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   Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
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   Author  Thread: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020  (Read 437 times)
Seán Kelly
MV Fixture
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Posts: 203
Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« : 10.01.20 at 09:30 »
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Another great night at the Pheasantry for Pete and Simon Wallace. This occasion being sadly, as Pete pointed out, the first since he, and we all, lost Clive James.  Pete used the evening to reflect on his lifetime of collaborating with Clive, right back to the day when he was first presented with a set of lyrics and asked “Can you do something with that Sport?”.  At times it felt as though every song was a tribute and in a way that was of course so, Clive was mentioned in pretty much every song introduction.  But it was not a maudlin night and the songs were presented as always, to their own best advantage and with their evident strengths on show.  Even now I am amazed they are not better-known and better-covered. I can only imagine they are so good they could be off-putting to a younger artist.
Pete and Simon were on as good a form as ever. At one point Pete suggested that Simon’s presence allows him the luxury to really concentrate on his singing and you could see this when he closed his eyes during numbers such as “Touch Has A Memory” which swung with a slow stately grace, both of the performers drawing the expression from the song.  I also enjoyed seeing Pete swinging his arms from side to side as Simon played the piano between verses on “The Road of Silk”, absolutely building for the vocal part which he was about to deliver.  It was almost like watching the two of them in the studio recording an album, just focusing on getting the feel right.  There was tougher stuff of course on “The Last Hill That Shows You All The Valley”  and the nearest thing to a greatest hit in “Beware Of The Beautiful Stranger”.  
Pete described meeting and working with Clive as one of the greatest pieces of luck that he had had in a life which had been blessed with much good luck.  As the evening drew to a close he played a song specifically in recognition of Clive’s departure.  There must have been a wry pleasure in choosing “You Can’t Expect To Be Remembered”, emphasizing contrarily as it did, the fact that Clive will indeed be well-remembered.  A nice moment of affectionate humour made public. The song segued into an impressive “Master of the Revels”.  
As encore the duo returned to play another song forever identified with Clive (as though they are not all); Laughing Boy which Clive used to join in and sing at the end of the show during their duo tour days.  Pete mentioned that Clive was always in tune but that he (Pete) often had to clip or add a beat in the bar to follow and make good Clive’s rhythmic approach.   So much applause followed that a second encore had to be hastily agreed. Nothing had been rehearsed but Pete proposed “Perfect Moments” as it might calm the audience!  Simon began an intro which was not obviously leading to the song and Pete suddenly spoke and said he didn’t recognize the tune yet – adding for effect a quick out-of-tune first line from “Fly Me To The Moon”.  You had to be there!  Simon took up the intro again but quickly made it apparent that he was playing Perfect Moments and so the night ended with an excellent performance of that.  
The place seemed full and Pete has hopes to be back again before too long.  He promised a song-requester (for Driving Through Mythical America) that he would prepare and play that next time.  One to book when you can I think.  Thanks Pete and Simon and the venue staff and soundman and all for a great night.  Long may these Atkin Express nights continue!  
 
ps sorry there is only a hint of Simon W in the photo - he was pretty well obscured from where I sat  Smiley
 
« Last Edit: 10.01.20 at 09:47 by Seán Kelly »    share
Sylfest
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Let's try the whole thing again!



Posts: 48
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #1: 10.01.20 at 13:47 »
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Alison and I really enjoyed last night's concert, where we met up with old college flatmates in nostalgia-and-wine-fuelled bliss. Simon Wallace had brilliant piano arrangements for everything: it's so obvious that he just gets these songs completely, letting Pete relax and sing them all the better.  
I think I remember all the right songs, but not necessarily (attempts to channel Eric Morecambe) in the right order:
 
Have You Got a Biro I Can Borrow?
Between Us There is Nothing
The Last Hill That Shows You All the Valley
Thirty-Year Man
Carnations on the Roof
The Faded Mansion on the Hill
The Road of Silk
Screen-Freak
Wristwatch for a Drummer
 
Is it Just the Way You Are?
Touch Has a Memory
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger
Last Ditch (Here We Stay)
Senior Citizens
The Beautiful Changes
You Can't Expect to be Remembered
Master of the Revels
Laughing Boy
Perfect Moments
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Douglas Fergus
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Okeydoke, my armchair hero



Posts: 27
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #2: 10.01.20 at 15:04 »
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Thank you Sean for the most informative review and to Sylfest for the setlist.
Sounds like it was an amazing evening!  
 
Douglas  
 
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Seán Kelly
MV Fixture
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Posts: 203
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #3: 10.01.20 at 17:41 »
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Cheers Douglas! And thanks for the setlist Sylfest. I managed to get a snap of a set list last night which backs up your list (Perfect Moments obviously missing as not planned) and only slightly rearranges it.  
 
 
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Ian Sorensen
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A King at Sunrise



Posts: 43
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #4: 10.01.20 at 18:22 »
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My first visit to the Pheasantry and, I hope, the first of many. An excellent venue with great sound which did justice to Pete and Simon's performance. Sylfest's set list looks about right to me - the first half being exclusively the older songs and then a couple of newer ones in the second half. Pete's voice was superb throughout (and he only slightly fluffed one line - but the Persians will forgive him as they never wanted to go to Iwo Jima anyway.)
 
