Monthly Archives: September 2014

Kris Kristofferson (Cadogan Hall, London – 28/07/2010)

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Review from the web. Ours to follow later when time allows…

Kris Kristofferson has had a roller-coaster career, from military service and an Oxford scholarship to cleaning floors in a Nashville recording studio and making it big as a country singer and movie actor. At 74, his beard now totally white, he stands centre-stage, guitar in hand and harmonica at his lips. You can still see the Hollywood-grade cheekbones that earned him legions of female admirers.

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What a privilege it was to be in the front row at Cadogan Hall, and for two nights running be able to witness the creativity, simplicity and sheer humanity of this multi talented, yet humble man… Kris is definitely one of our top heroes!

Starting with “Shipwrecked in the Eighties”, he soon interrupts himself, saying: “This goes out to the veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, in opposition to the war.” This former soldier, the son of an Air Force general, makes plenty of political remarks. During “Nobody Wins” he jokes that Dick Cheney and George W Bush probably sang it to each other in the shower, and then emphasises the lines: “‘Cause it’s a shame to make/ The same mistakes again/ And again/ It’s over/ Nobody wins.”

Kristofferson’s fame owes much to the songs he has written for other singers – here, “Me and Bobby McGee” is received with wild applause. The song, written for Roger Miller and a posthumous hit for an ex-girlfriend, Janis Joplin, remarks: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Kristofferson’s rendition is soft, smoothing the tune’s husky edges but preserving its resonance.

He sings about alcoholism, dope, the devil, prison and his family. You can see why he and Johnny Cash got along. The septuagenarian smiles politely down at the audience but his lyrics are dark as night. His version of “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”, a song made famous by Cash, rings true despite Kristofferson having kicked the booze in 1976.

Having galloped joyfully through 28 songs, a slightly overwhelmed Kristofferson retires to a standing ovation. Female fans scream for more. Returning for three encores, he finishes by shouting the last line of “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends”.

Tom Waits (Edinburgh Playhouse – 28/07/2008)

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One of the most memorable gigs we ever attended – more to follow when time allows…

Here is one review of this phenomenal gig from Alexis Petridis

The Guardian, Tuesday 29 July 2008

Tom Waits stands before a backdrop of battered megaphones, not so much acknowledging the standing ovation as orchestrating it. And as yet he hasn’t even played a note. He wiggles his fingers to denote that he requires the applause to become more vociferous, pretends to be buffeted by the ensuing roar when it does, removes his bowler hat and bows low.

Shamelessly milking a crowd who’ve endured some pretty byzantine anti-touting measures (you’re required to turn up bearing not just your hugely expensive ticket but your passport and bank card), Waits has something of the fairground barker about him; which seems ironic, given his notoriously idiosyncratic attitude to self-promotion.

The last time he played Britain, Waits hadn’t been here in 17 years, and it was for one show only – and was heralded by an interview in which he announced that he had no intention of coming here again for the foreseeable future.

The two Edinburgh dates on his Glitter And Doom tour arrive fewer than four years later – and by Waits’ standards they must be positively hot on the heels – but they come in no less peculiar circumstances. He publicised them by posting a video on YouTube in which he claimed that the tour’s schedule had been decided by astrology and that those who cared to look might find an illuminating acronym in the first letters of the towns and cities he was visiting.

ANECDOTE: (24/11/2013) – Beryl’s boobs

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Double Whammy!!!

Today in our shop a man told us he was trying to ‘resurrect his career’…but Beryl thought he said he was trying to ‘electrocute his ear’!

Beryl saw Col tipping all the Cadbury’s Roses choccies out and sorting through them to pick out his favourites, and said “oh you’ve got your purple ones out I see”! He replied “well it is cold outside…”

ANECDOTE: (03/06/20120 – Only in Guru

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Surely there’d be no-where to pin this? 🙂

Some friends came into Guru today asking if we had seen the streaker who ran along High Row and then past our shop, before being apprehended by the police. I had to say I’d missed that sight.

These friends added that many of the shopkeepers had come out of their shops to look, and that a lady from one of the bakery stores on High Row had said “oh dear I’ll never look at our sausage rolls the same again after seeing that”!!!

ANECDOTE: (12/08/2010) – Col’s contributions

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This is actually a very old joke, and I can hardly believe it was inadvertently reincarnated in a conversation in Guru today.

Tony said “don’t forget I have an appointment at the dentist’s on Monday at 2.30”.

Col started laughing and said “did he just say tooth hurty?”

Childish I know, but it cheered up a slow day…