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Concert Review: 30th September, 1998 (Penshurst Palace)

Well, the day of my first ever C de B concert had come (first

ever of any such concert in fact) and I was extremely

excited. Full of hope and anticipation, and a little

apprehensive that I'd get there in time etc etc.

I left early with my Mum and Japanese friend (all the way

from Tokyo and then coming to see C de B at a UK summer

concert .. wow) and we arrived at Penshurst at around 12 or

1pm I think it was. On the way I saw C de B posters and got

butterflies in my stomach! We drove to the field where

things were being set up but of course were not allowed in

yet.

So, we went back into Penshurst itself and walked to

Penshurst Place. I asked if we could get to the concert

field from the gardens.. but no, no! Instead we walked out

along country lanes around Penshurst Place and the gardens

and then into farmers' fields. It was a laugh and

eventually THE field was in sight. We tried to approach

inconspicuously (!) and entered behind the stage. I saw the

'royal' tent (! hehe) where someone was having lunch and

there were a few others pottering about too. We asked if

C de B was there yet, but of course he wasn't there that

early!! We went round to the front of the stage and it

looked really impressive - instruments already out and

someone strumming on a guitar. Apart from that no one else

was there - it felt strange!

We wandered up the bank heading towards the car park

wondering what to do. I suppose we could have stayed where

we were somehow but we didn't. Behind the fences a queue of

people was already forming. We sat down - there were

around five people in front. One of these people was Miriam

and I was not sure at first if it really was her .. from

what I overheard she seemed to be quite a fan(!) and she

was wearing a black skirt and white top as she said she

would so I asked - and sure enough it was her! (hehe) We

had a chat, had our photo taken... but it really was very

early still and I felt bad for my Mum and Japanese friend

to have to wait around for so long - added to which there

was a really moronic security person there who was

insulting C de B, so we left.

Back in Penshurst we had a little (haha) look around and

when we were in the church heard Chris doing the sound

check. We really could hear it very clearly and it was

wonderful - the atmosphere of being in that church and then

hearing this beautiful music and realising who it was -

amazing!

We looked around some more - stuffed ourselves with ice

cream - and then decided it was about time to head back to

the field. By then loads of cars were doing the same thing

and the car park was already quite full. We joined the

queue.. a way further back this time .. and passed the time

playing cards - I kept losing because I couldn't

concentrate so the other two kept taking sneaky glances at

my cards. Hmmm!

At last the hoards of people were let in. I took our rug

and my ticket and as soon as I got through the gate started

to peg it down to the stage. I have never run so fast in

all my life I don't think - and was overtaking everyone!!

When I got there I could have gone right to the front but

instead I set up our rug in the centre at about 10m(?)

back. This worked well as everyone who came in front of us

had no tables or massive chairs so we were comfortable and

had a great view (next to and behind were all the dining

tables and sun lounges!)

We waited, and waited, eating our way through our picnic

and then ----- he modestly came onto the stage. I was

really impressed by this. The huge audience was clapping

and cheering. Clearly many of them already knew just what a

treat they had in store! And I noticed that the audience

consisted of all sorts of people, from very young to old. I

thought that was great and surely shows the strong affect

that Chris' music has.

During the concert I tried to scribble down all the songs

so that I could report back to you - I know that the list

must be similar to other concerts, but I'll tell it all the

same (but I think there will be mistakes - sorry -

sometimes it was quite dark too you know!). Oh, and some of

the songs were new to me so I didn't know the titles -

instead I've written out some of the song words..

C de B + piano

1 Carry On - I love this song

2 Forevermore (?)

C de B + guitar

3 Country Churchyard

4 Transmission Ends

C de B + piano

5 Head and the Heart

6 Moonlight and Vodka (v funny Yeltsin(??)

impressions beforehand)

7 Danny Boy

8 Borderline

9 Spanish Train

Karaoke..The Risen Lord - C de B was surprised at this choice

and the girl sang it very well. I'd never heard the song

and now like it very much.

10 Spaceman came Travelling

C de B + Neil & Peter

11 Always on my Mind

C de B + full band

12 Lonely Sky

13 Sailing Away(?)

14 Love's got a Hold

15 Brave Hearts

16 Brother John

17 House in New Orleans(?)

18 Hotel California - his way of doing it is great!

-----------BREAK-----------

Was this when the orchestra/singers came on? I think so.

19 Missing You (I love that Roses and wine thing at

the beginning and the way he starts the song..him on that

stool..his facial expression and the way he moves is hand

after he says 'I've got the wine'.

20 Carry Me

21 Standing here..thinking of days we've had'????

then Peter on the piano..Blue Danube, Fuer Elise etc. Hmm!

22 Lady in Red (sounded lovely!!)

23 'You said to me..you opened up my eyes'???

24 'I need someone beside me forever..'???

'Men coming down from the valley'

25 'Take my girl and a handful of silver'?? v nice one

26 Revolution - wow - and the guitars and rest of

band..excellent

27 One more Mile

28 Snows of New York (and no, I didn't cry when it

came to the footprints bit - thought I would!! hehe)

29 Ferryman

30 Say Goodbye

31 'Spinning like any wheel...'???!?

32 Patricia

33 Peaceful Waters

34 Hey Jude

I thought that Chris spoke beautifully between songs and it

all reinforced my opinion that he really is a genuinely very

nice guy. Completely unpretentious. He sang happy

birthday for someone, congratulated a couple on their

recent marriage, sang a song for an oak tree nearby

(apparently the oldest in England or something!!),

joked about Clinton and a dress (hmm!), told a story

about a reporter who fell out of a tree in front of

him in a golf course who apparently did exactly the

same thing the next year (for some reason he dedicated

Spanish Train to him), he mentioned Northern Ireland and

said his farewells very sweetly, wishing us all a safe

journey home etc. Right from the beginning people were

shrieking out for Patricia but he was teasing us with

excuses. When he eventually performed it, someone threw a

pair of boxer shorts at him - he was very amused too.

The fireworks were also beautiful. Chris did three encores

- the audience just did not want to let him go! His voice

was just superb the whole way through. He seemed worried at

one point if he should still be going on as it really was

very late, but someone said it was ok. He looked very very

tired at the end of it so I thought I wouldn't try to track

him down. Oh, and the band was amazing - the singers

and orchestra very good too.

At the end of it all it was a weird feeling to go home

again. I was completely drained from singing (great how

everyone sang along and how Chris wanted us to), clapping,

dancing, generally jumping up and down etc. and very sad

that it was all over. I took some photos and they're not

too bad - I'm sure he looked straight at me a few times

(especially when I had binoculars near the beginning when

we were still a way back - you see, about half way

through we went to the front - 2nd row back..so all in

all we had had the best of both worlds!!) Going back, I

really felt that he is like a friend. He just think he's

great. For the next few days I was still in a funny kind of

subdued frame of mind, wishing that I was still going to

another concert.

I really can't wait until next year's batch and I really

would love to meet C de B some day. I have since got some

more albums of his on CD while I was in Germany (some I

already had, but on tape) - Eastern Wind, Flying Colours,

Spanish Train, The Getaway. I love them all.

Well, I hope that reading this report has brought back

memories to those of you who were also at Penshurst and to

everyone who has been to a C de B concert. Wow is all I can

say - even now I'm semi-speechless about it all!!!