John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Live reviews

Dancing Undercover
Over Her Head
Frozen Warnings
Chinese Envoy
Venus In Furs
Ship Of Fools
Look Horizon
Set me Free
E is Missing
Paris 1919
Leaving It Up To You
Cable Hogue
Close Watch
Hallelujah (solo)

2003-12-03 Århus

Train, Århus, Denmark
Review by DeSelby

At precisely eight o'clock Cale & his band welcomed us with the opener "Dancing undercover". If there was any dancing tonight it would indeed have had to be undercover - this audience was in reverence.

For the first half hour or so the mood of the set was melancholic, even menacing at times. Cale letting his temper show when things went wrong, kicking stuff and requesting that smokers retire to the back of the room. This culminated in a subdued version of "Gun" -sounding all the more ferocious for it. It was amazing hearing his voice again live and few people can perform with the same level of intensity.

There were great versions of Cales classic "non-hits", with "Paris 1919" and "Fear" standing out as timeless classics. It was of course a treat for the Velvet-fans to hear "Venus In Furs", but this version didn't really add anything to the original, which made the song seem like a museum piece, dragged out in the light for the sake of nostalgia. On the other hand, it was great to hear how well the new songs sounded alongside the classics. Especially "Caravan", "Look Horizon" and "Things", which in an alternate universe would be an instant number one hit.

The crowd received each song enthusiastically, and maybe this had an influence on Cale's mood, I noticed him smiling more than once in the second half of the set. After the band had played the two encores, Cale returned for a solo rendition of "Hallelujah" and the audience went mad. Cale seemed genuinely touched and slightly overwhelmed by the reception as he bowed and greeted us goodnight. It had been a fantastic night.

© 1999- Hans Werksman