Mostly Autumn

Grand Opera House, York

20 April 2003

Ok, that was the BEST concert I've ever seen.

Almost exactly three years since I first saw the band supporting Blackmore's Night in the same venue, so it's nice to see them headlining... shame the theatre wasn't packed. It should have been. Mostly Autumn are 1000% better on a real stage than in a pokey pub or club. Not a great sound mix (the big disaster of the evening (for me) was intermittently losing Angela's flute), but still much better than the sound in the venues I'm used to seeing them in.

I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow account because you all already know what a Mostly Autumn concert is like. Just a couple of things to say: (1) I've now heard a song from Passengers and it's excellent, (2) I think that was the first time I've ever heard Half the Mountain live, so that was a personal highlight for me, and it sounds great in the live arrangement. Apart from that, it was a pretty "standard" set list. Everybody played brilliantly, of course. It was a nice, friendly, relaxed atmosphere. I got the impression most of the audience were friends and family of the bands!

It was the first time I've heard Gina Dootson and she has a great voice and good songs. Somebody to see again. (I also think I bought the last copy of her CD, so apologies to anybody who was behind me in the queue.)

It was also the same time I've heard Gabriel (or am I supposed to write Ga'bri.el?) and they are quite exceptional. The singer has missed his calling as a salesman: somehow I managed to come away with three of their CDs. ("For the Mostly Autumn fans who don't know us, Bryan Josh played a long guitar solo on this track, so you've got to buy it haven't you?" Hmmm...) For those who don't know Gabriel's music... I'm not sure how to describe it... intricate, moody, melodic rock. Can't think of a group to compare them to...

Anyway, three excellent bands for a bargain price. Where was everybody?

Thanks to Mr. Atkinson for organizing the event. I hope everything turns out well...