Friday, May 16, 2008

The Beach Boys in Edinburgh

Last night the Beach Boys finally made it to Edinburgh after postponing their show a few weeks back. Having written about them extensively when I saw the show in Newcastle last month I’ll try not to repeat myself too much. But I will say they were, yet again, a better show than Brian Wilson’s band. Their harmonies were spot on, their arrangements true to the originals and with Mike’s vocals, both lead and harmony, they absolutely nail that Beach Boys sound that made them such a great singles band in the sixties – to say nothing of the more obscure songs they included in their set. Bruce did a stellar version of Disney Girls - poignancy personified....

I went to the show last night with Ian Rankin the crime writer; it was his first time seeing the band. He loved it! At one point in the show Ian said something very interesting. “There is absolutely no barrier between the band and the audience. So often when you go to see a major band there’s an aloofness, a distance that the band sets up to avoid the kind of contact that the Beach Boys have with everyone. It’s like a great big party.” We’d talked just before they came on and I said for me, hearing all the great surf songs in the sixties when I was growing up in south London was a revelation. I had this image of a magical California where every teenage guy drove a woody, had a tan, bleached blond hair and had at least two girls. Of course I just fantasised about it never thinking for a moment that I would visit. Ian said he had trouble connecting with the band to begin with because growing up in Fife it seemed totally implausible that people lived like this – it might have been fine for me but I was 400 miles further south! The surf wasn't up in Cardenden.Who knows, maybe Beach Boy's song titles might take over from Stones titles in Ian' story writing....

Well Ian connected last night and so did everyone else in the audience. It rocked from the opening of Do It Again to the closing of Fun Fun Fun. I was not sure that the band could repeat the success of Newcastle. By that time on the last tour they were into their stride on a show that is so markedly different from their normal US set lists. Given that they’d arrived in Edinburgh on Wednesday Afternoon from the USA and hadn’t done this show since they left the UK it was just perfection. It’s one thing doing the regular songs but it’s an amazing testament to every one of the band that they delivered it note perfect – a remarkable feat of concentration.

We both had a blast chatting with everyone afterwards, Mike told some great stories and we came away thinking does a night get any better for a couple of musical anoraks? No….

Differences to the Newcastle show were that they added, Here Today, Rock and Roll Music, and I think Please Let Me Wonder; although I might be wrong on this last one.
Do It Again
Don’t Back Down
Catch a Wave
Little Honda
Surf City
Surfin’ Sarfari
Surfin Usa
Surfer Girl
When I Grow Up
Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Good Timing
Good to My Baby
You’re So Good To Me
Warmth of the Sun
Kiss Me Baby
Let Him Run Wild
Please let me wonder
And Then I Kissed Her
I Can Hear Music
Ballad of Ole’ Betsy
Still Cruising
Don’t worry baby
Little Deuce Coup
Shut Down
I Get around

Sloop John B
California Dreaming
God Only Knows
Sail on Sailor
You Still Believe In Me
Here Today
Their Hearts Were Full of spring
In My Room
Cool Head & a Warm Heart
Everyone’s in Love With You
All this is that (Ian’s favourite moment)
‘Til I Die
Disney Girls
California Girls
Dance Dance Dance
Help Me Rhonda
Rock & Roll Music
Do You Wanna Dance
Barbara Ann
Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Good Vibrations
Fun Fun Fun


r morris said...

Sounds like a blast. Wish I could've seen it.
Thanks for the update on the ageless Beach Boys.

richard evans said...

Interesting set list, Richard. Hardly anything from Pet Sounds and only GV from Smile. Nevertheless a fantastic set list. I can hear Mike's 1967 comment to Brian ringing in my ears . . . "Don't f***k with the formula, Brian".

Richard Havers said...

Rich, I think what's clever about the set list is that they keep the show away from the Brian Wilson show territory, although they do the Pet sounds hits!

Richard Havers said...

Rich, I think what's clever about the set list is that they keep the show away from the Brian Wilson show territory, although they do the Pet sounds hits!

Richard Havers said...

So good I posted twice!!