Monkees United Kingdom Tour Reports 1997
Dublin Concert 10 March 1997
From: email@example.com (Jeff Mooney)
1. Last Train
2. I'm a Believer
3. Regional Girl
4. Sunny Girlfriend
5. Mary Mary
6. You And I (Justus)
7. Randy Scouse Git
8. Shades of Grey
9. Oh What A Night
10. You Just may Be The One
11. Circle Sky
12. Peter's Bach Piece (What's it Called?)
13. Rio by Mike
14. Lucille by Peter
15. Since I Fell For You??? by Micky
16. Daddy's Song by Davy (The highlight of the show for me!!)
17. For Pete's sake
18. A Little Bit me
19. Auntie Grizelda
22. Daydream Believer
23. Listen To The Band
24. Porpoise Song
25. Stepping Stone
26. Pleasant Valley Sunday
From: Simon Doyle
Here's a bit more about the show:
The guys' stage suits are matching, but not identical. They have at least two colours, midnight-blue/ purple and burgandy red, that I have seen. Mike wears a double breasted jacket with a white roll-neck under it; Peter wears similar with a white open collar shirt; Micky has a single breasted jacket over a tee-shirt, and Davy has a nehru three-quarter length coat. Mike plays Fender tele/ strat type guitars (didn't remember to look at which) and stands to the right at a fixed microphone; Davy plays electro-acoustic guitar, tambourines, maracas etc. using hand-held, fixed and headset mikes.
The Theme (ABC Special Version?) [tape]
Last Train to Clarksville
After an explosion of fireworks, and an acknowledgement of the audience, they rip into this and you realise that it really is them, and they really can play, and it *is* just like thirty years ago, and they are *HERE*.
I'm a Believer
Delivering the second blow of a one-two punch, this allows Peter to switch to keyboards from bass, and I think Davy went to electro-acoustic guitar.
A real experiment in timing: they perform this to the video. They were nervous about it on Friday, but got it spot on, with lip synching accuracy. Given that it was driven by Micky's drumming, and he was singing too, it was a bravura display. However the momentum was lost, as it was totally unfamiliar to the audience, and they didn't know whether to look at the screens or the stage.
Nezgrunge, with the wonderful harmonies showing how well their voices all blend together. The audience were won back again.
This went for a wander on Friday, as Nez turned it into a bit of a free-form jazz oddysey (actually I think he just fluffed a few chord changes), but it was reined in again on Saturday.
You and I
Again with the video playing. Nez waltzed about like he was skating, and Davy was very Davy. They really lost the audience a bit here, as 1) the song was new, 2) so was the video, and 3) it was followed by the shopping channel skit on the video screens; totally unfamiliar references to the majority of a UK audience ("Martha who"?)
Alternate Title (Randy Scouse Git)
The skit was shown to allow the timpani to be wheeled on. Very effective lighting on this; Davy played the kettle-drums, and they had him in sort of sillouhette for a lot of it. He got to mug A lot on this, especially when issued with some huge cymbals; he staggered about as he played them, then smashed them on the floor at the end.
Shades of Gray
Davy sang this solo, which is a pity, as I think of i as a Peter song. Davy again raised a warm laugh, by running his fingers through his hair on the last chorus.
Oh What A Night
Another Davy number, and I can't remember anything about it I'm afraid.
You Just May Be the One
Nez worked up a running gag during the intro for this and other songs:
that almost regardless of whether it was true or not, he would say something to the effect of that this is a song from our album, "Headquarters". A great song, and storming when live.
What a way to go out on for the first half!
Monkee walk and off!
The solo set:
Peter: Bach Two Part Invention in F
Adept and adroit. On Friday, after they finished
their set, DM&M sort of formed a crowd and shouldered
past him as they left the stage, leaving him plantively
calling out, "Guys! Hey! Guys!?", before shrugging his
shoulders and sitting down to play. Sturday, they all
leave in the Monkee walk, then Peter sneaks back on,
looks about, grins, cracks his knuckles, and rattles
this off with a flourish. The support band (guitar/
drums/keyboard and sax come on during this to set up.
I've got a note of their names somewhere, just not here.)
Mike: Laugh Kills Lonesome
Mike returns in black Levi 501s, white shirt and a
neckerchief (either that or there is blue and white
detailing on the inside of his collar). He explains
that they will each do a song from their respective
backgrounds, and that his song is about the LKL
painting which is showing on the screens. Unfortunately
it was completely out of focus on Friday, which made
it more abstract than intended. It also disappears half
way through, to be replaced by the cover illustration
from "...Tropical Campfire's...", which is a little
confusing, as it isn't explained. People at the back
might have preferred a bit of Nez on the screens
instead, I don't know. I'm also not certain it really
represents Nez in my mind, but it's interesting none
the less that *he* thinks it does.
