Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
2nd August 2002
By: Peter Leslie
John Prine set for the Concert in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 2nd August 2002
I have seen John four times in the last two and a half years, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, and this is the closest he has been to home for me - only a journey of 140 miles! Maybe next time he will come to Aberdeen!
Opening for John was Gail Davies with three musicians. An impressive set and certainly someone I would like to see again. Speaking to her after the show she is as much a John Prine fan as those who turned up for this concert - to the point of getting her photo taken with him. Gail is playing in Glenfarg, Perthshire on the 3rd and 4th August but, unfortunately I can't make it. - Maybe next time.
Johns' set lasted for around two hours and followed a now familiar pattern - Opening with Jason
(Wilber) and David (Jacques), then a solo section in the middle with the third section again with Jason and David. The finale featured a rare treat for the Scottish fans - John and his wife Fiona dueting on 'Till a tear becomes a Rose, the boys with Please Don't Bury me and finishing with Paradise featuring Gail. For those hoping to catch him on this tour listen out for
Jason's new guitar riffs - excellent and also a stunning version of Ain't Hurtin' Nobody.
For the 20 or so die hard fans (or the totally crazy), a forty minute wait at the back door in a 'Flash Flood' (currently common in this part of the world!) reaped the reward of meeting John who signed autographs (from tickets to albums) obliged with photographs
- yours truly got a mug shot taken and, not a good photo - soaked to the skin from the rain and electing to look away from the camera just as the picture was taken! That's why there are very few pictures of me on the website. I include the photo here to illustrate the drenched look and to demonstrate my pride at meeting the man. The only other time I met John (Glasgow, Jan 2000) I was so over awed that all I could do was say 'thank you' (I felt like a silly wee schoolboy!) This time I was at least able to hold a short conversation with John and Gail!!
| 1. Spanish Pipedream
2. Six O'clock News
4. Fish and Whistle
5. The Late John Garfield Blues
6. Picture Show
7. Grandpa was a Carpenter
8. Far Far From Me
9. All the Best*
10. Angel from Montgomery*
11. You've got Gold*
12. Donald and Lydia*
13. That's the way the World goes Round*
14. Bottomless Lake*
15. The Other Side of Town*
16. In Spite of Ourselves*
17. Sam Stone
18. Bear Creek Blues
19. Storm Windows
20. Ain't Hurtin' Nobody
22. Sins of Memphisto
23. Hello in There
24. Lake Marie
25. 'Till a Tear Becomes a Rose (with Fiona Prine)
27. Please don't Bury me
Check out my site www.peterleslie.com and follow the music links for more John stuff.
By: Simon McKenzie
A near-capacity crowd at the Usher Hall gave the grey-haired and grainy-eyed tunesmith the sort of reception a performer can never get tired of, and for well over two hours he took us through his mighty songbook.
Backed by feather-fingered young guitar-slinger Jason Wilbur and his long-time bass man David
Jaques, Prine performed with relish - being on stage is evidently as much fun for him as it is for the crowd.
A real raconteur, Prine's song introductions were delivered with an Illinois drawl and all the wit that characterises his most lighthearted songs.
His tales harked back as far as his early childhood and through his days as a draftee in the US army to a recent hip replacement - such is his way with words, many of the audience would have paid just to hear him tell stories.
More than a mere country singer, Prine veers from down-home stomps to reflective odes like All the Best and Angel from Montgomery, propelled by his delicate, melodic finger-picking and backed with just the right amount of restraint by Wilbur and Jacques.
Prine is perhaps only equalled in his ability to mix humour with poignancy by Loudon Wainwright III, but Prine is much more visceral than the Ivy League Loudon.
Then again Prine can be as devastating as Bruce Springsteen ever wanted to be - Sam Stone is perhaps the quintessential song of the tragic Vietnam vet. There's also a touch of the mystical in the legend he weaves in the climactic final song, Lake Marie. When he leaves the stage his own legend is a good deal larger in Scotland.
By: [email protected]
I've been a fan of John since the early seventies, following his appearance on an old cult music show on UK television called "The Old Grey Whistle Test". Although buying many of his albums since, I have only been priveleged to see him live during the last 2 years. Venues have included Glasgow, Brussels and Newcastle.
