The 2003 International Tour

QEH (photo Paul Gunningham) Words and Music flyer Durham, after the show (photo Barry Holley) Aylesbury (photo Julian the Juggler)

"Clive James & Pete Atkin : Words & Music"
(In Australia: "The Words, The Wit & The Music")

May 1 Theatr Hafren, Newtown, Powys
May 2 Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury
May 3 Civic Centre, Aylesbury
May 4 Cresset, Peterborough
May 7 Gateway, Chester
May 9 Harlequin Theatre, Redhill
May 10 Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
May 12 Grand Theatre, Swansea
May 13 Theatre Royal, Winchester
May 15 du Maurier Festival, Fowey
May 18 Gala, Durham
May 20 Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare
May 22 Corn Exchange, Bedford
May 25 Ferneham Hall, Fareham
May 27 Mercury Theatre, Colchester
May 28 Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate
May 29 Theatre Royal, York
Jun 1 Festival Theatre, Pitlochry
Jun 3 His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen
Jun 6 QEH, South Bank, London
Jun 7 Millfield Theatre, Edmonton
Jun 10 Wilde Theatre, Bracknell
Jun 12 New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Jun 22 Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple
Jun 26 Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
Jun 27 Arts Festival, Hebden Bridge
Jun 28 Town Hall, Grassington (Festival)
Jul 9 Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
Jul 18 Northcott Theatre, Exeter (Festival)
Jul 19 Garrick, Lichfield
Sep 11 Concert Hall, Melbourne
Sep 12 Federation CH, Hobart
Sep 13 Arts Centre, Frankston
Sep 14 Concert Hall, Brisbane
Sep 17 Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
Sep 18 Cultural Centre, Caloundra
Sep 19 State Theatre, Sydney
Sep 21 Festival Theatre, Adelaide
Sep 24 Ford Theatre, Geelong
Sep 25 Theatre Centre, Canberra
Sep 26 Civic Theatre, Newcastle
Sep 27 Civic Theatre, Nambour
Sep 28 Arts Centre, Gold Coast
Sep 30 Entertainment Centre, Darwin
Oct 2 Concert Hall, Perth
Oct 4 Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah

Oct 7 HKAPA Lyric Theatre, Wanchai
Oct 8 HKAPA Lyric Theatre, Wanchai

Photos and reviews taken from Midnight Voices posts during the tour :

Sydney photos (click on detail for full picture)

Plaque on Circular Quay That notorious Irene Street turn,
from Unreliable Memoirs
State Theatre
tickets and flyer
Names in lights Breakfast with Carole,
morning after the show
The homing yachts...
of spring?

QEH (London South Bank, June 6th) reviews :

Richard Brock :

That was one of the best entertainments I've been to. Ever. Brilliant. Pete and Clive at their very best, with a warm and responsive audience being enchanted by them. And Pete playing *the* National Steel Guitar... feels like I've witnessed a legend!

Thank you Pete and Clive.

Leslie Moss :

What a wonderful show last night at QEH! I'd denied myself the pleasure of the new album in order to first hear some of the songs live and I was not disappointed. But the atmosphere was just superb. A three-quarter full 800-seater with an audience that fed off the artists and vice versa. Pete was in great voice and played a killer keyboard on Joker, Empty Table and Dancing Master, with the Taylor also sounding sweet on the guitar numbers. Clive was obviously revelling in the evening and the audience were incredibly responsive to both of them. There was great energy coming from the stalls.

I was struck by how contemporary an act they were. This was no valedictory tour to the men and women in pink rinses but a 2003 phenomenon built around older material perhaps but with much newer material and a feeling that there was a whole audience out there ready for this kind of thing. I hadn't felt that way about Buxton, Bath or last year's tour where the feeling was more of "last chance to see a sixties act before the zimmer frames". I'm thinking that the term Revival is misplaced now. It's more a rebirth.

Great to see Voices from far and wide - Steve and Carole, Paul and Frankie Gunningham, Gerry Smith, Oliver Ash, Lesley Hodges and others whose faces were instantly familiar but whose names slipped my aging brain and who even perusal of Janice's spreadsheet hasn't help me to identify - my apologies to all of you. I hope you all enjoyed the concert as much as Gill and I.

Right, now off to pop my cheque in the post to Hillside Records.


Gerry Smith :

Well, what a tremendous evening I had at the QEH last night. Probably the best Atkin/James gig I have ever been to. The set flowed effortlessly, Pete's music and Clive's readings and banter seamlessly melding into one of the best evening's entertainment I have ever had.

Some real gems in Pete's set, including a strident and purposeful delivery of Sunlight Gate, one of my top favourites. And it was a real pleasure to see the National Steel guitar on stage at the commencement of the second half, followed shortly after by the, er, eponymous 'National Steel'. I was delighted to hear a copious helping of material from 'Winter Spring', all the songs from which came over brilliantly in their solo format. You could have heard a pin drop during 'Hill Of Little Shoes', Clive with his head turned toward Pete, slightly bowed and very pensive. "People ask me what I do now" said Clive, introducing 'Winter Spring' and I tell them "this is what I do". And he sat glowing with pleasure during a superb delivery of the song.

Clive should not be so modest about his own singing ability either. In addition to a couple of verses and some harmony in 'Laughing Boy' Clive delivered a really rather good 'Touch Has A Memory' to thunderous applause from an audience which warmed to the two more and more as the evening progressed, feeding from the very real synergy which Pete and Clive create when they are an stage together. Clive's voice is a little 'Perry Como', (or do I mean Val Doonican?) but what the heck!!!

