Seven & seven is
Photos by Chris Jones
Leeds Irish Centre 27th August 2002
(as I remember it)
This is quite a big venue with a car park. Inside it had a dance floor, carpets! And a raised area with tables.
Tha age range was the usual 16 - 60, and a lot of different types. The 7 x 7 is crew were well in evidence. We were right at the front, touching the low stage. I was next to a young lass whose dad had introduced her to Arthur's music and a guy in a green shirt who'd bought forever changes 10 years ago and like almost everyone else in the room (almost ..) he was word perfect. Before they started, the nice lass read out the songs on the setlist because I'm so bad at writing and listening. They started 'my little red book', 'orange skies' .
So the band came on, followed by an up for it Arthur and lashed into a stunning seven & seven is. The place lit up. Then Signed DC with an extended harmonica solo - just absolutely brilliant. They did 22 songs in all, mostly from the first 3 albums and nothing that isn't on Love Story, so it was familiar to most of the crowd. The good Humor man he sees everything like this was new and great to hear live. There was some discussion before they did this one it seemed like it was Rusty's request. The vocals were very good and I'm sure they will continue to build on it as they have the rest of the repertoire.
Mr Lee dedicated a song to Mike's friend Martyn .of course it was August. August was just superlative. The guitar work was brilliant, at one point Mr Randle was right up stage front with Arthur behind him back to back grooving along. All in all there was a lot of interaction between Arthur and all of the others. It made for a really tight feel.
Throughout the night, Arthur was smiling, good humoured, swapping comments with the band. He jumped, crouched down with the tambourine, which he delegated to audience members twice and included some nifty footwork too. Sure, he had to have help with a few of the words, but it was very good natured and rusty (Hurray!) consistently got them right (or same as the albums anyway). Daily planet ('This is a request, from myself') missed a bit of plastic nancy. There were also lots of helpful interpretive gestures from Arthur, he acted out andmoreagain, and did all the gun references with some relish, I thought. In the last song, he left the band on stage and wandered off to the bar. Farewell farewell farewell.
He did say he wasn't too keen on that I love you so much crap but he knew we liked to hear it and he was happy to play them for us. And promised to return soon with the orchestra for FC tour, and a new fresh album. Hurray, what more could we want? I think I'd like unlimited resources to go round the world hearing this band play as many times as possible. That's what it feels like. Newcastle next then it's over for me for this tour. Never mind, I have memory.
My personal highlight was touching the man's hand. I'm not saying anything about the water bottle and the sodden, useless setlist.