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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.


Cat Stevens

Has a Hidden String Group


It’s 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, it’s 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 didn’t use them too much, however—they 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; it’s nice to have him hack. It’s also fun to watch him ducking his head from side to side, 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, also—they 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.




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