and he'd see what he could do.

Then we could see Elvis coming out ( helping his mother into the car) and we went over to him. He recognised Verbal 'n friend and chatted with them ( 'What are you doing here?' ' Well we have to come to you!', that kind of thing) as he signed cards etc. They asked him about when he'd be playing the U.K. again and he said something about 'not next year'. I decided to be abrupt (as usual!) and asked when he'd play Dublin. Scribbling autographs , he said something like " Well that'll be when hell freezes over!" . Then his people were ushering him into his car and , after accepting congratulations from Verbal on his impending fatherhood , he was gone.

The it was a dash to the last , after midnight train to Amsterdam where we ended up in a Argentinian steak house , swopping Costello tales and much else until the small hours.

More later!


This 'paper has a review -


http://www.parool.nl/muziek/2006/artike ... tello.html

Emotie wint bij Elvis Costello



MARK MINNEMA



Op het internet circuleert een clipje van Elvis Costello. Tijdens zijn eerste tv-optreden zie je hem in z'n eentje Alison vertolken: een hartverscheurend mooi liedje, vol verbetenheid gezongen. Alsof hij een samenvatting geeft van zichzelf.

In de Heineken Music Hall speelt hij het weer, begeleid door het Metropole Orkest. Is er iets veranderd? Ja en nee. De enorme intensiteit die bij Costello uit zijn tenen komt, is er nog steeds. Maar iets van de enorme kracht die in de eenvoud schuilt, gaat in zo'n groot gearrangeerd geheel toch verloren.

Misschien is dat wel de eeuwige strijd die in Elvis Costello woedt, die tussen emotie en intellect. Want hij kan alles: componeren, teksten schrijven, arrangeren, zingen, en dat even gemakkelijk met pop, jazz als klassiek.

Het is een enorm talent dat hij paart aan een enorme dadendrang. Dit voorjaar bracht hij de cd The river in reverse uit met Allen Toussaint, de legendarische producer/componist/pianist uit New Orleans. En nu dus weer op tournee door Europa met het Metropole Orkest.

Dat is dan weer een vervolg op de cd My flame burns blue , waarop hij (vooral) eigen werk vertolkte met het bijzondere orkest. Want het Metropole mag er dan financieel niet florissant voor staan - in 2008 zou het tekort zijn opgelopen tot een miljoen euro - het is uniek in de wereld, benadrukt Costello. De bezetting van een bigband aangevuld met strijkers vind je nergens.

De Brit maakt er dankbaar gebruik van. De vele kleuren die het orkest in huis heeft komen goed van pas bij de grote variatie in Costello's eigen materiaal.

Wat voorbij komt is een dwarsdoorsnede van zijn oeuvre. Het donkere jazznummer Almost blue staat naast een naar een 'swing-tempo-tv-tune' omgewerkt Watching the detectives.

In Clubland schroomt Costello niet het schone geluid van het orkest te doorkruisen met een rafelige gitaar. Even later geeft hij, net als een volleerd garagerocker, een smerige gitaarsolo .

Meestal werkt het, en vaak heel fraai zelfs. The sharpest thorn, door Toussaint met mooi zompig koper gearrangeerd, komt prachtig uit de verf, net als het ingetogen Still. Maar Costello wil zich ook wel eens vergalopperen aan te zware stukken. In My flame burns blue weet hij Billy Strayhorns (lastige) melodie niet lekker te pakken. In Upon a veil of midnight blue maakt hij de huizenhoge pretenties niet waar, of zitten overdadige arrangementen hem in de weg.

De vele schitterende momenten wegen daar echter ruimschoots tegenop. Bijna elk liedje tilt hij op met zijn stem die werkelijk in topvorm is.

Minder verbeten dan vroeger misschien. Nu meer smachtend en romantisch, zoals publieksfavoriet She, met gulle, schaamteloos sentimentele violen.

