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John Cale at The Tivoli - 8 Nov 2007

Contrary to every article I saw promoting this concert John Cale has appeared in Brisbane before. He did a show at the Rialto Theatre in West End, a solo set just John on piano. It was a magical night. Last night was no less magical .

The concert material spanned his career commencing with a drone piece which was probably from his first LP. I recognized the beat but the melody escaped me. My wife who is not familiar at all with John's earlier work asked why they were doing that to her. I found the textures oddly soothing.

He finished with a gentle encore of the ballad, Gravel Drive, from his latest LP, Black Acetate.

In between was the weirdest Heartbreak Hotel I have ever heard, plus songs from Fear, Helen of Troy, Hobo Sapien, Black Acetate, a beautiful Chinese Envoy, and a whole lot more i now have to look up dammit Mr Cale. I only have so much money you know.

I don't know if Hey Ray and The Common Cold have been recorded yet but if not I can say John still has a lot left to give us.

I like the Tivoli as a venue. The sound is great. John's band gave him a solid base to work on with some nice work from the guitarist and a drummer who was obviously enjoying himself. The bowed bass in Gravel Drive was beautiful.

The crowd was a bit strange. Everyone was obviously enjoying the show but I'm not sure that was seen from the stage. A couple of odd interjections [is Baby's On Fire a John Cale song in some universe?]

The only disappointment was no second encore which on the set list at least included Fear, Pablo Picasso, Leaving It Up To You and Chorale?. Don't know why he didn't come back for that one. I suppose I wouldn't have known what I missed if I hadn't asked the sound guy for a copy of the set list.

On balance a great night and I'd urge anyone even half interested to get out for it. The man is a genius.

John Cale - Live @ The Tivoli - 08 Nov 2007

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