In my defence, I' d just like to say -
I've had a fantastic time sitting with 'The Common People' in Manchester, E'bro and London, but: Enough Is Truly Enough.
The fact that the best seats for the Autumn 08 UK shows are 'immediately available' on 'auction' at Ticketmaster, but NOT for general purchase, means that Leonard, the promoters, and the venues have crossed a line in the sand for me. Having 'killed The Golden Goose Of Recorded Music' it now seems that The Suits and 'Artists' are hell-bent on doing the same with the 'Live Experience'
It was bad enough watching people being harassed by inept work-experience 'security' in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle because they couldn't organsise getting ticketholders to their seats in time for the scheduled show-time.....piss-up-wedding, etc.
Edinburgh has legit claims to be one of The Great Cities Of The World. It's audiences are legendary. If only it had been 3 nights at The Playhouse...why did Manchester hit the jackpot?
Moving on swiftly...It was bad enough listening to endless exhortations to purchase 'Official Merchandise' in the Vacuous Corporate Cavern that is the 'O2 Madame Toussaud's Rock and Roll Hall of Shame' - having been relieved of my bottle of water for 'security reasons' - so I could re-purchase it inside the 'secure zone' for £2 a pop.....
Then some Unfortunate next to me gorged on some revolting offal burger during the first 2 songs....the smell was indescribable, can this product be certified as traceable to River Cottage...
Just like me: Leonard is an Urbane, Sexy, Sophist-icated man. He wouldn't dream of being subjected to such 'Indignities' to enjoy 'ART'. Why on earth does he condone such behaviour towards his Audience (let's just forget the 'Fan', as in derivative of 'Fanatic', the person who has to announce at every intimate moment: "I Love You Leonard!'. Maybe that could be an 'Official Intro' where everyone can 'get it out of their system'? I understand that 'no-one can quite believe he's here'. But,I wonder how long 'The Audience' will put up with this nonsense?)
There's a 'bittersweet symphony' about having attended these shows. There's the feeling that you were 'there' and experienced some nebulous kind of emotional catharsis and finally connected with cultural artefacts (songs) which have shaped your very being. Don't forget the songs that saved your life ...
There's a sense that L.C and his band also experience this in tandem.But: There's an undeniable 'disconnect'. A 'coitus interuptus' feeling that, metaphorically, 'body fluids were not exchanged' due to the ridiculous 'Security' at the O2 who harassed hapless punters who dared to rush the stage to express... Something Approaching Devotion....
It's like those exhibitions at Tate Modern. We all want to see 'Those Paintings'.
We all know how wonderful they are. We've all experienced the absolute ecstasy of The Paint. The Texture. The Canvas. But: Is it 'scalable'? Can you take 'The L.C Revue' from the orgasmic confines of the Manchester Opera House to the O2?
I saw that scamp 'Prince' there last summer 'in the round' and he seemed eminently suitably to the histrionic vaulting ambitions of the venue @ £31.21!!!!
Personally, I think the answer is No. I looked around me, up at the vertiginous 'Gods' of the O2 and thought: It must be like seeing Barca at Neu Camp.....Is it worth it?.
Or would a HD link to your local cinema be better value and give you brownie points for your carbon footprint? Cue Radiohead link...
The shows I saw at Manchester Opera House were Ecstatic. The show at Edinburgh Castle was Flawed Beauty. The O2 show was iatrogenic.
The Big Chill? Who knows,when the sun sets over the yard ale,between The Severn and The Wye, there is a Sacred Eye.
I really think Sharon Robinson has been a tour de force on this tour. Last nigth, it was so poignant to see L.C step back into the shadows as she climaxed 'Boogie Street'. I'm sure there's a concentrated debate on the merits of previous historic tours, but I felt privileged to see such a great singer/writer publicly endorsed as 'my collaborator'....