Maar dan speelt hij, tegen het einde, I want you. Dat slepende, smachtende, bijna eindeloos durende nummer. In z'n eentje, net als Alison een kwart eeuw geleden. Pure emotie, er is nog steeds weinig wat daaraan kan tippen.

Elvis Costello met het Metropole Orkest. Gezien: gisteravond in de Heineken Music Hall.

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Postby scielle » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:27 pm

Here are some pictures from last night's show:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgehenze/sets/72157594272450167/

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:17 am

Hi from Amsterdam airport.

Last nights show was even better than the night before , Tighter , more focused, Elvis really comfortable with the Orkestra and the venue. As I said to Steve Nieve afterwards, to his puzzled amusement , 'You could take that show to Vegas!' .

Right now I've only minutes to spare befor my flight so I'll save other thoughts until I get back to Dublin, along with cuttings , photos etc.

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:35 am

We had a great evening. Was North Sea Jazz shown on Dutch TV? I ask because when we entered the building there was a TV monitor showing Elvis playing the North Sea Jazz show with the Metropole Orkestra (I only know this because the TV had North Sea Jazz written in the top right hand corner).

It was a great show and much better than I expected. They played for an hour, had a half hour break and then played another hour and 15 minutes.

I was expecting Il Sogno in depth but after about 5 minutes or so Elvis came out and played Clubland. Elvis wore a magnificent three buttoned single breasted tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie and black patent leather shoes for those of you interested in such matters. When he left the stage after a fantastic and well received God Give Me Strength the bow tie came off. I would say GGMS was the best received song of the evening.

Elvis was pretty chatty throughout and clearly enjoying himself. Vriesman99's set list is accurate in the songs played although they weren't in that order.

At times I was watching the orchestra whilst Elvis was singing and they were fully appreciative and applauded him after the song.

There were a few comments that I remember.

Firstly Elvis said Allen Toussaint had specially arranged Poisoned Rose for the show. He said he hoped they would get onto what he called "the continent" next year.

A lady shouted out I Want You and Elvis said "Sorry love, I'm taken". Somebody else then shouted out Alison and Elvis chatted about playing in concert with Burt Bacharach on the Painted for Memory tour and how Burt had arranged different songs. Elvis said Burt must have heard him and snuck in to the hall and then Elvis played Alison/Tracks of my tears.

Elvis then went into I Want You which was not on the set list. However this did not seem as impromptu at it seemed as Steve accompanied him (which could reasonably be expected) but then the strings of the orchestra kicked in too. Clearly it is in the repertoire unless this was completely improvised by the orchestra!

On introducing Almost Blue Elvis said it was a song that he had written, his wife had borrowed and he was borrowing it back and sending it back with love.

At one stage Elvis said how in all the years he had been coming to Holland he had not learnt a word of Dutch yet the Dutch all spoke perfect English. When the orchestra played Green Shirt (with the typewriter accompaniment) I saw Elvis whisper into the ear of a lady in the orchestra and at the end of the song he said the word typewriter in Dutch.

At the end of The Sharpest Thorn Elvis said he was going to get on the 'phone to Allen and tell him that The Sharpest Thorn chorus had been adopted by Ajax (football club).

She was introduced as a song that was sold to him as a song that would ruin his reputation. He said it was a big hit everywhere (to which there was silence) and then he said "Except here!" which drew laughter.

After setting himself loose on Dust Elvis put his guitar and said "I needed that"!

The setlist showed a couple of alternatives. Still/Can You Be True (both were played), The Sharpest Thorn/ Couldn't Call It Unexpected #4 (both were played) and Favourite Hour was handwritten on the setlist but wasn't played.

The Sharpest Thorn was the last song but Elvis had such a good reception that he came back out and turned the microphones off to do CCU#4. The ending wasn't exactly smooth but Elvis was smiling.

