Archive for the ‘Cat Stevens’ Category

Cat Stevens Newcastle Odeon 21st March 1974

Cat Stevens Newcastle Odeon 21st March 1974cattix
I only saw Cat Stevens once in concert, although Laura and I have seen him more recently, since he has become Yusuf Islam. The concert was in 1974 at the massive Newcastle Odeon. Stevens was promoting his latest album at the time, Buddha and the Chocolate Box. Interestingly, the title of Buddha and the Chocolate Box “came to Stevens when he was travelling to a gig on a plane with a Buddha in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other. He pondered that if he were to die in the plane these would be the last objects with him, and he would be caught between the spiritual and the material. The album leans towards the spiritual path, and is an indication of the direction his life would follow” (Wikipedia).catprog
Cat Steven’s band at the time consisted of Jean Roussell on keyboards, Alun Davies on acoustic guitar, Gerry Conway on drums, Bruce Lynch bass and Larry Steele on congas and electric guitar, with Suzanne Lynch and Anna Peacock on backing vocals. Support came from Linda Lewis whose band was Max Middleton on piano, Robert Ahwai on bass and Linda‚Äôs husband Jim Cregan on lead guitar.
It was a great concert, with Cat Stevens singing all those sweet songs so beautifully. The set consists of his early 70s classic songs, and new tracks from Buddha and the Chocolate Box. Based on concert recordings from the time the set is likely to have been something like: Wild World; Longer Boats; Oh Very Young; Sitting; Sunny Side; Where Do The Children Play; Moonshadow; How Can I Tell You; Bad Penny; Later; Lady D’Arbanville; Peace Train; Father And Son; Music; 18th Avenue; Bitterblue; Hard Headed Woman; King Of Trees; Sun / C79; Sad Lisa.
I also like Cat Stevens’ 60s songs and would love to see him perform Matthew And Son or Here Comes My Baby. The guy is a genius songwriter.

Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens) Birmingham NIA November 23rd 2009

Yusuf (aka Cat Stevens) Birmingham NIA November 23rd 2009
Its been a long time (33 years) since we’ve had a Cat Stevens tour. For me its been 35 years since I saw Cat Stevens at Newcastle Odeon. My memories of that show are still strong; I remember very clearly listening in awe at the beauty and purity of his voice and his wonderful songs. The atmosphere that night was almost cathedral like, with everyone in the massive hall hanging on to every word that Cat sing.
Things are different 35 years on. There is no longer a Cat Stevens, but there is a Yusuf Islam, and on Monday Laura and I took the train to Birmingham to listen to his beautiful voice and hear his wonderful songs again.
We sort of knew what to expect. The show was going to be in two parts; the first being a preview of Yusuf’s (I have to get used to calling him that) musical “Moonshadow” which he hopes to take to the West End next year. And the rest was going to be a set of Yusuf singing a selection of his songs new and old with a small number of the hits. We’d read the reviews of the Dublin show which hadn’t gone well with people walking out during the preview of the Musical “Moonshadow”. Yusuf had promised to rethink the show as a result of the experience in Dublin, and indeed he did.
We entered the NIA at around 7pm. This is the second time that Laura and I had been there, the first being for Paul McCartney a number of years ago. Laura bought a t-shirt and lovely Tea for the Tillerman mug, and I bought the programme. We then took our seats and found that a card with the running order had been placed on everyone’s seat. This was a development from the Dublin experience, to try and make it clear to the audience that the first half of the show was the musical, followed by a short interval and then the secodn half was to be Yusuf and his band. The running order had been changed from Dublin, where the musical was presented during the show, which upset some of the crowd who were unsure if Yusuf would be returning.
After a little wait Yusuf took the stage at aorund 8pm and introduced the musical Moonshadow. It is a tale of a boy who lives in a dark world and is searching for meaning and, I guess, spirituality. It includes a number of Cat Steven’s songs from the 60s and 70s. The graphics were outstanding and the cast did a great job. Yusuf appeared now and then in a sort of narrator role, but left the cast to sing his songs, which was a bit frustrating for the audience.
After a short interval, Yusuf returnded with his band at around 8.50. The set was as expected a selection of old and new songs, including a few hits and a lot of album tracks. If you were a Cat Stevens fan, you would be very happy with this set, I suspect those who only knew the hits would have enjoyed it, but may have been a little disappointed. Yusuf’s voice sounded exactly the same as it did all those years ago. The well known songs sounded great: Wild World, Moonshadow, Morning has Broken, Father and Son. And the others, including the new ones, were also great; in fact his new songs are actually very similar to his 70s classics. The crowd loved him, this is a very different reaction to Dublin; he must have been delighted.
Laura declared it one of the best concerts that she’s been to. I wouldn’t disagree with that; it was wonderful to see him again; something I thought I’d never be able to do.

Set list:
Moonshadow musical

World of darkness (Yusuf)
Maybe theres a world
Matthew and Son
Remember the days of the Old school yard
When a door closes (Yusuf)
Father and Son
On the road to find out
A bad night
Wild World

Yusuf set:
Lilywhite
The Wind
Where Do The Children Play
Thinking ‘Bout You
Boots & Sand
Bad Brakes
Oh Very Young
Tea for the tillerman instrumental/talks to audience
Roadsinger
Wild World
I Think I See The Light
Miles from Nowhere
Morning Has Broken
Don’t Be Shy
Glass World
Moonshadow
Peace Train

Encore1
Sitting
All Kinds of Roses
Tuesday’s Dead

Encore2
Father and Son

website: http://www.yusufislam.com/

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