With all these injuries, this season was never going to be straightforward, but the Yankees except for an initial stumble or two have handled the opening weeks with style. Let’s see who had the arms which led the way:
The New York Yankees had the most amazing start to a baseball season in their history but unfortunately, it wasn’t in the Wins column (although they didn’t too badly in that respect). Rather it was in terms of players heading to the (now renamed) injured list (IL). Let’s see what happened:
Who: Steely Dan
Where: SSE (Wembley) Arena, London, UK
When: 25th February 2019
What happens when one of the founder members of a rock band dies? There are, of course, no rules in these matters but it is something that will become more and more a matter of debate as the generation of the great rock bands reaches a certain longevity where members reach their middle-60s and 70s.
What happens next?Continue reading
What: Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
Where: The Swan Theatre @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Who: The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
When: 13th December 2018
It has been a strange year for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). It just got stranger. Their take on – should I say adaptation of Timon of Athens – is an unusual one. And that is to say something quite remarkable because this play is seldom performed.
(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.
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.
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.