A newspaper review from the 1972 Cat Stevens
Moonshadow Concert Tour. This appeared in the New York Daily News.This
review is courtesy of Ernestine Eisenhauser.
Has a Hidden String Group
Its almost getting to
be a trend these days for pop singers to back themselves up with a huge orchestral String
section. Neil Diamond did it on Broadway last month; Randy Newman played and sang his
strange compositions at Philharmonic Hall recently backed by a 50-piece symphonic group
and now, on the same stage, its Cat Stevens turn.
Stevens, the popular
British singer-composer, who opened Tuesday at Philharmonic Hall in the first of a series
of three concerts, was backed by his own quartet and a whole string section, which was
hidden behind a black cloth barricade.
He didnt use them too
much, howeverthey played only on a few numbers. Stevens does well enough on hi5
own. He sings with a quiet intensity; his lyrics are literate and evocative and he
accompanies himself on guitar, piano and organ and in all, holds forth for a consistently
entertaining 90 minutes on stage. He puts on a fine show; its nice to have him hack.
Its also fun to watch him ducking his head from side to side, his.black curls flying
wildly, almost as if he kept time with his head. His group stays pretty much in the
background, but they are consistently good, alsothey include Alun Davies on guitar,
Alan James on bass, Gerry Conway on drums and Jean Roussel, with the most extreme Afro
ever seen anywhere, on keyboards.
An amusing 10-minute animate cartoon,
"Moonshadow," opens the show, with Stevens singing on the sound track.
Ramblin Jack Elliot was also supposed to be on the bill, but he was sick, so Jimmy
and Vella, a brother and sister singing duo, substituted. They were excellant.