A long haul down from the North West was well worth the effort to enjoy another magnificent Ayers performance. Tuesday's show was blighted by sound problems but thankfully there were no discernible snags this night. Perhaps the memory plays tricks, but I reckon this was one of the best nights I'd ever seen an Ayers band in action. This was the third and last date of the London concerts, and is now sadly to be remembered as the last UK performance of Ollie Halsall. The line up remained unchanged from Tuesday night's gig (reviewed on page 19)) and played a notable mix of old and new standards. They kicked off with an appropriate song 'Feeling This Way' from the new release and for a finale played the standard 'Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes', before encoring with a triple slice of classical material in 'Why Are We Sleeping', 'Stop this Train' and 'Two Goes Into Four'. It had been fifteen years since I last heard 'Two Goes Into Four' at Manchester University. Kevin had lost nothing in the intervening years and I, along with many, hope to see him perform again soon.

He had a great reception throughout the concert and rapturous applause at the end. I hope this will show Kevin that not only are there plenty of people still out there wanting to see him, but that many of them were not born when 'Joy of a Toy' was released. At this rate his fans could see him well into his sixties!

However for a few aging (speak for yourself, Alan!) members of the audience a mega-treat was to follow. By a process of nudges, knocks and winks which confused us as much as it probably did Kevin, we found ourselves in his presence. I have often wondered over the years what I might say if I ever met the man who I think has produced more interesting and enjoyable music than the rest of his contemporaries put together. In the event I need not have wondered for we were collectively stunned into wide eyed incoherence. However, Kevin's gentle style is as evident in his person as in his songs, and we were not disappointed in the meeting. Kevin has enough charm and wry intelligence for everyone.


first published in WAWS #1, Oct 92