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
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 -
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(??)
7 Danny Boy
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!
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
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)
30 Say Goodbye
31 'Spinning like any wheel...'???!?
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
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!!!