The Lilac Time -The Griffin Centre Hereford. August 16th 2007
A few years ago I was asked if I had heard of Stephen Duffy, my reaction………….’as in Stephen ‘tin tin’ Duffy who sang Kiss Me?’It proved to be the very same but what surprised me was that the couple of songs I then heard and ‘kiss me’ were a million miles apart in genre. I was recommended 2 albums- ‘Keep Going’ and ‘ Looking for a Day in the Night’………….
I was hooked, they went straight onto my ipod and remain on my play list to this day Of course as a RW fan I couldn’t wait for the Duffy/Williams collaborations and Intensive care did not disappoint.Until Hereford the only time I had seen SD was with RW and he seemed to be a somewhat dour individual, very much in the background, rarely smiling and saying nothing-what a shock I was in for Hereford isn’t too far from me so as soon as tickets were available they were booked-the gig sold out very quickly. The Lilac Time have a small but very dedicated following, some had travelled for Kent and even Germany. I feel very privileged to have seen the band live for the first time in several years I then cajoled my 12 year old daughter to come with me and for several weeks beforehand The Lilac Time were playing constantly in the car so that at least some of the songs were familiar to her.Was it worth it?
It was a very surreal experience being able to park up right outside the front door with band/crew members checking tickets!!
The Griffin Centre was set up with a temporary bar and what struck me straight away was the eclectic mix of people there from young children to pensioners and somewhere in between. Many of them had clearly been following the band/SD for many years and there was a great sense of camaraderie and the buzz of expectation was tangible.
I was expecting a standing gig so was pleasantly surprised to see that it was theatre style seating-perfect for a short arse like me! There were seats available on the front row but my daughter insisted we sit a few rows back. Anywhere in the venue was good because it was soooooo small (200 I think)
The first thing that stuck me was the amount of instruments waiting on the stage-especially guitars.The audience were very civilised, even when SD walked onto stage, complete with evian, champagne and a very dashing beard The band (thanks to http://www.duffypedia.com/ )
Stephen Duffy- Vocals and guitar
Nick Duffy- Accordion, banjo
Bass Claire Worrall- Keyboards
Melvyn Duffy- Pedal steel guitar
Michael Giri- Drums
The Set List also thanks to http://www.duffypedia.com/
01 So Far Away (+)
02 The Deal (+)
03 An Open Book (++)
04 The Girl Who Waves At Trains
05 I Won't Die For You
06 Black Velvet
07 And The Ship Sails On
08 ('Til) I Kissed You (Everly Brothers cover)
09 You've Got To Love
10 And On We Go Interval
11 Trumpets From Montparnasse
12 The Road To Happiness
13 Return To Yesterday
14 Bank Holiday Monday
15 Paper Boat
16 The Silence
17 A Day In The Night
18 Driving Somewhere
19 The Lost Girl In The Midnight Sun
20 Madresfield* (+)
21 The Girl Who Waves At Trains*
(+) Stephen Duffy solo on guitar.
(++) Stephen Duffy on guitar and Claire Worrall on keyboards/backing vocals
As a front man SD is amazing, his sense of humour as so dry and he is full of self deprecation- whilst he lay not leap about (other than in final encores he holds the audience with his stunning vocals and guitar playing, even when he gets it wrong and needs several takes and to check lyrics lol
The audience lapped it up, even Arthur the dog though I’m guessing he knows all the songs anyway!
I was totally blown away by both the range of instruments and the quality of the vocals-I’ve never heard anything so close to studio quality ever. Claire’s voice and harmonies are haunting and exemplary and even better ALL THE BAND looked as if they were having a whale of a time.
I’m so glad I got to see the genius shine through. Thanks Lilac Time, amy it be the first of many gigs I am able to go to.
P.S My daughter is now addicted to ‘A Day in the Night’ which incidentally begins with my favourite SD lyric of ALL time………………..‘life is cheap. keep the receipt and you I claim it back pal’
The younger generation is getting it too!!!
In conclusion if you get the chance, go and see the Lilac Time. You’ll be glad you did!!!
To see pictures and a couple of reviews go to http://www.duffypedia.com/.
To hear the new single http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/mainframe.shtml?http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/6music_aod.shtml?6music/6m_lamacq_mon about 40 mins in.
Review by Lennon of http://purerobbie.com