Just witnessed your
best live gig?.. send us a review!
TODD RUNDGREN, HMV Ritz, Manchester
1 October 2011
The last few
years has seen the great TR-i play to increasing audiences in the UK and
we've also had two excellent albums as part of this UK revival: Liars
two-hour show came closest to what might be termed a 'greatest hits' set
but as Todd joked if that were really true 'it would only last for about
aware of his own jittery career trajectory, this set also perhaps
emphasised why you really need to be in the 'TR zone' to fully appreciate
the man and performer.
with an energised 'Real Man' and 'Love Of The Common Man' he put on
the electric guitar for a wonderful 'Buffalo Grass' but - in spite of
evident audience approval for the electric - it was only deployed two or
three times tonight.
could argue that Todd did guitar-driven rock on his Arena tour in my
mind his guitar playing - whilst underrated - has always been one of his
greatest strengths and, later on, a longer Philly/soul interlude
placed the emphasis on a fine voice but tunes that weren't his own.
No doubt the
'faithful' love him in all his guises but it is often this eclecticism
(notwithstanding his prog and psych periods) that leaves some listeners
confused. The faithful would no doubt have approved of 'Espresso'
from the excellent 'The Individualist' (1995) whilst 'Lost Horizon' from
'A Capella' (1985) was another addition to
satiate the insatiable. And, of course, the three tracks from
'Hermit Of Mink Hollow'.
highlights, though, were real highlights and a long-held
revelation that a few tunes from 'Liars' stand up to anything he's
produced previously - 'Flaw' and 'Soul Brother' tonight - whilst the
'classics' were just that.
highlight tonight was a song I have never seen him perform live and one
of my personal favourites. 'Love Is The Answer' may have been a hit for
England Dan and John Ford Coley but was originally performed by Utopia
(from whom Kasim Sulton remains in the current band line-up) and of
course written by Todd. The song's sentiments are as relevant now as
they ever were: a truly wonderful piece of music and I sensed the crowd
were delighted too.
tentative 'comeback' in the UK, including - frustratingly - a shared
tour with Joe Jackson, Todd has ticked the boxes for guitar rock, album
rock (A Wizard A True Star in February 2010) and, now, a triumphal
'greatest hits' outing for want of a better descriptor. But four sold-out dates
at smaller venues is still not enough and one hopes he returns soon with
a new album and a more extensive itinerary, plus of course that shiny
acid green guitar.
Set-List: Real Man / Love of the Common Man/ Buffalo Grass/ Kindhearted
Woman/ Determination/ Lucky Guy/ Can We Still Be Friends? / Espresso /
Love Is the Answer / It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference/ Lost Horizon
/ Flaw/ Soul Brother/ I'm So Proud / Ooo Baby Baby / La La Means I Love
You / I Want You/ Hawking / I Saw the Light/ Courage / Drive / Couldn't
I Just Tell You? / Encore: Hello It's Me/ A Dream Goes on Forever
Photos by Steve Goudie
|Print this page in printer-friendly format
|Tell a friend about this page