This was described by one of the critics yesterday as
being like something his uncle Frank would play if drunk:
if this is the case I'd advise anyone to sign up that man's
uncle, because this was absolutely killer stuff. Rocking
electric slide guitar, which were to me like something
Danny Gatton or Elvin Bishop would have been very proud
to have done. Also notable as one of only two lead vocals
by Peter a bit of a mistake it would seem in light of
just how good his voice is on this. More! More! BTW, he
wears his jeans with the ripped knees, a white shirt and
an orange waistcoat with gold stars on it (I think he
wears it in the special), and uses a head-set mike.
Wow! He *is* good!
Micky: Since I Fell For You
Again, wow! Not a song I know, nor exactly what I
expected from Micky, but he says it was in his set
with The One-Nighters. A slow smokey blues ballad,
beautifully sung, in a manner approximating kd lang's
'Shadowland' album. He wears a sort of satiny blue
top-thing and grey trousers, I think, but I was
watching his face go through the wringer as he
sang it, so I can't be sure.
Davy: Daddy's Song
This proves a little of Davy goes a long way: he's
only lttle, and he certainly goes a long way all
over the stage in fact, and at high speed. If he can
keep this up for two weeks, he's got to be super-fit.
It is in essence the dance he does with Toni Basil(e),
except without a partner. He wears an oversized floppy
black shirt, and white trousers, which adds to the
effect as he zips about the stage, skipping and
high-kicking. He goes down on his knee for the last
verse as in the film, and then comes a truly inspired
idea (if and when it works: it did in Newcastle,
it didn't in Glasgow). The show uses two video cameras
at the front of the stage (and I think there must be a
third over Micky's drum riser pointing down at him) to
display live video on the screens at either side of the
stage. At the moment the song went into its last chorus,
and timed to the beats, the video display cut from one
camera to the other, pointing at Davy as he danced across
the stage, and giving a very neat tip of the hat to the
movie. A real stand out moment!
I've remembered what I forgot about Oh What A Night! At the
end of the number on Saturday night, Davy walks over to Mike
and said: "I thought I heard some Peter and Gordon licks in
there", at which Mike puts on this sort of fixed grin, goofy
face, and very deliberately plays the licks over again, with
exagerated hand movements, which got a laugh and a round of
applause, which he milked by doing his little curtsey thing.
Davy goes: "Yeah, it was *definitely* Peter and Gordon!" and
walks away. Nez sez, "It was 'Gordon and Peter', if you ask
(I realise that I've lost track of exactly where the
video bits fit in, but I'm *fairly* certain I'm right.)
The solo set was followed by the Ethel Merman section
of the special, and it got more groans than laughs,
so again, maybe it's not quite the right material for
the show. But it did allow for the next costume change.
Mike: White double breasted tuxedo, white trousers,
white shirt and orange bow-tie; Peter: White double-
breasted tuxedo with shawl collar, white trousers,
orange shirt with open collar and a wide, square cut
dark blue tie; Micky: White single-breasted tuxedo
with shawl collar, white trousers, orange tee-shirt
and black leather gloves [one of my friends commented
that it made him look like a Bond villain, which was
meant as a compliment...]; Davy: White nehru three-
quarter length jacket, over a black (?) shirt and
The support band members remain on stage, but Micky
takes over on the main drum-kit, and the second
drummer does percussion.
For Pete's Sake
Mike surprises by going to Peter's keyboards instead
of his guitar, and with much feigned preparation he
plays the organ parts for this number. Obviously aware
of what I said previously, Bill and Ted go back in time
and give the lead vocal on this to Peter, bringing his
total of lead vocals to three, not two as I said
yesterday. I was so busy watching Nez that I forgot to
see if Peter plays the funny B11 (?) chord for the intro
that I've tried to copy for years, and have never been
certain I'm right. Having done his bit, Nez then does
an exaggerated swagger back across the stage to his
A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me
The harmonies on this are wonderful! Whatever is said
about how the group was formed, I think the thing that
makes it more than just any four people being allowed
to sing is just how well their voices blend together;
there may be people equally competent musically, but
the magic comes in the sound they produce. It just
cracks along too, so it really got the audience going.
Micky makes pop-singers half his age look feeble, in
an all singing all dancing, rocking version of this
song, where the big-band sound is replaced by guitars.
