Rytmeposten, Odense, Denmark. May 19 1996
1 > Alone again or
2 > My little red book
3 > Orange skies
4 > Your mind and we belong together
5 > Andmoreagain
6 > Between Clark and Hilldale
7 > Signed DC
8 > Stephanie knows who
9 > Singing cowboy
10> 7 and 7 Is
Jens Carl Laursen’s review
Odense, Denmark, May 16, 2002: After finishing my daily chemistry studies I bought my ticket, crashed at home, prepared some food, and watched some of the final rounds of the national soccer league – it didn’t go as well as I had hoped for. I was wondering what this Arthur Lee fellow was all about and what Ed had dragged me into when he said: “Please go to the show. You’ll be sorry if you miss it! Anyway I already told Mike Randle that you would go, so now you have to. HAHAHAHA”. Was Ed right or was he just out of his mind???
At 21:00 I grabbed my camera and biked the couple of kilometers to Rytmeposten. Rytmeposten is a small venue that can only hold a few hundred people – still, this usually makes the atmosphere very special. It’s located in an old railway storage building which provides enough room for a nice bar as well. At the door, they wouldn’t let me keep my ticket but they said I could pick it up afterward – fair enough. I proceeded to the bar, ordered a pint, and made it to the back of the concert hall to check things out. The hall was only about a third full and like other similar occasions the audience consisted mainly of men on the experienced side of forty (hope that’s a fair way of putting it hehe!) sharing memories, drinking beer, and smoking – the atmosphere was starting to build. I positioned myself at a table and was soon after joined by a pair of elderly men.
One of them – a longhaired fellow in a 60’s style outfit – asked me how a guy my age knew about Arthur Lee. So I had to confess that I didn’t know very much but that my friend Ed from Holland had forced me to go (hehe). When I mentioned that I’d heard Forever Changes (once!) he smiled and replied that I knew what it was all about then. He told me that he had been to the concert at Rytmeposten in 1996 and that it had been a real treat – so he hoped for something similar this night. As we were talking more people started to turn up – now youngsters and women as well.
I think in total around 150 people had assembled around the tables in front of the stage. Tension grew bigger and I couldn’t help wondering about what to expect – I had no idea really. Then the lights went out and the band came on stage. I recognized Mike Randall and figured the old guy with the hat and the scarf had to be Arthur Lee. He slowly started a tambourine which let into Little Red Book (I was told). As this was the first time ever I’d ever had a proper listen to the man and his music everything was new to me and I could only recognize a few of the songs from Forever Changes. Still, there was a very special vibe that distinctly told me that this wasn’t something you’ll see every day.
Arthur Lee appeared to be in a good mood and had a really excellent voice. As Mike Randle first took a couple of steps forward and crashed into a solo the sound really hit the audience and everyone cheered madly. Man, he can play the living daylights out of his guitar!! The second guitarist looked like he was having a good time, while the drummer bashed away and the bass player (who almost looked more like Jim Morrison than the singer from LA Doors which I’d witnessed a few months earlier) cruised casually around. It was really something! Andmoreagain, The Red Telephone, You Set The Scene, and 7 And 7 Is were among my personal highlights (hope the titles are correct) as were most of the band’s guitar work.
As the set drew to a close I moved up to the front of the stage in order to try to take a few photos of the band in action – otherwise, someone would probably be disappointed. Unfortunately, my camera is quite poor so we’ll have to wait and see if anything comes out of it. The band closed with Singing Cowboy which was really well received. The audience prayed for more encores but it wasn’t to be. When I looked around everyone seemed to be in a good mood and really happy with the concert. I decided to wait a few minutes before leaving and in doing so I managed to catch Mike Randall as the band was getting some equipment off the stage. When I mentioned that I was a friend of Ed he immediately replied “Yeah, The Freedom Man!”. He was really friendly and after a short chat, I took his picture, got my ticket back, and headed home.
Biking home through the dark streets of Odense I knew Ed wasn’t (completely) out of his mind – he was right after all…