As Sean mentioned, Clive was very much in the forefront of introductions to the songs and the sadder songs had extra poignancy because of it. A while before the show Pete came over to the corner where Yvonne and I had been seated and spoke to the couple at the table next to us, welcoming them to the show and hoping they would enjoy it. In the interval I discovered that we were sitting next to Clive's daughter Claerwen and her husband. I asked her if she'd ever seen Pete perform before and she said yes, many times, but only in the living room at home! She had seen one of the duo shows and assured us that all the family had tried very hard to dissuade Clive from singing in them, but he did it anyway.  
 
There were many other notable attendees (not just Sean and Sylfest) that Pete mentioned in conversation, including Clive's former TV show producer and Danny Finkelstein, noted journalist, wit and Lord. It made me  wonder if there were any record company types there looking to maybe sign up a new singing sensation?
 
In a general chat afterwards I was asked if Simon had worked with Pete long, and how come he was so good?  I argued that "good" was insufficient to describe what Simon brings to the songs. He manages to insert amazing transition chords and fills into Pete's already complex tunes that leave me in absolute awe. I noticed Simon had sheet music for many of the numbers and wonder if he might be persuaded to publish the odd photo of his arrangements for the discerning musicians in our ranks?
 
Although I'm not the professional snapper Sean is, I did get a couple of photos showing more than the top of Simon's head and include them here.
 
   
 
   
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Andy Lester
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Posts: 4
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #5: 11.01.20 at 05:49 »
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Sean
 
Many thanks for the review which fully sums up a very enjoyable, albeit poignant at times, evening. It was a pleasure to share your table and hear your stories about your travels to watch Pete. Here's to next time.
 
Andy
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Andy Lester
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Posts: 4
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #6: 11.01.20 at 05:56 »
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BTW - we talked about first encountering Pete/Clive through John Peel, although a friend of mine has reminded me that the first encounter may have been through Derk Jewell and his programme Sounds Interesting which was on Radio 3 on a Sunday night. Ring any bells?
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Ian Sorensen
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A King at Sunrise



Posts: 43
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #7: 11.01.20 at 17:03 »
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on 11.01.20 at 05:56, Andy Lester wrote:
BTW - we talked about first encountering Pete/Clive through John Peel, although a friend of mine has reminded me that the first encounter may have been through Derk Jewell and his programme Sounds Interesting which was on Radio 3 on a Sunday night. Ring any bells?

 
That certainly rings bells with me, but not for Pete. The Sounds Interesting show introduced me to City Boy (excellent Birmingham band) and Styx. Old Derek certainly covered the waterfront in those days!
 
My first memory of Pete was on TV where he performed songs (on film) between sketches on a programme called "What Are You Doing After The Show?" late night on ITV.  First time I heard Girl On The Train was on this show and fell in love with it instantly.
 
I also remember Noel Edmondsplaying Carnations on the Roof a lot, but that was much later.
 
Ian
 
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Seán Kelly
MV Fixture
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Posts: 203
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #8: 11.01.20 at 19:46 »
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Cheers Andy - a pleasure to share your table too - and good to see you too Ian.  And no not Derek Jewell, it was John Peel for me - he has a lot to answer for  Cheesy
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Carole
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Posts: 127
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #9: 11.01.20 at 19:50 »
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Thanks to all of you for the gig reports and great photos! Much appreciated!  Smiley
 
Carole
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S J Birkill
MV Administrator
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just a sensible reserve



Posts: 697
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #10: 11.01.20 at 22:00 »
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Sunday Times jazz critic Derek Jewell compiled and presented "Sounds Interesting" on BBC Radio 3, the first programme on the Corporation's 'serious music' channel to take seriously any form of 'pop' music. With material from live sessions as well as LPs, Jewell championed bands such as Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd, Caravan and King Crimson, playing intricate album-based pieces -- still recognisably from rock-and-roll or folk blues roots, but combined with classical forms, jazz time-signatures and harmonic structures, and often running several times the 3-minute length of a typical 'pop' single. The genre, already receiving strong exposure through Radio 1's 'Sounds of the Seventies' strand, became known as 'progressive rock' -- back then the term didn't come burdened with today's pejorative connotations -- indeed my favourite record shop in Sheffield filed Pete's albums under "Progressive Male Vocal".
 
I believe Derek Jewell's programme began in 1974 or '75, and continued at least through 1978 -- I can't find any definite dates on the Web. Here's his personal Top Twenty for 1974. Look who's at No.1 :
 

 
Pungent, eh!
 
Steve
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Rob Spence
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Hypertension Kid



Posts: 178
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #11: 12.01.20 at 14:20 »
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£2.44 eh? Very evocative. I remember Derek Jewell's programme and column very well. He introduced me to all kinds of stuff I would never otherwise have encountered. I saw Mike Gibbs round about this time, probably influenced by Mr Jewell. Thanks for sharing this, Steve.
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Rob Spence
MV Fixture
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Hypertension Kid



Posts: 178
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #12: 12.01.20 at 14:22 »
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Thanks, Sean for this review. It was obviously a brilliant night, if bittersweet. Great to have such a full account.
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Seán Kelly
MV Fixture
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Posts: 203
Re: Last night at the Pheasantry 9th January 2020
« Reply #13: 13.01.20 at 13:39 »
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Pete and Clive at 5p more than Sir John Betjeman?  A great moment for Clive there  Smiley
 
Thumbs up back to all review thumbs-uppers  Wink
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