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Pete Atkin >> Gigs >> Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
(Message started by: Pete Atkin on Today at 14:54)

Title: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Pete Atkin on Today at 14:54
See my previous posting for The Blue Hours 15th May.

This will be the two that is to say three) of us doing the whole evening, along the same lines as the previous evening but with therefore a somewhat extended repertoire.


Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by naomi on Today at 17:42
Gosh, this - and the Blue Hours gig the previous evening - sound great !
I'd like come to both gigs, not least because the Blue Hours cabaret is very much my sort of venue. I much enjoyed it last time Pete was there. I probably won't be free on the 15th, though - so I am delighted that Pete, Sarah and Simon will also be doing this Saturday-night gig, in London. Many thanks, lady and gents.
See you in Dulwich !

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by BogusTrumper on 23.04.09 at 16:07
That is my old stomping grounds - I worked in herne Hill for 3 years and lived in Dulwich for a year.

Ah, memories  :)

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Pete Atkin on 25.04.09 at 08:51
Just to say that the capacity at the Magnolia is only about sixty...

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by naomi on 17.05.09 at 01:50
People will always want to hear good songs - will always need to hear them. So it's not surprising that the room above The Magnolia ("The Mag") in East Dulwich was packed to bursting tonight with an audience cheering the original menu of delightful fare offered by Pete, his fellow singers Sarah Moule and Nicki Leighton-Thomas and the pianist Simon Wallace.

Having written, and continuing to write, so many songs of heart, head and experience with Clive James, Pete is now also performing wider repertoire that speaks similarly to us - and has in the process produced a really effective and enjoyable show.

I was very pleased to see Mr and Mrs Birkill in attendance, with the younger Mr Birkill. At the end I greeted one couple of enthusiastic cognoscenti whom I did not recognise by asking "are you Midnight Voices?" They weren't - indeed they hadn't previously known of the Forum - but they told me of how they had first heard Pete in 1975. If you are reading this, hello Jan and Mike !  

Introducing the evening, Hayley, the PR lady, explained that as Sarah had been unwell (though recovering), Nicki would be singing some of the songs - she is one of the few singers to likewise specialise in the gems that Sarah's husband Simon has composed with the poet Fran Landesmann. Despite her indisposition, Sarah sang beautifully. I had not heard Nicki before - and shall certainly want to hear her lovely voice and sophisticated delivery again.

The evening, entitled Bright Lights Tonight opened with

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
(by Richard and Linda Thompson):
Pete and Sarah, with Simon on keyboard

and with a spirited cry from Pete of "Hello, Dulwich!" we were off.

For much of the evening Pete sang accompanied just by Simon's brilliant jazzy keyboard playing but for

Beware of the Beautiful Stranger he played his (Atkin) guitar - and Simon also played.

Then came the first song from Nicki - written for her, she explained, in a bygone era of her life - called Nicki's Dilemma.
"Classy", I jotted down - an adjective that applied to the whole evening. A Landesmann/Wallace song, I think.

Then came Pete and Sarah in the gentle Fool's Paradise.
A Buddy Holly song, apparently - but I am far too young to know who wrote it !!

Simon accompanied Pete in a subtle and superb reinterpretation of the Goffin/King classic
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
Pete's singing had the clarity of speech - and the immediacy. It was wonderful.

More from Nicki and Simon: I'm Not Taking Any Chances (Wallace/Landesmann).
"Very classy piano", I have written.

Simon played piano and Pete played guitar in a new song  by Pete and Clive, which I shall call, until I am corrected:
Let's spend the evening with the ocean
about an uncomfortable farewell and departure.

Pete and Sarah then sang the very first song on which they had ever duetted:
Be Careful When They Offer You the Moon

Simon then accompanied the singers on Living in Overdrive.

Pete was accompanied in his poignant An Empty Table by Simon. So evocative.

The first half closed with more Goffin/King: No Turning Back

After an interval buzzing with enjoyment as well as interest,

Pete and Simon in a really excellent, energised Thirty-Year Man

Then the Landesmann bitter-sweetness, as set by Simon, of Tomorrow Never Came ("we always said we'd talk tomorrow - but tomorrow never came"), sung by Nicki. Wow.

