Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tom Waits - Tonight In Person (BBC), 26/7/79

At long last, a new downloadable post. Sorry for the delay... Life can get busy! This is an MP3 version (at 224 kbps) of a great soundboard recording taken from a performance Waits recorded for the BBC. Apparently there is a film version of this concert. If anyone can share that then please get in touch, and I'll post a link. Waits performs brilliantly, including a number where he improvises a bit and then does a rap about finding a clothing store open at 3am and buying a suit! This goes by the name of 'With A Suitcase', and is unique to this gig I believe. Waits is occasionally accompanied by sax, upright bass and drums (don't know who I'm afraid, that info would be appreciated). The audience clearly dig Waits, but are typically polite and British in their reserve. 'On the Nickel', performed solo at the piano, is a personal favourite. And 'Kentucky Avenue' always blows my mind.

'Red Shoes' is interesting in this format: it's hard to hear exactly what's going on keys wise, but there's some minimal Hammond type sounds, and interesting use of acoustic piano. Is he strumming the strings? ' Step Right Up' sounds somewhat turgid here, especially when compared with the Small Change version, on which Shelly Manne plays like a monster. In fact I don't think this tune translates so well to the live setting, at least not as far as the recordings are concerned. Being there would doubtless have been something else. 'Burma Shave' makes a showing in one of it's many and varied 'proto' versions, which makes for interesting and enjoyable listening. I might do a 'Burma Shave' special posting at some point, 'cause the evolution of this number is fascinating, and what a great song he finally waxed for the Foreign Affairs album, sublime in my view!


Wrong Side Of The Road
With A Suitcase
I Never Talk To Strangers
Step Right Up
On The Nickel
Red Shoes
Burma Shave
Kentucky Avenue
Small Change
Closing Time


If anyone can tell me who plays with Tom on this I'd be grateful. The image at the top of this post is sourced from the fabulous tom waits library (a brilliant if scarily obsessive Waits resource), and is a still from the video footage of the performance.

1 comment:

Joshua Field said...

This is gold thankyou! (found you through Eyeball Kid)
What a killer recording of On the Nickel!