Afterwards we went to the stage door. Steve came out and asked us what we were doing here and we had a nice chat with him. He asked us if we were coming to Thursday's show and both myself and Sulky Lad said that we couldn't make it. My recollection (which may be slightly inaccurate) was that John said he couldn't get a ticket and asked if Steve could do so. Steve asked him to put his name and address on a piece of paper (which John duly did). At some stage Steve said "You're not from that website are you?". If you're reading this Steve, thanks for your time and for your conversation.

Elvis then came out with his mother and could clearly not stay for very long. There were not many people waiting there anyway so there was no problem.

I asked Elvis to sign a couple of cards for friends of mine and Elvis joked about me being too cheap to buy birthday presents and how I'd be wanting him to sign Happy Birthday (I wonder if he remembered the birthday card I got for you Spooky?).

He said he probably wouldn't be playing the UK next year and then made his Dublin comment. But he did also say about touring depending on the baby (or babies as I've subsequently learned).

As John said, we went back into Amsterdam and had a nice meal in an Argentinian steakhouse. Just what you need at 1.30am!

Otis texted me to say I was a cash rich lunatic. It was worth every pound and euro.

I hope John made it to last night's show.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Postby mood swung » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:27 am

black patent leather shoes for those of you interested in such matters

thanks for that.


Somebody else then shouted out Alison

don't be shy, VG.



At some stage Steve said "You're not from that website are you?".

did he say this is a good way? or in a you-people-scare-me way? :lol:

great accounts, VG and johnfoyle - thanks.
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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Postby vriesman99 » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:35 am

Was North Sea Jazz shown on Dutch TV? I ask because when we entered the building there was a TV monitor showing Elvis playing the North Sea Jazz show with the Metropole Orkestra (I only know this because the TV had North Sea Jazz written in the top right hand corner).


Yes it was. In two parts, including some footage of rehearsals and an interview with Elvis. I have it on DVD

Peter

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Postby migdd » Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:19 am

Thanks for the accounts vg and Mr. Foyle!!
Looking forward to hearing about the 2nd night!

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:43 am

mood swung wrote:
black patent leather shoes for those of you interested in such matters

thanks for that.


I thought I'd put that in just in case you thought he was wearing the silver cowboy boots.


mood swung wrote:
Somebody else then shouted out Alison


don't be shy, VG.


It wasn't me. I forgot to pack a lighter.

mood swung wrote:
At some stage Steve said "You're not from that website are you?".


did he say this is a good way? or in a you-people-scare-me way? :lol:


He was saying it to John so we'll have to wait for his recollection.

mood swung wrote:Great accounts, VG and johnfoyle - thanks.


Thanks MDM.

I'm also hoping that John made it to the second night.

The last time Steve offered us tickets we had backstage passes. The bad news was that the show got postponed. But the good news was that we saw the show on the rescheduled date. The bad news was that there were no backstage passes that time. The good news is that Elvis was great company after the show. The bad news was that I met SoLack and BWAP for the first time that night. The good news was despite that they have become good friends.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Postby mood swung » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:11 am

Verbal confessed -
I wish I'd known in advance that I wouldn't be required to sit in court today so that I could have stayed for the 2nd Elvis show in Amsterdam


do tell about the rest of your Amsterdam adventure, VG. :lol:
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:38 am

Not without a lawyer present... :wink:

Best we leave that one eh :lol: ?
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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Postby Boy With A Problem » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:02 pm

The bad news was that I met SoLack and BWAP for the first time that night. The good news was despite that they have become good friends.


"Good friends" is taking it a bit far.


Nice reports (and John too, as always) - can't wait to hear the behind the scenes story at the next meet-up.
Everyone just needs to fuckin’ relax. Smoke more weed, the world is ending.

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:04 pm

Getting back to Dublin I had to spend some time at work so my words of wisdom about the shows will have to wait until tomorrow. I have scanned some stuff ; here are images from print sources -

A ad. from Amsterdam Weekly -


Image
Uh, Steve Niehe.......?!?!

