Reviews 2013

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Clive Gregson

Bryn Phillips 22 November 2013

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It has been 6 years since Clive Gregson appeared at the Woodman and I had been looking forward to his return ever since I saw his name on the Woodman Diary listings. The first half of his set was taken from his latest CD and he started off with "Download" which was accompanied by a driving up-tempo strum. The next two numbers followed in similar vein and then he played "Harlem" in which the strumming was replaced by a delicate fingerstyle interspersed with some very intricate lead guitar playing. It suddenly struck me during this song that not only is the guitar playing top-drawer, but the vocals were all crystal clear with no problems at all in hearing every single word; and for Clive Gregson that is important as the lyrics of the songs he has written are so good. After another burst of nifty guitar playing up the dusty end he came out with the brilliant quote "I always say if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing". The next song was the one that really struck me. It was called "There"; a very simple strum around a lovely chord arrangement and haunting melody complemented the ethereal lyrics - this was stadium quality - you can imagine the torches swaying - "I wish I Was There". He also did played the promotional track from the album "My Kind of Girl". It's promotional because of the video that you can find on YouTube. It's definitely worth finding as you will see a lot of fans lip synching to the words - surreal.

In the second half Clive did his greatest hits. Now a few artists have performed their "Greatest Hits", but these were genuine "hits"; Clive Gregson songs performed by other top artists. There was "I Love This Town" recorded by Nanci Griffith, "We're Not Over Yet" recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Fred Astair" recorded by Norma Waterson, and finally "Touch and Go" recorded by Kim Carnes of "Bette Davis Eyes" fame. So not just a jokey claim, but these genuinely were his greatest hits!

For his encore he asked whether we wanted a John, Paul or George song to finish the evening off. He ended up playing "Blackbird" . He unplugged his guitar, left the stage, and performed the song standing in front of the stage, totally acoustic. It was possibly the best version of "Blackbird" I've ever heard. A fine end to an excellent evening. Let's hope we don't have to wait another 6 years for his return!

Support was provided by Nothing to Prove, Velvet Green and Yours Truly.