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

Live reviews

Venus In Furs
Save us
Helen of Troy
Dancing Undercover
Femme Fatale/Rosegarden Funeral of Sores
Outta the Bag
Look Horizon
Dirty Ass Rock ’n´ Roll Gun
Hanky Panky Nohow
Cable Hogue
Sold Motel
Jumbo in tha Modernworld
Pablo/ Mary Lou<
(I Keep A) Close Watch

Helsinki 2006-06-16

Tavastia Club, Helsinki, Finland
Review by Hannu Björkbacka

  1. Venus In Furs

Great to hear, we never saw VU in Finland. Actually, this was the very first time Cale was in Finland! Cale played electric viola.

  1. Save us (electric guitar)

I believe he doesn't do this very often? 5 Helen of Troy songs, as many as from the new blackAcetate!

  1. Helen of Troy

Great, pounding war song, the band played it hard and lively, especially drummer Michael Jerome was excellent.

  1. Dancing Undercover

Only song from Walking on Locusts.

  1. Woman

One of the better songs from blackAcetate.

  1. Femme Fatale/Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (keyboards)

Latter song nowadays only available as a bonus on cd, b-side of Mercenaries. The combination of the beautiful VU-classic and Rosegarden dirge was a bit like Damn Life from Music for a New Society, that kind of juxtaposition (cut up surrealism the Cale way?)

  1. Hush (keyboards)

I don't think much about this song.

  1. Outta the Bag (electric guitar)

Sorry, but this is not Cale's strongest material either

  1. Look Horizon (keyboards)

But this is! Great to hear HoboSapiens songs, this is one of my favorites, really strong, multilayered and still hypnotically driving

  1. Magritte (keyboards)

Cale's favorite painter, art museum mystery, although this night in Helsinki was more hard rock Pablo Picasso than sophisticated, melodic Rene Magritte.

  1. Dirty Ass Rock ’n´ Roll (keyboards)

This captured the essence of the evening quite well, nice to hear Slow Dazzle songs!

  1. Gun (e guitar)

Smouldering, drawn out (like Dali's watches) slow version of the neurotic Fear song/warning.

  1. Hanky Panky Nohow (acc guitar)

Cale on accoustic guitar, now this is what I really like, the high point of the concert.

  1. Cable Hogue (acc guitar)

Great stuff, great performance.

  1. Things to do in Denver when you’re dead

I forgive Cale for not knowing this phrase was Warren Zevon's (my other great favorite).

  1. Sold Motel (e guitar)

Did Cale think about the coming 130th memorial day for Custer's Last Stand in the Little Bighorn (25th July)? The part "Send out the messenger, pick up the word, General Custer, have you heard?" - which by the way is not included in your pages' lyrics!

  1. Jumbo in tha Modernworld (e guitar)

I do not agree that this bodes well for the new Cale-songs, because live this is more Comes Alive professionalism than inspired experimentalism like Sabotage/Live, the chorus is... boring "Blame it on the monkey", and if this is about Bush (and not about us) then isn't Cale a bit behind going on the bandwagon on this topic, or shouldn't he be much more on the nose than this?

  1. Pablo Picasso – Mary Lou (e guitar - first encore)

Great to hear Richman Cale-style.

  1. (I Keep A) Close Watch (solo keyboards - second encore)

Mercifully Cale came without band, because this was one of the only beautiful, melodic, quieter songs he played - compensation for not hearing Hallelujah (Cohen), Dying on the Vine, Antarctica, Chorale...

Cale and band played for nearly two hours, Michael Jerome, drums, Dustin Boyer, guitar, Joe Karnes, bass.

One interesting thing is that I quite much influenced that this wasn't the only concert of John Cale in Finland, as it was thought to be. Mr. Esa Koivio, who comes from Kokkola and is my friend, brings bands to the Provinssirock Festival in Seinäjoki, Finland (16th to 18h June) visited me on my work place on Wednesday 14th June. He lives in Norwich, England and didn't know about Cale coming to Helsinki (though he's interviewed Cale many times for media). Esa was quite desperate, because Korn and other bands had drawn out from the Festival for various reasons. So I told I was going to see Cale in Helsinki and asked why didn't he get Cale to play in Provinssirock?
Immediately Esa started to make phone calls. As I listened the guy in the other end was doubting at first - but then Esa called me the next day, and said that he had contacted Cale's tour manager and that now also Provinssirock people were enthusiastic about Cale playing there. My friend Esa thanked me for the tip about Cale, so I guess I helped a little to make John Cale and his music a little bit wider reaching in Finland than before.

© 1999- Hans Werksman