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

Live reviews

Intro Drone
Reading My Mind
Save Us
Helen Of Troy
Turn The Lights On
Outta The Bag
Model Beirut Recital
Walkin’ The Dog
A Common Cold
Dirty Ass Rock 'n' Roll
Big White Cloud
Ghost Story
You Know More Than I Know
Cable Hogue
Pablo Picasso

Wrexham 2007-01-18

Central Station, Wrexham, UK
Review by Tom

Wrexham welcomed Cale back to Wales for his opening gig and was rewarded with a powerful performance at Central Station.

The atmosphere had been setup with the playing of a continuous drone (an extended Wall?) whilst the venue was filling, and climaxed with a lengthy driving version of Pablo Picasso as a final number that really rocked and showed the tightness of the new band (5 star drumming from ???? throughout).

Highlights that pressed my button; definitely Pablo Picasso, with Fear coming a close second.
My surprise was the control in Cale's voice. He can still enunciate those quiet lyrics with feeling and still scream with the best.
Perhaps the "No Smoking at Request of Artist" notices are helping. A case of nicotine being more feared than heroin? The smoke free room certainly helped me afterwards in not having to put smelly clothing to air for days.
yes....I'm a mature fan of Cale who's not smoked for years... and a fan who'd never seen him live before.

Great to see in the good sized audience (approx 150) a younger element alongside the nostalgia junkies with their receding hairlines or dated ponytails. Come for music that should appeal to more of my son's generation but for their bias against dad's heroes.

Songs were old and new. A good number were from Vintage Violence (Bring It On Up, Ghost Story, Fairweather Friend, Big White Cloud... introduced as from soundtrack of an upcoming film Smoking Aces), Helen of Troy (Helen of Troy, Pablo Picasso, Cable Hogue), Hobo Sapiens (Reading My Mind), blackAcetate (Outta the Bag) plus some new to me, some I forget and one new to everyone ... introduced laconically by Cale as "you'll not have heard this before". Given no name it had the Hobo Sapiens feel with some keyboard and electronic effects. It was applauded as strongly as the rest which brought a understated appreciative thanks from our hero.

This is definitely no revival/play the old hits tour. I heard a genuine musician, no superficial showmanship, just a strong performer.

There are always songs that should have been played. My choice would be Perfect. Perfect demonstrates the ability to write a catchy commercial song is not diminished. Shame it didn't get attention when released off blackAcetate.

The performance lasted 75 minutes including encore. Cale left the stage after the encore with the quip "We'll be back if we miss the Holyhead ferry" We'd all wanted more but the ferry to Dublin beckoned with potentially blocked roads on the 90 mile journey to Holyhead was the day of the 80mph storms.

To Dublin. I hope Cale made the Holyhead ferry and gave you as powerful a performance as Wrexham.
To everywhere else. This tour will get even better, the band look ready to blow you away after they've played together even more. DON'T MISS THEM. You'll discover a band of musicians, not just Cale the musician and Cale the icon.

© 1999- Hans Werksman