The rehearsals -
Het Parool

Image

Image

NRC Handelsblad
Image

The show -
Metro ( freesheet)
Image

The tickets -
Image

Image
Last edited by johnfoyle on Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby johnfoyle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:13 pm

http://www.jazzpodium.nl/pivot/entry.php?id=236

Dutch account , with loadsa photos , including

Image

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Postby scielle » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:30 pm

http://www.wireimage.com also has quite a few pictures from the Sept. 6th show.

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Postby VonOfterdingen » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:21 am

This sounds so great - i wish i had gone to Amsterdam. Do EC know you, Verbal, and if so - howcome?
I'm not buying my share of souvenirs

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Postby so lacklustre » Sat Sep 09, 2006 3:34 am

Verbal is known to Elvis as a multiple stalker. When Verbal sits in the front row Elvis sighs and looks into Verbal's eyes (or glares).
signed with love and vicious kisses

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:58 pm

The more I think about the two shows, the more I realise how significant they are. They featured songs and performance styles from all parts of Elvis' career. With the Il Sogno extracts, even his classical work was represented. Combine this with the fact that Elvis is not recording or planning to record and his impending fatherhood (on the double!) and it's hard not to think that the shows served as both a summation and (hopefully temporary) cessation of his musical career.

If so, he has gone out on a high. There wasn't a dud moment, with the second night being one of the best shows I've seen him do. From the balcony, facing stage centre, it was possible to see how confident and commanding he was on stage . Lessons were learnt from the certain aspects of the sequencing of the first night, leading to an absolutely engrossing second show.

Both nights started with two pieces from Il Sogno, both uptempo. Elvis then arrived on stage, proceeding without intro on night one into Clubland. This continuation of a hectic pace was a little overwhelming and was corrected on night two by a solo acoustic performance of River In Reverse. This served to let people, most of them rather elderly and perhaps unfamiliar with Elvis, get to know exactly who they had come to see.

Clubland ( a gaudy, magnificent beast of a song , this live setting only hinted at by the MFFB recording) we got Upon A Veil Of Midnight Blue. Night one had a a brief intro about the Charles Brown recording , night two we got the meat 'n two veg., four course version, about the Brown's editing the lyric. etc. Another cracking performance. Then Favourite Hour and on to another Il Sogno extract, Tormentress. Both nights we got a jokey intro. about the audience being able to well acquainted with someone like that etc. As the short piece played we got the only rather silly bit each night, the sight of Elvis , turning sideways, clicking his fingers and , uh, grooving stage centre. He really should have taken a note of how conductor Alan Broadbent politely sat immobile during Elvis' acoustic numbers.

The gorgeous version of All This Useless Beauty was, both nights, introduced with the story about being in Honolulu for three days and, because of continuous rain, having the time to compose an arrangement for it. It was sequenced before Tormentress on night one, it then being followed by an absolutely incendiary performance of Dust 2. Coming out of ATUB on night two, the extreme contrast proved a much more stimulating lead in to Poisoned Rose. By night two Elvis was more structured in his riffing and gave the song a decisive ending.

‘Rose was introduced with a comment about having just recorded and toured with Allen Toussaint. A tantalising comment was then made, both nights, about hopefully bringing that show to ' ...as we used to say, The Continent ' (presumably excluding the U.K. and, er, Dublin/'Hell'). Allen had especially expanded, we were told, his arrangement for the Crescent City Horns bya few more scores for the Orkest. Another perfectly pitched performance was followed by more squeling electric guitar and blaring horns as Episode Of Blonde was screeched out. Yet again this was excellently sequenced. On night one it was kind of lost in the second half of the evening. On night two, as listeners recovered from the high volume, it was all the more pleasant to hear The Birds Will Still Be Singing. This was introduced the story about how when the Juliet Letters tour came to Amsterdam one of The Brodsky Quartet had a very high temperature and was out of his head on medication for the show. It was also the perfect closer for the first part of the evening.

