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Get ya bristols out! Jan 15 2003,
Mel C’s Diary from Bristol

You have to go and see this tour!! I’ve no idea whether arthur is planning to repeat the concept in the future ( mike tells me the logistics are considerable, as is the expense.. but it is SO worth it! ) you have to catch the forever changes tour now or forever regret it! I mean I loved the band as they were on the tours last year… but this was somethin else. To hear those forever changes songs orchastrated just as they are on record with the string section, 2 trumpeter players and trombonist.. it was kind of amazing. the colston hall in bristol was like a old time music hall theatre-type place with wicked acoustics and the sound was fantastic. it looked like it hadnt been decorated since the 60s and was like the sort of place where you always see schoolgirls in black and white film getting hysterically crushed at sixties rolling stones concerts.

But the bristol crowd was very polite. None of that throwing themselves on stage lark. they sat and grooved in their seats and they appluaded and even cheered (gosh how rowdy!) with considerable gusto. They loved arthur. But it was ever so posh! Certainly a million miles away from flingin myself drunkenly around at the dark seedy birmingham veune to 7 + 7 is… to my horror not only were you not allowed to consume alcohol in the auditorium, but they closed the bar to make sure! I mean there was even a girl selling icecream at the front! however, I thought this was an excellent idea and indulged in a cornetto. Those damn munchies. Of course, you werent allowed to smoke, but the maroon jacketed ushers all looked about 80.. and their eyes must have been failing them as I sat in me 6th-row seat having a sneaky spliff.

After a while I got fed up with jigging in my seat, and stood up, and so did some other hardcore party animals nearby.. by the time arthur was onto singing cowboy i was flailing around a bit, and in danger of wounding people unfortunate enough to be sat near me. Hey but if a band has that much groove then I cant help groovin.

Yeah and so they did really rock… arthur was in a real sweet mood. He commented on the polite crowd “Well if you arent gonta make any noise…… then I will!” and launched into little red book. The band now have a posse of roadies who run around stage with gutars and placing athurs words in front of him for the couple of songs he had trouble with. “Cant believe I need the words to the songs when I wrote em!” he said. “..but I do so many songs! Who does as many songs as I do?” he asked rusty. “The Boss?” offered rusty. Arthur cracked up. “The Boss.. haha.. I’m The Boss round here” with that shake of the tambourine. He played us a new song called “my anthem” that seemed to be about his feelins for the uk. In fact he played it for us twice! another highlight was when they did old man, and well, hearing alone again or with the brass… it was really fantastic. those guys have got it so down.

Also I thought the harmonica player did his best piece of blowin I ever heard for Signed D.C.at this show. Mike let rip with his usual killer solo too.. with a little help from his mic stand. Phew rocknroll.. On the back of the colston hall tickets afterwards I noticed it says “warning: at some rock and pop concerts the audience is likely to stand for part or all of the concert” thanks for a great show……….

Mel Cicero