Zappa plays Zappa Sage Gateshead July 27 2010

Zappa plays Zappa Sage Gateshead July 27 2010
It doesn’t seem a year since I saw Dweezil and the band in Edinburgh, but a year it is and here there are back in the UK. And this time they are playing a lot closer to home at the Sage. Laura has heard a lot about Frank Zappa from her Shift-Static band mates so she agreed to accompany me to this latest feast of Frank’s music. In fact Laura tells me that she has listened to 60 (!) of his albums, which is quite frightening, and makes me realise how little of Zappa’s back catalogue I really know.
We arrive at the Sage around 7.15 and the band take the stage at just after the published time of 7.30. Dweezil’s eight piece band seems to be the same as last year; he tells us that it is the last night of the European tour and that they are planning to have fun tonight. The hall is pretty full downstairs with next level also almost full.
The set is a complete mix of Frank Zappa’s music taken from throughout his career. This means that there only a few that I recognise, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the sheer excellence of the musicianship; these guys must really rehearse to be as tight as this and to recreate the original versions so authentically. Dweezil explains to us that he put the band together to give us all the opportunity to experience the variety and diversity of his dad’s music. He tells us that in the USA Frank Zappa is often seen as a novelty act as the public in general have only got to hear the more cookie songs (Yellow Snow, Titties and Beer etc) and he sort of wanted to put that right. Well he is certainly succeeding in doing so. The band gets a great reception; everyone present clearly loves Zappa music (and they all know more of the songs than Laura and I!). Peaches on Regalia is note perfect and brings back memories, as does Little House I Used to Live in, which is used as a vehicle for improvisation for each band member. Five girls are brought on stage to dance to Keep it Greasy and clearly have a great time. For the last encore we are given the choice of three songs and the biggest roar is for Muffin Man, which sends us all happy. The band close at 10pm clocking at 2.5 hours which is a pretty long set by any standards. It seems to be the norm for Dweezil to hang around on the stage after the end of the show signing autographs for those at the front so we make our way down and I manage to get a flyer signed and a plectrum from Dweezil for Laura.


Setlist (something like):
Purple Lagoon ; Stinkfoot; Bamboozled By Love ; Daddy Daddy Daddy; What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?; T’Mershi Duween; Inca Roads; Blessed Relief; Advance Romance ; The Blue Light; Pick Me I’m Clean; The Little House I Used To Live In; Latex Solar Beef; Apostrophe; City Of Tiny Lites; Peaches En Regalia; Echidna’s Arf; Wild Love; Keep it Greasy; Yo Mama
Encore: Muffin Man



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