Part two started with Still, Elvis joining the Orkest after extended intro. piece. Green Shirt was introduced with the story about this arrangement being debuted in Tokyo and special credit to the Orkest member who played the 'teepwriten' (phonetic approximation). Almost Ideal Eyes was real workout for the Orkest , seeming to involve all parts to the limit. Almost Blue had the story about being written for Chet Baker, and being borrowed back from Diana etc. The second half of the song had Elvis walk around the side of Orkest , venture in amongst the musicians and assume the seat at the piano as Steve did his Melodica piece. On night one it was clumsily done, with Steve sitting to the side by the piano and just about gasping his way to the songs end. On night two Steve stood to the side and handled things more confidently, even managing to work in a musical quote from (I could swear) My Funny Valentine (there goes another 15% of the royalties if a recording of this get released!).

Watching The Detectives was introduced with a story about it being about a lady whose extreme fondness for murder mysteries and her partners homicidal response. Yet another extreme workout for the Orkest, thrilling to behold. It was followed by My Flame Burns Blue. Both nights it was introduced with the comment about it's original composer, Billy Strayhorn, having written all his life about things he saw ( three or four titles were instanced) and how this was his final tune , and was called Blood Count because that was what he was seeing. This rather macabre talk got a few nervous laughs with Elvis feeling the need to respond by saying something like 'well that's the way it was'. Another confident performance.

She then followed. Elvis introduced it with story that he'd been asked to do it by Trevor Jones with the comment that he - Trevor- wanted to destroy his reputation. This was going to be a song that was unashamedly romantic, with no get-out clause in the third verse. It was like casting Peter Lorre in the Cary Grant role he added. On night one Elvis felt the need to elaborate this by suggesting a more modern version, offering the names Philp Seymour Hoffman in the George Clooney role. On night two, the audience being more elderly, he stuck to the Lorre/Grant line, getting the required laugh. Elvis continued that the 'damn thing' had been a hit - 'everywhere but here'. Another laugh and into to the song...to wild applause. Viewing the second show from the balcony, I saw a curious sight. Dotted throughout the darkened auditorium below me I could see mobile phones lighting up. People were either sharing this Special Song with non-attendees or were recording it. It was the only song to get this peculiar reaction.


Another confident vocal was followed by continuing right into God Give Me Strength. Both nights it was pretty straight performance, with one interesting little addition on night two. In the studio performance the song revolves around a absolutely crucial drum roll, just as the line 'I want him to hurt' is sung/emoted. This wasn’t quite carried of on night one - it rarely is in the live performances I’ve heard. On night two Elvis crudely but effectively conveyed the required sound by stamping his feet for that line, along with the Orkest's drum fill.

After leaving the stage, Elvis returned to do I Still Have That Other Girl In My Head, the Orkest adding a bit of grit but still swinging as good as the Bachrach version. After a joke about doing a song from another century it was on to Alison. The string section was just that little bit short of syrupy, aided by just-right brass sounds. Tracks of My Tears was quoted at the end. The Orkest then downed tools as Elvis 'n Steve gave I Want You a ferocious seeing too. Night two was the better. On night one someone had shouted out for the song just before Alison and, seeing as how it wasn't listed on the set list I briefly saw , it was probably a instinctive addition. I didn't see the second night's set list but I imagine it was listed this time. Certainly Elvis was more on demented mode, going all stuttery 'n Van-Morrison-'Love-That-Love's-To-Love' like, and adding some quotes at the end which I didn't recognise, something about 'magnetic' I think.

By now the crowd was on it's feet, crowding the stage front. Well those down stairs were; up in the balcony the elderly types were realising that it was nearly half eleven at night and some couples left. Hora Decubitus was fun, the brass section really getting a stretch; Elvis doing his hepcat act again, yelping along. That’s How You Got Killed Before was more of the same.