Each show for me has been better than the last, culminating in this brilliant performance at the Usher Hall. Great songs were often preceded by witty stories and by the end of the evening John, deservedly, received a rapturous standing ovation.
I now wait for John to compose some new songs so that an album can be released to include "The other side of town". Keep up the good work John and please don't stay away from the UK too long.
A country maverick who's no Bob Dylan - online story
BACK in the early 1970s, everyone was looking for "the new Bob Dylan" - as the "old" one was going through a bit of rough patch at the time. Bruce Springsteen carried the tag like an albatross for a while - another man who did was John Prine.
Born in Illinois in 1946 to a family of Appalachian heritage, Prine began playing guitar at age 14. After working as a postman and serving in the US Army, he joined the Chicago folk scene of the late 1960s.
Kris Kristofferson helped Prine land a record contract in 1971. Relocating to Nashville, Prine released his self-titled debut album later that same year; though welcomed by critics, the record did not sell many copies nationally. It was the same story with his next few albums - despite being publicly praised by other performers and critics, none of Prine's releases were commercially successful.
After being dropped by his record company in 1981 Prine set up his own label, Oh Boy. It paid off. By 1986 he had scored a Grammy nomination for his album German Afternoons and later won a Grammy for 1991's The Missing Years, which featured guest appearances by Springsteen and Tom Petty.
Adored by his contemporaries, Prine is still a cult figure, rather than a mainstream success.
However, tonight is Prine's only Scottish gig, and you owe it to yourself to check out one of the last of the country mavericks - and be thankful that he didn't end up as "the new Bob Dylan".
John Prine, Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 8pm, £12.50-£17.50, 0131-228 1155
Millennium Forum Theatre, Derry, Ireland
July 31, 2002
By: Ken Hall
A wonderfull evenings entertainment. Gail Davies opened with a 50 minute spot, suffering with a sore throat, but got a great ovation from an appreciative audience. This set us up for THE MAN, and he did not let us down. He did nearly all the first album,taking us on a journey from his childhood, to the present day. He seemed to be really enjoying himself, and the backchat between the audience and John was really funny. The only new song he sung was "The Other Side Of Town". I think that's the title, its about a guy who can be sitting on the couch, gettin' nagged by his wife but can be somewere else. John did say that
all he needs to do now is write another 9 songs to go with it, and he has another record....It was a great show, he was on stage for just over two and a half hours. He really is THE MAN.. well you know what I mean.
A WAY OF LIFE..
Cheers from LIVERPOOL, KEN......
By: John Monaghan
Everybody writes great reviews about John Prine's concerts, and they say all the things I would say, except that he is even better than that! Brilliant set of songs, John referred to "The Other Side of Town" by saying that he will have it out on album as soon as he has written 9 more to go along with it. I don't know if I can hold out that long. Every J.P. concert I have been to was better than the last, and he really makes you feel as though you are his personal friend. I had the honour of meeting him after the show, and it nearly killed me to remain composed and natural in this great man's presence. He was every bit as charming and friendly and modest as he is on stage, as were his fellow musicians
Jason Wilber and Dave Jacques, with whom we spent a while in the bar back at the hotel. Thanks to all of you for the pleasure you spread. (And thanks Annette for arranging the backstage pass!)
By: larry byrne
Just got back from John's concert in Derry NI.( found info on the site) I drove 300
miles round trip to see him. This was my first concert!!!!! I missed all his previous gigs because of poor advertising.
I have been a fan since 72 and was so excited to hear John in person.
He opened with 6 o clock news and then just got better and better.
John's voice has obviously suffered over time but it was great all the same. He had 2 guys assisting him, but halfway through the show he did several numbers alone, it was much more like I hoped it would be. I was staggered at the quantity of songs John performed!! He sure has great energy!!
John performed 3 songs as an encore and got a standing ovation. He finished with Paradise and paradise it was.
Can't wait to see him in my home town Dublin some time soon. "I wish you all the best" Larry
The Point, Dublin, IRELAND
By: Joe Cashin [email protected]
John Prine brought the house down at the Point.
All the artists were good but John Prine stole the show.
People that came to see the other artists, and did not know of John Prine before left wondering who this superstar was.
Looking forward to seeing John in Ireland again soon.
A fan from the 70's.