Zappa plays Zappa Sage Gateshead 18 November 2011
Went to see Dweezil play his dad’s work Apostrophe on Friday at the Sage with my mate Norman. The musicianship was as it always is; faultless. Dweezil is a credit to his old man, and his guitar playing just gets better and better. This time we had the added bonus of Frank himself on video on a couple of tracks. This was very well done, with Dweezil playing alongside his dad. This time we got the Apostrophe album in it’s entirity. I’m not that familiar with that particular album, but do know a few of the tracks. The only request I would have would be for Dweezil and co to play a few more older tracks from the Mothers and Hot Rats days. Last night we got Gumbo Vatiatiosn which was good and Ugliest part of the body. A couple more from We’re only in it for the money, Uncle Meat or Freak Out would be great. Also the set is quite a long one, and for me an interval would be welcome.
Setlist: Gumbo Variations; Yellow Snow; Nanook Rubs It; St Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast; Father ‘Oblivion; Cosmik Debris; Exentrifugal Forz; Apostrophe; Uncle Remus; Stinkfoot; What’s The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?; Chungas revenge; City Of Tiny Lites; Inca Roads; People; Fifty Fifty; Cheepnis; Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me; Rollo
Encore: Dancin’ Fool; Baby Snakes; Muffin Man
Archive for the ‘Zappa plays Zappa’ Category
Zappa plays Zappa Sage Gateshead 18 November 2011
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
Zappa plays Zappa Edinburgh Picturehouse June 18th 2009
Went to see (Dweezil) Zappa plays Zappa on Thursday night in Edinburgh. I figured it would be interesting to see how Dweezil lives up to his dad’s legend; all reports suggest that he does so very well and that the show is great. I knew it would bring back some memories; the first time I saw Frank Zappa live was at Edinburgh Playhouse in the mid-70s. We’re only in it for the Money was played a lot in our house in the late 60s; it was one of my favourites albums at the time.
Drove up to Edinburgh at around 4 o’clock. The journey took longer than usual because of traffic; I got into the city at around 7pm. I’d planned to drive through Princess Street, but found it closed due to road works so took a diversion up the Royal Mile, round by the castle, and after a few twists and turns I found myself in Lothian Road and opposite the venue. The Picturehouse is a lovely old cinema which has been recently converted into a rock venue. When I got in all the seats upstairs have been taken (to my dismay, I really do need to sit down these days) so I find a spot close to the front of the stage downstairs. I buy a Suzie Creamcheese t shirt for Laura (have to explain who Suzie is) and make my way back to the front of the stage and wait for the band to come on.
Dweezil and the band take the stage to a great reaction. “We finally made it to Scotland” he says to a great roar. A lot of people have waited a long time for this. Straight into Black Napkins; great guitar; Dweezil’s playing could well be his dad. The band is great, great singer, and Sheila on sax, flute and keyboards is a star. The band is tight and plays the Zappa music exactly as meant.
Some of the set list was quite unfamiliar to me. I was hoping for more 60s Mothers material which is the stuff that I know well. But the 2.5 hours went over quickly; the music was great even though I was hearing some of the songs for the first time. To me it was worth going to see them play Peaches en Regalia and Willie the Pimp from Hot Rats alone.
The place was packed with hard core Zappa fans (both old and young) and they gave Dweezil and the band a great reception.
At the end Dweezil and the band stayed at the front of the stage to shake hands and sign things. It was a bit of a crush, but I managed to get his autograph and a plectrum. The guy next to me was shouting (in a strong Scottish acent) “Dweezil, I’ve got your dad’s autograph and I need yours”. He turned to a young lad by us and said “I’m 56 you know and I saw his dad a few times”. There were several people telling him that his dad would be proud of him. Quite emotional to see really.
Drove back and got home around 1.30am. Very stiff the next morning and have to drag myself out of bed for work (mental note; always get a seat if I can).
Setlist : Black Napkins-Magic Fingers-Wind up working in a Gas Station-Montana -Pygmy Twilite-Village of theSun-Echindas Arf-Outside Now-Bamboozled by Love-Inca Roads-King Kong (solos incl Careless Whisper on sax!) – Zombie woof -Encores Peaches En Regalia – Bobby Brown (with music from the band and vocals by the crowd!) – Willy the Pimp