I just came back from watching John Cale, supported by Jack Ladder. I walked in just before the latter started, and the first thing I thought of was that someone had been listening to a lot of The Triffids. Actually, there’s also some Lloyd Cole in there as well, but it’s not really as derivative as that might sound, or as dire 🙂 There’s a fair bit of high octave ringing chords with guitar melodic hooks interspersed, and that confessional story telling thing happening. Certainly Jack fits the part of any of the McComb brothers, with stovepipe black jeans and a buttoned-up longsleeve shirt. Someone shouted out “what’s your name?” towards the end of the set and he asked “isn’t our name on the billboard?” It wasn’t, and it wasn’t on the ticket. He said something about them having an album out, but there was no sign of it – no merchandise stall at all. I think someone screwed up in the publicity and marketing department for this event.
John Cale was wonderful. He played both a keyboard and guitar; there was solid bass player who also played keys for Femme Fatale. The drummer was this massive black guy hunched over this small kit and beating the shit out of it and keeping perfect time. Whoever it was on guitar was amazing. He was all over the fretboard and getting some amazing sounds from it. Unfortunately we were never introduced to the band.
Highlights included Helen of Troy, Femme Fatale, Dirty Ass Rock and Roll, and Ready For War. Waiting For The Man was also good, and Amsterdam was fine. He left us with Pablo Picasso after an hour and a half, but didn’t do Heartbreak Hotel, Venus In Furs or Magritte. The audience clapped and stamped for about 10 minutes – the house lights were up immediately Cale was offstage – and it wasn’t until the roadies had half-torn down the stage that people decided he wouldn’t be back and this massive boo went up.
Since there was no merchandise stand, I didn’t get a t-shirt or a copy of the support CD. I feel cheated 😉 Still, I did spend 8 dollars on a beer and 4 on a bottle of water, so the evening wasn’t a waste from the consumer point of view.