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neil halstead at the evelyn, 2002-12-20

Another nice little acoustic gig, this time from one little English surfer dude and his harmonica. Hi, lo and in-between, he told us, was inspired by that guy who tied a heap of balloons to his chair, packed a shotgun and a six-pack, and made for the sky - this explains the cutesy little tour t-shirt I'd just bought (I can't remember the last time I bought a band t-shirt) that depicts said situation.

Surviving the odd drunken bastard near the stage, and people shouting out for him to play Alison (which, yeah, I'd have loved to hear him do too - it seemed like one of the more likely Slowdive songs he could do by himself), he covered just his recent few albums. The songs came out pretty well in the flesh, though I missed the country twang in Mojave 3 songs like Give what you take, which I just noticed was provided on the album by B. J. Cole who seems to get around a bit these days - much like how there's a pile of 90's Australian albums with Evil Graham Lee's pedal steel on them. I'll admit that I'm starting to become a little tired of great bands only coming out to do an acoustic set, but that's what you get for being at the wrong end of the world, so to speak. This year alone we've had solo gigs from Steve Earle, Mark Eitzel, Josh Rouse and now Neil Halstead. There were other half-way gigs like The Go-Betweens (just the two of them most of the way, and bass at the end), or The Pernice Brothers' 3-guitar setup. Each one was wonderful but just once, for Christmas even, could I have an overseas act bring their drummer over ? Their pedal steel ? Sure, the lyrics are the main part of the song, but just for a change I want to see a full band - I want to feel the music as well as the words.

acb ("don't you hate it when your favourite musicians grow up ?" he said to me) was running around like a madman, so I handed him my camera - I must get over this crowd-induced inertia if I want to take more gig photos.

* 11:22 * music