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

Live reviews

Captain Hook
Bluetooth Swings Perfection Wanna Talk 2 U
Scotland Yard
Praetorian Underground
December Rains
Cry Helen Of Troy
Whaddya Mean By That
The Hanging
Face To The Sky
Satellite Walk
Nookie Wood
E: Gun > Pablo Picasso

Edinburgh 2012-10-05

HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, UK
Review by Fraser Allen

It seems churlish to complain when Cale is still putting out such adventurous, thought-provoking music but I've seen much better gigs from him (including my previous musings on this excellent site).

The Picture House is a good venue and there was a diverse crowd bristling with anticipation. The performance was preceded by a drone and a fly happened to be hovering in the spotlight, grabbing its moment of fame. Everything was set.

The band was great (Joey Maramba is a brilliant bass player) and Cale was in good voice. He has a strange set list at the moment though. Didn't play that much off the new album, and the setlist was peppered with odd choices.

Some of the more groove-based stuff (Bluetooth Swings, Face To The Sky) didn't work well live and the audience had fallen fairly flat long before the familiar encore retread of Pablo Picasso.

But you could say I'm being harsh. There were sublime moments too: Guts and Helen of Troy stood out, Satellite Walk and Nookie Wood were really fun and I Wanna Talk 2 U and Scotland Yard were great live.

So a bit of a curate's egg in my view - but then unpredictability is a big part of Cale's appeal.

And who am I kidding? I wouldn't have missed it for the world...

© 1999- Hans Werksman