Dan Stuart. The Library, Leeds. 24.02.2016

Green on Red’s Dan Stuart played a great gig in Leeds in September 2012 (see earlier review), so were were excited at the prospect of a return to Leeds.  Last time, he was playing stuff from his ‘Marlowe Billings’ disc, and this time he did that along with songs from his second Marlowe Billings offering. Plus Green on Red stuff.

His chum Fernando was due to start proceedings at 8.00pm, but the audience at that time numbered two (a very handsome couple with tickets 80 and 81), so maybe it was delayed by 30 minutes to allow for latecomers.  So Fernando eventually came on and strummed and sang some of his songs for about half an hour.

Dan’s guitar-for-hire Tom Heyman quickly took over, with some more intricate guitar playing and songs.  Her Ladyship thought an early song had a hint of Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ and he finished with the late Phil Ochs’s ‘I ain’t marching any more’.

Dan Stuart.  I had this thought in my mind   ‘Dear Mr Casting Director, Could you please have Dan Stuart as a bar owner in Men In Black 4?’.  He would be perfect!  Starting out with some relatively recent songs, his first instantly recognisable song was Lou Reed’s ‘Vicious’, which he played on his gigs with Sacri Cuori.   ‘That’s what dreams’ , from 1985’s ‘Gas Food Lodgings’ is great as a bare acoustic number, and was bloody good as a full-on electric song in Green on Red days too. ‘Rock n Roll Disease’ from the sublime ‘Here come the Snakes’ gets an airing, followed by ’16 Ways’.  ‘Gringo go Home’ from the first Marlowe Billings disc is great.  His song ‘The Greatest’ referencing Muhammed Ali , had Her Ladyship’s lip quivering. Dan spotted her and apologised for nearly messing the song up!  But it is almost part of the magnetism of the man, you KNOW he is going to drop a boll*ck somewhere!   He finishes off with the Stones’ ‘Dead Flowers’, and is straight down to chat afterwards. He played a lot more Green on Red classics last time,  but there wasn’t a moment where the standard dropped tonight.

The crowd might have been a hundred, and I just can’t comprehend how such a legend isn’t playing to bigger crowds. Then again, Green on Red should have been up there with REM.  Before we left home for the gig, I found some festival updates about how ‘fantastic’ it is that Dreadzone are headlining somewhere and ‘don’t miss out’ on some Pink Floyd copy act in Cambridge.  We were in the presence of greatness for about 90 minutes,  but Dreadzone and  Dot-to-dot Floyd are seemingly more important.

Keep treading the boards please, Mr Stuart. To use a Steve Earle song title…Hard Core Troubadour

 

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