|Lineup: Dan Treacy (guitar, vocals), Graeme (bass), Victoria Yeulet (bk vocals), Mathew Sawyer (drums).|
The Glasgow gig was great, I was there with my two boys who thought it was the best concert they had been to (and I have taken them to a few). TVPs played two sets, the first was short and sweet; about 30 mins early in the evening, mostly old tunes, the second longer set, around an hour or more, was a little shambolic, (I think Dan may have had a few beers inbetween). The bass player (sorry missed the guy's name) was pretty embarrassed and wandered off about halfway through the second set, however things went on. Drummer and 'the girl' stayed on with dan and played a collage of tunes, new and old. A few folks missed the funny side and gave a little abuse and a few people missed the idea of an experience and walked out, however about 90% of people stayed in a packed hall. Two people thought that they would help out, left their seats and got on the stage and give Dan advice on how to run the show (you can guess how that went down). I didn't take a set list but the list was quite similar to Bush Hall but a little more creative around mixing the songs.
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The Glasgow gig was the most crazily shambloic thing I've attended! everyone seemed to get a bit drunk inbetween the sets, resulting in the 2nd set filled with heckling and a crazy performance from the TVPs. I was glad to finally meet Dan himself inbetween and though I was probably no more than an annoyance to him, he regaled me with illumiating conversation. A mad day by any standards.
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I assume that all those who were not in Glasgow on Saturday, might be slighly confused about what they read / heard about the event so far. Here is my own personal account of that evening.
As Keg already indicated this was "an evening of two halves" as the TVPs had two slots during the afternoon / evening. The first part took part at 18:00 and stupidly I missed half of it. But the bit I attended was quite charming with Daniel in a good mood. "We know a man who does tatoos, he could do you.", that line has been ringing in my head for weeks now, so it was lovely to hear Dan and Victoria sing it live. They also played "The Good's Gone", one of the many Who songs Daniel claimed he wrote. During "My Very First Nervous Breakdown" it became clear that the band hasn't played together for very long, the song somehow disintegrated, after which Dan tried to switch to "Salvador Dali's Garden Party" in the middle of the song, a change that wasn't picked up by his bandmates. Well, in a way this sort of amusing musical chaos has always been an integral part of the TVPs live act, so nobody was too bothered about it. All in all this first session was a nice appetizer and wetted our appetites for the main course which was due to be served at 22:35.
In between there was plenty of other interesting stuff to hear (details of which you can surely read elsewhere). Overall there was a nice party-type atmosphere and you could see Dan and the other band members happily chatting away and having the odd pint during their 4 hour break. This break - nice as it was - had a negative effect on the TVPs second performance though. I imagine that after all the conversations and drinks, the band nearly forgot that they still had their main gig to play and somehow lost focus. At least that is my explanation for what happened. It started with Dan noticing that he was provided with a strange guitar. The first songs ("Silly Girl" and "I know Where Syd Barrett Lives" if my memory serves me well) went OK, though the band once again didn't get it, when Dan tried to switch to "Interstellar Overdrive" during "Syd Barrett" (to be fair to them: it must be quite challenging to accompany an unpredictable frontman like Dan). After this OK start it somehow fell apart: a guitar string broke, some bloke yelled for "Part Time Punks", Dan got distracted as his repeated questions to the audience about the party afterwards indicated. "It's at your girlfriend's place, but you are not invited" he said several times. Funny as it was, you couldn't help noticing how his jokes became increasingly aggressive, probably caused by the frustration that the gig wasn't going as well as he might have hoped. Your average performer probably would have switched to "Autopilot Mode" at this point and delivered a routine rundown of some songs, but (thanks God for that) Daniel isn't your average performer. Also a more established band (like the Dan / Jowe / Jeffrey line-up) might have been able to pick up the pieces and somehow get on with it but this new line-up still lacks the stability to do that. So it all fell apart: Songs were started and stopped again, arguments among the band, banter with the audience, the bass player leaves - it surely wasn't boring, but not what people had expected. The audience got impatient, which only aggravated Dan's mood.
It was bizarre: I have seen gigs where the band had to discipline the audience, but here it was the other way around: Dan took on the role of the naughty schoolboy, while members of the audience tried to educate him. After he had made a critical comment about Victoria's dress somebody shouted: "You're not a gentleman, Treacy!" Twice members of the audience went to the stage, trying to get Daniel to play a proper gig and though I can understand their frustration, this didn't help either.
Victoria was the heroine among all the chaos, staying patient and cool, and also managing to see the funny side of it. The sweetest moment was to hear her say to the audience "The new record is beautiful though". And at least she could persuade Daniel to sing "No More I Hate Yous" with her, a teasing moment of beauty which indicated how much different this evening could have been.
The whole gig lasted for about an hour, but at the end of it, it was hard not to feel disappointed by how it all had gone (I assume that Dan and the band felt similarly). Then again, isn't this all part of the deal? Daniel and the TVPs have never been your typical pop band, they were always a bit wilder, crazier, unpredictable. On a good night a TVPs gig can be a deep emotional experience, on a bad night it can go like it did on Saturday. It's a bit like watching John McEnroe play tennis in the Eighties. You knew he was a genius, the best of them all. But sometimes he got distracted and moody, argued with the referees and lost it. For his supporters that was very frustrating at times, but looking back it simply was part of the man. Probably modern biology will soon enable us to produce a Daniel Treacy clone that works like a perfect human jukebox, plays "Part Time Punks" whenever you want it to, etc, but I bet you it will never be able to write a song that can change your life. Dan can.
So in retrospect, this was not the concert I had hoped it would be, but on the other hand it surely was a memorable night, and in its own strange way it was a classical TVP moment.