FAN REVIEW: by Murphy Anderson
- CAT STEVENS:
- The Gaslight Club, Greenwich Village
New York USA 71
I came by this tape by way
of a trade with a Norwegian bootlegger a decade ago.
Quality is standard
audience recording, cheap machine secreted in greatcoat. In spite of this, a great moment
in time recorded for posterity. Whoever recorded it probably just wanted a souvenir of the
show but it sounds as good as the vinyl boots around. The gig was from Cats second
U.S. tour. The Gaslight was full to its 300 or so capacity. Nice intimate atmosphere!
The tape starts with some
setting up of guitar mikes by the crew, you can imagine a few burly guys plugging leads in
with plenty of bum cleavage showing! The audience are evident by their chatting, coughing
and clinking glasses.
The punters respectfully
hush for a perfect opening rendition of Moonshadow. Falsetto ending, decent applause.
Alun and Cat tune up and
then into On The Road To Find Out. Powerfully sung over just the two guitars and Alun
chipping in with vocals. A great sound and the crowd are appreciative.
Cat introduces Where Do The
Children Play by saying he wrote the song about two years ago and dedicated it to kids.
Larry Steele provides electric bass on this one and Cat and Alun parry acoustically. The
version doesnt deviate greatly from the studio version although theres no
"Now my first hit over
here" Cat purrs in an American accent to introduce Wild World to a few chuckles. The
song is well received.
Again they tune up and Cat
calls for Aluns bass to be turned down. "A song about spaceships, yknow
what I mean?" Cat has difficulty getting his old star studded Gibson in tune and says
"wouldnt it be great if you could just press a button and it would be in
guitars are only human anyway." Assuming its his Gibson as he says
its old fashioned - The Everly Brothers used the same model. A lovely guitar intro
to Longer Boats and then my tape chews up slightly, a flaw on the original tape. A shame
as the best song so far in my opinion. Cat sounding confident and great choppy timing. The
extra verse adds a new dimension to the vague lyrics of the song. Perfection!
Cat takes to the piano for
a few songs:
Maybe Youre Right -
just Cat with Alun strumming, the piano and Cats voice carry the bluesy melody just
right. The melancholy feel continues with Sad Lisa, sounding sparse without the violin.
Miles From Nowhere completes the keyboards set, again very blues based and powerful.
Cat introduces Hard Headed
Woman, you can tell theyre all having a good time.
Some tuning up then Peace
Train chugs along with the audience clapping mostly in time. Cat and Alun harmonise
Straight into Father And
Son, again its close to the album version. Cats voice descants between the
split personality of dad and headstrong son. Aluns contribution on guitar and vocals
is superb - his sweet voice complementing Steves harsher tones.
Theres lots of
audience chat as the trio take a breather.
Then Changes IV rocks with
more crowd participation! Its flamboyant and optimistic and youre left wanting
more as the tape shuts down. Sadly youre cheated, theres no encore preserved.
At least someone had the good sense to record the show albeit crudely.
The setlist to the Village Gaslight Bootleg