He "builds up" the intro, by adding each instrumen in
turn. Amongst all the other "never thoughts" abounding
over the week-end, I never thought I'd see a Nesmith-
ork-Jones guitar section in action, lined up side-by-
side, and playing for all they are worth, and I *never*
thought I could look at it and *not* think it looked a
bit silly - but I could! Davy really makes his mark.
Micky though really is the high-point of this, and it
was only a pity that his excellent diction was masked
by a hand held microphone with a real lack of clarity
[it sounded the same both nights, and muffled his
introduction of the backing band during the intro].
He also works in a very fast joke: towards the end
he tosses the mike back and forth between his hands,
whilst turning his head from side to side; he
inevitably ends up with the mike held away from him,
and his head turned the wrong way toward his empty
hand. He ends with a burst of really frenetic dancing
with a strobe light going off in front of him.
Between all the singing and drumming that he does (and
he really puts himself into the drumming: no wonder he
appeared to be nursing a sore shoulder at the HRC!)
it's going to be interesting to see if he can sustain
Your Auntie Grizelda
Peter struts his stuff along the front of the stage,
playing the crowd like a pro. He leaps from the stage
to the tops of the big speaker cabinets to face the
extremes of the crowd, and spends a bit of time at
various points on the stage to let people see him.
He even does a strip-tease with his jacket, opening
first one half then the other, swinging it round over
his head, and finally throwing into the wings.
I haven't a clue what anyone else does or plays during
this song - you just *have* to watch Peter. PS: There's
something very similar to Michael Palin in how Peter
looks at the moment...
Well this one seems to be done [although it remains
completely unsaid by those involved] just to *prove*
[good naturedly] to Mike that it is a good song. Mike
in fact wandered around with his guitar on, but his
hands behind his back for the first few bars of it
on Saturday; but he does join in, and I think he even
sings, so obviously he is prepared to bow to group
decisions and the will of the crowd occasionally!
Davy whips the audience up, and gets them to their
This was followed (I think) by the Monkeemobile
dimensions sequence from the special, which worked
surprisingly well out of context: the "60s" montage
got a huge roar and a cheer!
Day Dream Believer
A vast curtain of blinking fairy lights is hung behind
the stage for this, and after Micky counts everyone in
with his sticks, the opening bars of Peter's intro again
gets a cheer. Davy takes the opportunity to again play
the audience for all he is worth, and with the song
written by a Scotsman, it went down really well in
Listen To The Band
Still a class piece of work, and although lacking
the solo guitar intro, sounding vaguely closer to
it's 33 1/3 incarnation than before, due to the
prominent key-board part. But the big surprise on
this one is that when MIke gets as far as the bit
where the hammond organ comes in on the record,
the organ begins a very low-key build up, the
lights go down, and green spots light up behind
Micky. He then sings the opening verse of:
The Porpoise Song
virtually un-accompanied except by the underlying
keyboard for the first half of the verse: it is
really haunting, and quite magical [and makes me
forgive him the 'Puts You to Sleep' version].
Half way through he starts to drum [it almost
threatens to become <*gasp!*> a drum solo! But
it doesn't...] This is quite the best show-case
for his voice all night, and it's almost a pity
when on a chorus of, "Goodbye, goodbye..." we get:
Listen To The Band [reprise]
Big finale, big finish!
Bows, waves, hands aloft and off!! Thank you,
thank you, thank you!! And goodnight and off!
Hardly true encores, as they are part of the set, and
this is all they do, regardless of audience acclaim.
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Ant and Dec appeared at Newcastle to sing this with
them, but their contribution didn't reall add to the
performance (it didn't detract either), although it
got big cheers from the local crowd. It's not my
favourite song, and I'd've showcased IAB or RSG in
this spot, or given it to a) a non-hit strong track
like St Matthew or All of Your Toys or Girl That I
Knew Somewhere, or b) Done PVS first and had It's Not
Too Late as the lighters in the air arm waving show
Pleasant Valley Sunday
This begins with the build up of an organ and guitar
groove [which I think DMP have been doing, but which
was entirely new to me and most of the audience] before
Mike breaks into a funkier version of the opening riff
than people are familiar with; it certainly produced a
good deal of anticipation, as people waited to find out
what it was going to be, then a very positive response
when it gelled together.
And again, with waves to the crowd they were gone. They
could have easily got another curtain-call out of it,
and the Saturday audience would have loved more songs:
but they didn't, and we had to be happy with what we
had. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!
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