A goodly smattering of core vintage A/J stuff too for the die-hards. 'Beware of the Beautiful Stranger' received an extended applause, and at the end of the show, many of the audience were on their feet, not heading for the door (!), but applauding and calling for encores, of which we were rewarded with two.

Marvellous evening with Pete and Clive, shared with an estimated 400 others. Nice to see some fellow Voices amongst them, including Paul Gunningham, Gill and Leslie Moss and of course, Steve and Carole Birkill, who I must thank for letting me use their spare ticket, which must have been one of the best seats in the house. Many other faces I recognised, but could not put names to.

Gerry Smith

Carole Birkill :

Just got back from London, and as previous messages have said, last night at the QEH was *the* best! It's a long time since I've been part of such a responsive audience - and they had good reason to be. Highlights were a superb Sunlight Gate and Joker and the wonderful Dancing Master which has become the favourite on WS for me. And National Steel - never really one I've been fond of, but last night that guitar really sang. Clive was on top form and really enjoying himself.

Lovely to see many MV's I haven't seen for a while and some seen recently at other venues. This was a night to remember. Bliss.


John Eggleston

Hi Midvodians!

Echoing the earlier praises from Gerry, Leslie and Richard, last night's gig at the QEH was a real stunner. I hope I will be able to see other shows at this level combining art with such professionalism and genuine intimacy with the audience.

Pete and Clive were at the top of their game, and both were in fine voice. It was a real pleasure to see Clive so obviously enjoying himself. Serious in his contemplation of the heavier material, but also beaming like a proud father at the joy of his literary and musical children. (He was also revelling in the increasing opportunities to join Pete in the "Everly Brothers tribute show").

Clive touched a chord with us when he said how he was personally so much happier to be addressing an audience of hundreds directly, rather than the more usual indirect contact he has been used to, although perhaps reaching millions more at a time in his career as a writer and TV broadcaster. I felt an understanding as to how that audience feedback motivated Charles Dickens to also take himself across the world in tours where he too would read his stories inimitably. Well Clive has a matchless delivery of his own too. I had heard the billycarts story twice on the tour last year, but it still brought the helpless tears of laughter rolling down. This was mainly as a result of Clive's wonderful delivery, but also comes from the shared experience with the contrasting audience reactions (e.g. pin-drop silence to Hill Of Little Shoes, and raucous rolling in the isles guffawing to the billycarts saga).

I did wave across the crowded room to Steve B (as a fellow member of "The Sheffield Five" I believe he saw me too), however, I am sorry that I missed the other MVs who were somewhere there in the throng.

Anyway, you can tell a great night was had by all, which inspires me to catch another show before the end, (probably Grassington). If you are just thinking about getting along to one of the remaining shows don't hesitate! You'll love it!!



Paul Gunningham :

I can only echo the other Voices and say that last night's 'Pete & Clive' show was the best ever and a truly unforgettable one. It's only a couple of weeks or so since we saw them at Bedford, so we knew roughly what to expect - or we thought we did! This show was an order of magnitude better - not just because it was a better venue and had better sound (which of course it was) but more because of the synergy between our two stars seems to have developed so that they have become a real double act now and not just two single acts sharing the stage together, as they may have seemed in the past. There was a real rapport between them on stage, and their obvious enjoyment of what they were doing was infectious. I can't believe anyone there didn't enjoy the whole evening as much as we did - it was that sort of evening. And to see that elusive National on a rare outing was a bonus!

Great to meet up with others - Steve & Carole, Leslie & Gill, Brian & Jenny, Dave Fisher, Gerry Smith, Oliver Ash among them - even if we only had time to more or less say "Hi" to some of you during the interval or before we dashed off for our train at the end.

Those attending the remaining dates have a treat in store - you lucky people! And if you weren't planning to go along - get your tickets now - you won't regret it!



Oliver Ash

Well it's taken me a little longer than the others to get home so this is a bit old hat now but I wanted to add my pennyworth to the few enthusiastic mails about the gig.

The four non-MVs I was with all really enjoyed the show and might even buy Winter Spring although as Clive only plugged it and the web site about twenty times during the show they might not recall the ordering details...

This is the first time I have seen Pete and Clive perform together and it certainly was a real treat. Yes a real double act with good rapport between the two.

Pete was in such good form that the music was a joy. Yes "Joker" had an amazing energy, almost angry, all the songs were beautifully played and Pete makes virtually no mistakes any more and remembers all of his lines. Most disconcerting.

I had reservations about the new album, I was struggling to get into it and find some of the songs dreary. However played live I thought they all sounded great. Clive had a huge grin on his face for most of the songs.

I was really moved by HLS. This to my surprise because I had not liked the album track. I feel this subject is dangerous ground for "art" because it is so sensitive and important you simply cannot afford not to do it justice (double negative...). Well after the performance I think justice is done and there is something original and intensely moving in the song - it suddenly clicked for me.

And thanks Clive for keeping us in hysterics for most of the evening, I have not laughed so much since seeing Rowan Atkinson live in London maybe twenty years ago. Then we couldn't get tickets and had to sit (and literally roll around in) the aisle. This time I nearly fell out of my seat during the extracts from the memoirs.

Finally how sweet to see our favourite duo so lacking in self-confidence that they hardly dared to leave the stage completely before turning back for the encore. come on boys...serious rock stars go off and leave us in suspense for at least five minutes before returning!

Good to see a few of you again Paul, Leslie - and Steve and Carole. if ever there was a single moment of vindication of all you have done this was it.

Oliver Ash

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