Pete played guitar and Simon played piano in a 1954 song from The Eagles (no, not those Eagles) - Trying to Get to You

In response to a request from the audience, Pete and Simon changed the programme and gave an impromptu - and brilliant - rendition for voice and piano of A Guitar is a Thief in the Night. I was open-mouthed at Simon's intricate piano prelude.

A great Landesmann/Wallace song from Nicki and Simon - a couple is drifting apart and the woman remarks that All We've Got in Common is Depravity.
I love the 1920s, cabaret tang of Simon's accompaniment.

Next, a Steely Dan song from Pete: Will You Still Have a Song to Sing?

Nicki gave us more East Coast astuteness from Landesmann in
In a New York Moment

followed by
a deeply expressive Between Us There is Nothing (Pete, again accompanied by Simon)

Then Scars  (the emotional scars of life that we pick up "in the streets, in the bars"). One of the very best Landesmann/Wallace songs, done in a very touching duet by Sarah and Nicki

The evening closed with a rousing finale of
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight -

oh yes, and the encore - a hilarious The original Original Honky Tonk Night Train Blues  from Pete, with the laughing audience clapping along,
and a blues classic (title of the song to come !!).

... though the audience would have happily stayed for more until chucking-out time.

PS: Corrections to song-titles to come - no doubt from other MVs as well as me.  ;)

[Small text correction at Naomi's request -- SJB]

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by naomi on 17.05.09 at 02:32
Among other friends, it was also great to see at the Dulwich gig on May 16th: Lorna, Keith and Cathy.

Apologies to any MVs I did not recognise !

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Cricklwood2btonboy on 17.05.09 at 16:26
Yes a great gig- really nice venue and great and different set.

Sarah Moule was great even with recovering from bronchitis and I thought Nicki had abrilliant voice. Chap on the joanna was really good and Pete Atkin was in fine form. And him singing a Steely Dan song, among others was amazing for me as I am a big fan of theirs. So why did Pete Atkin and Steely Dan never tour together? Well? And cmon, someone could still organise this....

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Pete Atkin on 17.05.09 at 18:54
Thanks so much to all who supported our (Sarah's and Simon's and mine) new venture, and huge thanks too to Nicki Leighton-Thomas for being such an instantly homogeneous part of something of whose nature she was largely unaware just a few hours before.

Knowing how MVs value accuracy, may I - with not a hint of reproof - make a few pedantic amendments to Naomi's setlist?

- The opener (and closer - but in a different form) was actually a medley of (bits of) Richard Thompson's song and Bobby Charles's Grow Too Old
- Fool's Paradise was written (not that I announced it) by Leglaire, Linsley, and Petty (though I suspect that (Norman) Petty didn't actually have a hand in it, but claimed a credit as a perk for getting it recorded by Buddy Holly - something that used to be an all too common practice (e.g. manager Irving Mills's name on the writing credits of many of Duke Ellington's early compositions, and Presley's name similarly on many of the songs he recorded)
- the new James-Atkin song is actually called The Way You Are With Me
- the Goffin-King first half closer is called The Point Of No Return
- the Steely Dan song is called Razor Boy
- the song Nicki sang after that is called New York Minute
- the second part of the encore is called Well Alright, OK, You Win (authentically spelled like that, I believe, even though it irks me) written by Sidney Wyche and Mayme Watts, but more often than not uncredited or listed as traditional.

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by naomi on 17.05.09 at 19:41
Many thanks, Pete, for those important and not-at-all pedantic corrections.

Apologies to all for my blunders - I should have heeded my own thoughts that the opening item and the finale didn't sound much like the Richard Thompson song, but only occasionally like bits of it !!

Such was my enthusiasm to post a gig report and setlist last night that I appear to have dispensed with a large number of salient facts, somewhat defeating the purpose of the exercise ...  though I did get the name of the venue right !!

Thanks again to all the performers for a great night,

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Jan on 17.05.09 at 20:18
Lovely review Naomi! Sounds as though it was a good evening.

(I was going to send you an instant message but your inbox is full!)

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Seán Kelly on 17.05.09 at 22:43
Great Review Naomi - very evocative in itself I must say - many thanks from me (and no doubt plenty of others like me who wish they had been there!)

