Taking to the stage with a wave and a huge smile, Malcolm Jeffrey,
dressed curiously in a white t-shirt with a picture of a cartoon cow,
briefly greets the audience before launching into his first number, a
Mitch Benn song about the need to murder James Blunt. Very, very well
received by the capacity audience it got the set off to a flying start.
The set list resembled in almost no way whatsoever the proposed set list
I had been sent on May 15th. This could possibly be because of a series
of late requests, some from people not even in attendance, but could
easily just have been because Jeffrey fancied playing a different set of
songs from his vast repertoire.
Jake Thackray was always going to be relevant on this evening, and the
late addition of my personal favourite, The Lodger, was most welcome.
The Kiss, My Pipe, My Boots and My Lord and Worried Brown Eyes provided
more highlights. He even found some Jake songs that David Harris
(seated next to me) had not heard.
Jeffrey paid tribute to his mother with the Tom Lehrer song Oedipus Rex
and stayed with the same artist for National Brotherhood Week and a
rousing finale of Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.
The crowd-pleasing Wine Song opened the second half of the show and Jeffrey's obvious enjoyment in playing the light-hearted numbers shines
through in his quips, his smiles and his trickery with the guitar.
Stranger in Town is a delightful song about a cowboy nobody knows and Jeffrey's delivery was perfect. Also most impressively his memory
skills were tested (and found to be perfectly respectable) in the
3-minute version of Hamlet.
When called for an encore Jeffrey left the guitar to one side and
accompanied himself on Brown Boots, just to prove he can.
To sum up, it was a fabulous evening with a highly recommended artist who should certainly be gigging a lot more than he is.
Only downside to note was the fact it took so long for the organisers to get him on the stage.