About twilightdawning

Amongst other things, I write professionally. I've been published everywhere from the small (Barnsley Chronicle), to the large (London Sunday Times colour supplement). I primarily write about music, theatre and sport. Most of the articles here have been previously published. No copyright infringement intended I also work in the music world. I've worked as a producer, promoter and general ideas man and conceptualizer. At the moment I'm working with Sad Cafe among others. I'm building a theatre. It's almost done after three years of planning and trying to be kind to my architect and my builders. We open in October 2012. I run a theatrical production company called "The Shakespearience". We perform an introduction to William Shakespeare for young people. Most of all I work in the charitable and faith sphere. I'm senior pastor of an unusual church in central London. I'm a busy man.

A Comforting Old Wooden Chair (Foreword to a Bob Dylan book)

(Sometime over the last few years I was approached to write a “blurb” for the cover of a book of thoughts about Bob Dylan by an Australian author, Phil Mason. I’ve never met Phil but I’ve been privileged to help him with his research. By the time the book was approaching readiness, the idea had expanded and I wrote a foreword for the book which eventually appeared under the title of “A Voice From on High”. As well as reproducing that foreword here, I take the opportunity to recommend Mr Mason’s book which can be obtained through Amazon in softcover and for your kindle.)

 

“Well I’m sitting in church
In an old wooden chair
I knew nobody
Would look for me there”

Bob Dylan – Marchin’ to the City (Disc 3 of Tell Tale Signs 1989-2006)

In 1707, Isaac Watts, the Christian hymnwriter, wrote a lyric called “Marching to Zion” in which he referred to Zion as the beautiful city of God. Now, this was long before Zion had become a short-hand for some Western European political scheme to establish a physical homeland for disenfranchised Jewish people in the middle East (a scheme commonly referred to as Zionism). It is Watts looking forward to the end of an earthly journey where all the faithful people of God, Jew and Gentile, would be gathered in to an eternal home.

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Two Power Outages but The Cardigans press on to win their Favourite Game

What: Twentieth Anniversary tour of the “Gran Turismo” album

Who: The Cardigans

Where: Hammersmith Apollo, Hammersmith, London, UK

When: 7th December 2018

Twice during this show (once during the performance of the whole of the “Gran Turismo” album and one during the subsequent “smorgasbord” selection) all the sound from the stage failed, leaving Nina Persson and the rest of the band stranded. Taking this all in their stride, they pressed on in good-humoured fashion to return with flash and panache as soon as the problems were corrected.

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Who Loves You, Frankie?

Who: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

What: The Farewell UK Tour

Where: The o2 Arena, Greenwich, London

When: 2nd December 2018

A Frankie Valli concert in 2018… is, well, a Frankie Valli concert. Unless you haven’t seen him perform in recent years, it doesn’t come packed with surprises. In fact, it doesn’t have any surprises. Even the possibility of the inclusion of a less well-known album track, say, Streetfighter or Harmony, Perfect Harmony is all but gone. He will talk about a recent album (Romancing the 60s) but that album is 11 years old now. He has one album since then, the Christmas set, “‘Tis the Seasons”, but even though it is the right time of year for something from that, there will be nothing in the show. And the show will probably be much the same as last time you saw him.

So, this is going to be a negative review, right? No, this was a wonderful, wonderful show.

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Steely Dan: Kings of the World?

Who: Steely Dan

Where: The Beacon Theatre, Manhattan, New York City, USA

When: 24th October 2018

What: Countdown to Ecstasy ++

(In September, I was commissioned by a management group to travel to the USA and cover Steely Dan’s shows at the Beacon Theatre in October. Once I am allowed to, I am expanding the articles I wrote to lengthier reviews which will appear here and elsewhere. My last piece was on the “By Popular Demand” night (which was really more like a “Greatest Hits” show). In this next group of writings, I will concentrate on the performances that were based on individual albums – concentrating on the songs that were not in the earlier performance, beginning with the “Countdown to Ecstasy” night)

On my way out of the “By Popular Demand” show, someone commented “Steely Dan may not be the best live band in the world – but if they’re not I’d sure enjoy seeing some of the others”. It’s right. It’s hard to imagine a tighter, more capable band

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Steely Dan – “The People Request”

Who: Steely Dan

Where: The Beacon Theatre, Manhattan, New York City, USA

When: 21st October 2018

What: By Popular Demand

On the first days of booking tickets for this “popular demand” show, ticket-buyers were asked by Ticketmaster to write-in their requests for songs to be featured. Now those who booked on the first day were probably (for the most part) die-hard Dan fans who had in mind songs that they had seldom heard before. But if this was the case then, there was little evidence of it in the set that emerged with this more closely resembling a “Greatest Hits” show than two-hours of rarities and deep cuts. Now that is not to say that this wasn’t a wonderful show to see. This band are tighter than they have ever been. Older bands like this either barely tolerate being on the stage as each other (look at the recent Fleetwood Mac debacle) or they have grown close and closer still through years of musical and personal inter-action. The latter is the case with Steely Dan

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The New York Yankees – The Pitchers in the Playoffs (2018)

So, as we have seen there were some questionable decisions made by Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ manager, with regard to the batting line-up and substitutions. We, therefore, shouldn’t be surprised that those strange moments weren’t confined to the batting and the defence but affected the pitching too. Can anybody spell Austin Romine?

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The New York Yankees – The Batters in the Playoffs (2018)

The Yankees’ time in the playoffs was short and sometimes not so sweet. They beat the Oakland Athletics in the one-game wildcard game but then were out of their depth in the 5 games series for the American League Division Series (ALDS) losing 3-1 to the Boston Red Sox who would eventually go on to take the World Series.

The performances of the batting line up were not far from how the players had performed in the regular season. Let’s take a look:

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