Tuesday, 17 October 2006

A Night with Roger

There are times when I can surrender to sentimentality, but it's not often that I'm overcome with emotion. Last night was a whole other order of emotion. Patsy123 and I went to see Roger McGuinn at the Sage Gateshead and both came away on an emotional Higher Plane.

From the opening Mr Tambourine Man (McGuinn walking onstage with electric guitar and wearing a "McGuinn No.1" NUFC shirt) to the 3rd encore My Back Pages, it was an unforgettable trip through his back catalogue via Byrds and Appalachian songs, all with witty and entertaining introductions. I gasped - gasped - when he played Eight Miles High on his 7-string acoustic (the Roger McGuinn RD7) - it brought back memories of hearing it for the first time and now it was even better. A combination, as he said, of "Andres Segovia, Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane."

I always contend that I dislike nostalgia for its own sake and I don't honestly think this was nostalgia. It was honest-to-god consummate musicianship, truly memorable songs and the still pure, still strong voice of one of my favourite performers.

Many of my friends tell me that good music came to an end with the 80s. I've always disagreed and gone on buying new music, but last night's concert helped me see their point of view.

I was moved, I tell you. Moved.

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