Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prince at O2 Arena 13/09/2007

I have to confess I have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the small purple one, but when he announced his 21 nights in London gigs at the O2, I knew I had to go. Playing in the round on a stage the shape of the squiggle (the same as at the Superbowl) Prince cast away gimics, strange shaped guitars (he was back with his trusty Telecaster), and the purples, and peaches (the man was in black and whites all night) and just played the music.

Was he any good?

Well, where I was sat - quite high up - the sound quality was not the best (the venue's acoustics are pretty poor, esp on louder numbers) I'd have to say he was pretty fucking good. Forget about the man on record, live he really does know his stuff. Also, I have no idea what 'IT' is, but Prince has got it. He has an energy and a presence on stage, so at odds with his off stage persona, that it is quite amazing.

The set list was something like this:

Let's Go Crazy
I Feel For You
Controversy /Housequake chant
Prince & The Band
What A Wonderful World (including a line from Elton's 'Your Song')

Piano Set
Little Red Corvette
I Would Die 4 U
Under The Cherry Moon (instrumental)
Love Is A Losing Game (with Shelby)
Satisfied (intro only)
Diamonds and Pearls (to chorus)
The Beautiful Ones (up to paint a picture)
Sometimes It Snows In April

U Got The Look
Take Me With U
Purple Rain


Long & Winding Road (with Elton John)
Crazy/Can't get you out of my head (Shelby singing)
Nothing Compares 2 U
If I Was Your Girlfriend

Synth/Sampled set
Started with Elton song 'Bennie & The Jets'
DMSR (tiny snipet)
Sign 'O' The Times (couple of verses)
When Doves Cry (couple of verses)
Alphabet Street
Darling Nikki (intro)
Raspberry Beret

Lights up ten mins later Encore

A Love Bizarre
Chelsea Rodgers

Yes, Elton John was not only there but joined Prince on stage. To be honest I wish he hadn't as he really murdered 'Long and Winding Road'.

It is hard to pick favourites from the set, although from a guitar loving Prince fan I have to say the Piano segment was really rather good; although the man can play a mean guitar too - 'You got The Look' and 'Guitar' both very good for that.

All in all, a top night. 2 hours and I could have sat through 2 more (which as it happened he played at the after show party I didn't attend - Grrr).

If you get a chance to see him, I'd take it.

Todd about to start work on new album

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has a nice little interview with Todd, where he says his current solo gigs are "before I go off to sequester myself to record a new album."

Also of note was his look back on his eclecticism:

"I have a low threshold of boredom," Rundgren says. As a live performer, "I'm not long for any sort of gig that starts to turn into just a job. ... I'm not likely to do the same sort of presentation for more than 18 months or two years at a time before I have to dream up something else."
And as a recording artist, "Even though I've had records that were commercially successful, I wasn't disciplined enough to follow 'em up with more of the same," he says with a laugh.

Rundgren's 1972 opus "Something/Anything?" defined him as a singer-songwriter with a knack for timeless pop songs such as "I Saw the Light." But he immediately followed it with the disjointed and psychedelic "A Wizard, A True Star."

"People thought I was purposefully sabotaging my career," he recalls, but "I had a new awareness in my head and I had to try to represent it." Experiments often fail, "but that's also the way you get lucky accidents which may eventually characterize your music. ... My unabashedness and my willingness to incorporate all sorts of different influences ideally characterizes me, keeps me from sounding too much like any one of those influences."

Richard Thompson tips hat to TR

The Rocky Mountain News has a 10 questions for Richard Thompson piece where the great man mentions that other great man, Mr R:

Your Web site is amazing: Fans can buy exclusive music, hear free music, see videos, send you questions, etc. In one of the videos you call yourself a "folk rock dinosaur," but you're actually way ahead of the curve, don't you think?

"I was quite late coming to it, to tell you the truth. Everyone had a Web site but me 10 years ago. Todd Rundgren was one of the pioneers, offering downloads. Every month he'd give you a new track. In a year you'd have 12 tracks and he'd send you the artwork. He was the first one who struck me as being really Internet savvy. I probably took some ideas from him."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hot Chip

According to Pitchfork  Hot Chip have a limited edition 12" due this month with "Shake a Fist"--  featuring  a sample of Todd - 'intro/sounds of the studio' from Something Anything .


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