By then it was time to wind things down a bit. The Sharpest Thorn again sounded anthemic , getting everyone 'doo-dooing' along. Elvis left the stage to combined cheers and 'dooing'. As the applause continued I could see him about to return, walking out of the dark to the stage-left. The 'Doo-dooing' started up again and he slowed and stopped before coming into the full light. He let it well up and then dashed to the microphone to add 'The Sharpest Thorn' to finish up the chanting, to wild applause.

Things were then finished up entirely by the no-amplification Couldn't Call It Unexpected No.4. On night one, standing at the stage edge, it was perfectly clear. Night two, from the balcony, it was a voice in the distance that seemed to expand to fill the place. A few nervous laughs were shushed and I could see heads shaking at the audacity of it.

And then it was over. An ending in more ways than one perhaps but all the more outstanding for that.

Later I'll tell you about other aspects of the shows; people I met, the venue and so on.
Last edited by johnfoyle on Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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John
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Postby John » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:28 am

Thanks for that wonderfully detailed report John.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:06 am

Boy With A Problem wrote:
The bad news was that I met SoLack and BWAP for the first time that night. The good news was despite that they have become good friends.


"Good friends" is taking it a bit far.


When I said good friends I deliberately left it ambiguous as to who has become good friends... :lol:

VonOfterdingen wrote:This sounds so great - i wish i had gone to Amsterdam. Do EC know you, Verbal, and if so - howcome?


so lacklustre wrote:Verbal is known to Elvis as a multiple stalker.


That's not what the courts said. :lol: Admittedly it was only on a technicality... :lol:

so lacklustre wrote:When Verbal sits in the front row Elvis sighs and looks into Verbal's eyes (or glares).


As in a What the F... are you doing here kind of look? Again. :lol:

Actually VanOfterdingen I don't know Elvis but due to the freak of nature that is my face, Elvis and recognises me, as does Steve.

John - great reviews. I was gutted I couldn't go to the second show - especially after seeing how good the first one was. Did Steve sort you out with a ticket or did you manage to buy one? And did Elvis and/or Steve make any comment about you being there for the second night when you got your ticket signed?

Also was there any sign of Paddy on the second night? It was a shame not to see him on the first night.
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:19 am

Actually VanOfterdingen I don't know Elvis but due to the freak of nature that is my face, Elvis and recognises me, as does Steve.



Or could it be all those WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE! posters, VG. :lol:
Like me, the "g" is silent.

sweetest punch
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Postby sweetest punch » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:30 pm

Setlist of the first show (wednesday, september 6):

01. Oberon And Titiana (Il Sogno)
02. The Conspiracy Of Oberon And Puck (Il Sogno)
03. Puck 2 (Il Sogno)
04. Clubland
05. Upon A Veil Of Midnight Blue
06. All This Useless Beauty
07. Tormentress (Il Sogno)
08. Can You Be True
09. Dust
10. The Poisened Rose
11. That's How You Got Killed Before
12. The Birds Will Still Be Singing
13. Episode Of Blonde
(Intermission)
14. Still
15. Green Shirt
16. Almost Ideal Eyes
17. Almost Blue
18. Watching The Detectives
19. My Flame Burns Blue
20. She
21. God Give Me Strength
(Encore 1)
22. I Still Have That Other Girl
23. Alison/Tracks Of My Tears
24. I Want You (only EC&SN)
25. Hora Decubitus
26. The Sharpest Thorn
(Encore 2)
27. Couldn't Call It Unexpected #4 (unamplified)

Fantastic show! Experiencing the Metropool Orkest live is something completely different than hearing the CD, although I think that MFBB sounds great.
There wasn't a bad song; the highlights for me were All This Useless Beauty, The Poisened Rose, The Birds Will Still Be Singing, I Want You, Hora Decubitus and The Sharpest Thorn.
The "songs" from Il Sogno sounded great; I think they worked very well.

(And there's a change that Elvis and Allen will come to Europe next year!!)
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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