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by naomi on 18.05.09 at 00:38
Thanks,  Jan and Seán - very nice of you. Hope we meet up at another gig soon.

The Magnolia gig was a lovely occasion and a great success for the performers - a really good venue: intimate and unpretentious.

More, please - at more such venues, especially here in London !

It was very pleasing, too, that the gig was part of the Dulwich Festival.

Best, Naomi

PS: Incidentally, I am hoping to add some of those Wallace/Landesmann songs to my repertoire - as well as some more Atkin/James numbers. Such well-crafted songs are so rewarding to sing - as well as to hear !  

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Kevin Cryan on 18.05.09 at 07:03

on 05/17/09 at 01:50:41, naomi wrote :
Pete played guitar and Simon played piano in a 1954 song from The Eagles (no, not those Eagles) - Trying to Get to You


Click on link for the better known version (http://kcryan.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/clive-james-pete-atkin-tracks-of-my-years/) of that song.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Keith Busby on 18.05.09 at 15:07

With respect to expanding your repertoire, Landesman/Wallace would be a great idea. Did you ever check out my suggestion of John Bucchino (try Sepia Life/Dancing/A Restaurant by the Sea)? I can send you some MP3's if you let me have your e-mail. Also, give a listen to the songs of Babbie Green: they have the kind of wit you'd appreciate. Anyone else Bucchino/Green fans?


Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Ian Chippett on 25.05.09 at 09:01

Own up, who's Midvodian?

Ian C

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by S J Birkill on 25.05.09 at 09:31
Oops! That's only up there pending approval, before we promote it on the Website. You're not supposed to find it. Please disregard for the moment. Forget you ever saw it :o.

Title: YouTube Video: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by S J Birkill on 26.05.09 at 00:36
After consultation with Pete, I can now announce YouTube availability of the full version of the video recording of the new Atkin/James song, The Way You Are With Me, here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-fdQkkICmo). The link earlier in this thread, the one discovered by our resourceful Mr Chippett, was to a shorter clip of the song which I've since deleted.

The movie was shot in HD, 720p format (1280 x 720, 16:9 progressive scan), and if your internet connection supports it you will be able to view the HD version by clicking the 'HD' button at lower right of the video window. Be aware that the HD stream will stutter and freeze if you don't have enough bandwidth.

Apologies for the shaky start -- I'd only just been given the new compact digital camera and hastily enabled the video function so I could make a note of the lyric, but then decided to shoot the whole song in video. I've spared you the first few seconds' view of the floor by fading in from a shot of the Website. What I didn't do was stand up for a better view of Pete and his guitar (too obtrusive for the audience) or move the music stand (too intrusive for the performers!) so the result is less than ideal.

The song speaks for itself: an almost traditional love song lyric, evocative of those NSW beaches at night, with a classic Atkin yearning melody and delivery.

YouTube offers only a choice of three still frames to represent the video, and all were variations of a wide shot of Pete and Simon. I'll attempt to engineer a better frame when I link the movie from the Smash Flops Website.

I hope you all enjoy this close-up peek into the Dulwich event.


Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Jan on 26.05.09 at 07:09
Lovely! Thank you Steve! (and Pete)

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Leslie Moss on 26.05.09 at 11:07
Due to a combination of location, stomach bug and burst water main I managed to miss both the gigs that weekend, to my chagrin. The Dulwich gig in particular sounded amazing from Naomi's report (and I'd like to hear you sing some Wallace/Landesmann songs too).

It's interesting how musical favourites segue between artists. To me, Pete, Steely Dan and Richard Thompson go together like a horse and carriage and clearly this is true of many others, including Pete himself. Razor Boy in particular is about as close to an Atkin/James song as Fagen/Becker have ever got although I don't think Pete has ever adopted the vibraphone.

Any news of future gigs, especially those with Sarah and Simon as well?


Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Ian Chippett on 29.05.09 at 09:42
Great new song with some typical Pete fingerprints. Can't wait for the album...

Immediately after this video on You Tube under "Vidéos similaires" was one entitled "Two Hot Girls In The Shower." Sounds intriguing. When I have a few minutes, I'll listen to this one...

Ian C

Title: Re: Dulwich Festival 16th May 2009
Post by Keith Busby on 29.05.09 at 14:23
Not "Cold Bitches"?

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