WEST END CENTRE, ALDERSHOT, May 27 2004

Steve Fryer reports:

The bandwagon rolled into the military town of Aldershot for the Thursday concert. The West End Centre was not easy to find and had a very local 'amateur dramatics' feel to it. 8 for a Kevin Ayers show was a snip, even though beforehand it felt like sitting in a school assembly hall nervously waiting for the show to start. I counted 65 people before the start which was OK in a small room.

The gig did not start well. Feeling this Way seemed to take an age to get going and Alains guitar could hardly be heard. The lights were too bright and the band seemed to be endlessly fiddling with knobs and waving to others trying to put right whatever was wrong. The interval came after a Lady Rachel, which also suffered badly from the lead guitar being played in semi-mute mode. Kevin also seemed to completely forget the "climbed up a hill" bit on this occasion. Obviously this legendary song, now in its fifth decade, still presents a challenge to its creator.

I'm delighted to say that Kevin and the band turned it around well in the second half with the alcohol induced audience really loosening up. There was a party atmosphere during the hugely entertaining Big Bamboo and Shouting in a Bucket Blues. By the time Stranger in blue Suede Shoes was played as the encore, the slow start to the evening had been long forgotten. As I walked away afterwards with the Big Bamboo melody ringing in my ears I thought that for 8 I shouldn't really be complaining about anything. Thanks for this latest mini tour Kevin - great fun as always.

Set List: Feeling this way, Too Old to die Young, Mr Cool, When your Parents, There Goes Johnny, Lady Rachel (Interval) Super Salesman, Everybodys sometime...blues, See You Later, Didnt Feel Lonely,May I, Big Bamboo, Shouting in a Bucket blues, Whatevershebringswesing, Beware of the Dog and encore Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes

WAWS thanks Steve for this report