- Cat Stevens - July 1, 1971 Concert
- Santa Monica, California
- Reviewed by Bruce Lawrie.
This boot is unique,
although it is very rare, its uniqueness stems from the quality of the sound. It is
far superior to any of the known LP bootlegs or audience recordings in circulation.
Whoever recorded it somehow managed to plug into the sound system. The sound quality is
The concert was held at the
Santa Monica Auditorium, and from the overall audience reaction and general sound it
appears to have been a small intimate gig, however the atmosphere is electric. The whole
aura seems to have inspired Cat to produce one of his most confident and remarkable
The boot starts with a wild
and frenzied bout of applause from the crowd, however no introductions by Cat, instead he
goes straight into one of his favourite opening numbers: Moonshadow. A perfect opening,
maybe due in part to Cats affection for the song, one of his favourites. He ends the
song and immediately thanks the audience.
Without any hesitation Cat
goes straight into his next number: Where Do the Children Play? Again the song is
performed to perfection, you can hear the emotions of the song emanating from Cats
voice, this rendition is an improvement over any studio recording. The crowd show their
appreciation with an enthusiastic round of applause.
Cat thanks the audience,
and says a cheeky "hello, I always say hello to my friends" to the audience,
followed by "hi, hi," you can tell Cat is in a good mood and is enjoying
himself. He then introduces Wild World, however he starts telling the audience of his
disappointment at Father & Son being a flop sales wise in Britain, he states that
"just because songs are released as singles it doesnt mean they are
better," but he states I still like this song (Wild World). The song is obviously
well received, the crowd go wild.
Again without any pause,
Cat goes straight into: Time > Fill My Eyes, however, while singing Fill My Eyes, Cat
intentionally pretends to bring the song to an end, the crowd start their applause and Cat
follows by saying "no, no, no" and continues to perform the song to a finish.
Cat announces "bad timing, get in together" and laughs.
"I like to do a song
now, hum," he turns to Alun Davies, who reminds Cat that its: Into White. Cat then
tells the audience about his house in London that is being renovated, and it is taking
forever. However, "if I get through this lifetime thing, there is no grey only
white." Then performs: Into white. Again the crowd go wild with applause.
Once again Cat wastes no
time, and sings: On The Road To Findout. Followed by the ubiquitous applause.
Cat then performs: Miles
From Nowhere. His voice is so strong, the words are sung with a certain crispness and
precision, outstanding !
Cat introduces the next
song: Tuesday Dead. He remarks "how hard he finds it to stay on this Earth
sometimes." You can hear by his voice the emotion, he appears to be overwhelmed by
Cat thanks the audience,
and states "this is called Longer Boats," he starts the intro, but makes one of
his legendary mistakes, "oh really" he replies. Starts the song again, the crowd
are in for a treat, it has the addition of the celebrated extra verse. The song is
Now for a rarity, Cat
introduces his next song, "I am going to sing you an old song, not sung it in years,
I wrote about 4/5 years ago, I wrote it with a guy called Kim Fowley, I like the melody
and I am going to sing it anyway" Portobello Rd, Cat sings it with such excitement,
truly beautiful. Hopefully one for the boxed set ?
Hard Head Woman
Cats voice is really on top form tonight. Each word is sung with and certain
passion, he was born to perform live. You can tell the audience enjoyed this one, clapping
No messing here, Cat shouts
"Changes" and performs the song without any further ado. Applause, "thank
"Around this time of
night I get toothache, which is a bad sign, it means my voice is about to go." Then,
" I will have a beer, what a good idea." The audience start shouting for Maybe
Your Right. Unperturbed Cat just moans " Ive only got half a bottle of beer,
thirsty, thirsty oh I know what Ill do a little song called The Wind, it lasts about
one minute" The audience are really warmed up, Cat is performing brilliantly.
Peace Train, another
favourite performed in his usual and inimitable style. The crowd adore it.
(his Voice) Cat tells the audience, then somebody shout "come on," Cat jokingly
responds "what do you mean come on, what am I going to do about it." "More
beer" and then tells the audience he his going to drink the bottle in one, which he
does, the crowd go wild.
Now for another gem,
Katmandu. Rarely sung live, a pity. Once again Cat starts by making a mistake, and states
"more beer," he continues and finishes the song. The crowd are intoxicated, not
by Cats beer, but by Cats performance. Exquisite.
Cat introduces the band,
"Larry Steele on bass, hes getting a suntan, and Alun Davies on guitar.
"This is called Father and Son.
You know Cat loves this
song, you would think that he is describing his relationship with his own father. The
empathy is apparent throughout the song. The song ends the crowd think the concert has
finished. They shout and stamp their feet for over two minutes.
Cat gives in,
"Id like to say if I dont stop very soon my voice will go, Id like
to keep. "I will do one more song on piano and its Sad Lisa." Even though
his voice is going, he performs the most marvellous rendition of Sad Lisa. The concert
ends by Cat saying "thank you, goodnight, goodnight." You can imagine the
reaction, the crowd realise just how honoured are, this has been one of Cats finest
performances, and the crowd really let Cat know they have enjoyed it !
Overall, a momentous
occasion, this performance and bootleg is unsurpassed. Hopefully part or all of this
bootleg becomes available in the near future to a wider audience. It really is a