Here we are, then….

So here we are. Only a matter of hours to go until we finish the Northern European part of the VdGG tour with tonight’s show at the Barbican in London. It’s been quite a ride already and after this 3 dates in Italy await us.

We’re so pleased that we took the decision to attempt “Lighthouse-keepers” and perhaps even more so that we made the early announcement that we’d be playing both that and “Flight” each night on this tour. Without that public commitment we might have exhibited a bit more reluctance, internally and externally. But having said we’d do it there was no turning back.

It’s meant a set list with very few songs and hardly a moment to pause for breath. All extremely dynamic, with sweeping scene changes and quite a few turns on a sixpence. As ever, we don’t really consider overmuch whether a piece is new or old in provenance, as they’ve all now been imprinted with the stamp of the current trio…but we’re managing to a mixture of things each night in any case, shuffling around a number of other exciting pierces to go with the long forms.

Not that we’ve played things perfectly; there are always a few fingernail-hanging moments in the set, as goes with e territory. But it’s all been good serious fun.

There’s been a wide range of venues too, including quite a few with standing audiences, right up close to us. Very much like the old days!

For now, there’s little more to say than that. It’s been a month for action rather than explanation or comment. And what a blurry, speedy month at that. It seems an age since we pulled out from the rehearsal room on the drive to Prague, though in fact it’s only just over two weeks ago…

Finally, my apologies to those (quite a few, judging by the comments) who thought I was talking a load of geek gobbledygook in last month’s entry. All I can say is that since it’s all natural language to me I suppose that only goes to show that I’m in familiar and comfortable territory in that particular techno land and, by extension, not at all a slave to it. Or something like that.

The sound check awaits.


38 Comments on “Here we are, then….”

  1. おすすめ ブランド 財布

  2. Paul Dove says:

    Thank you so much for a wonderful show at the Barbican. I’m sorry I haven’t posted a comment here before; I was waiting for some news on sofasound about how you felt the tour went and whether there’s going to be a live album released. I’d love to hear the live performances of Flight and Plague of Lighthouse Keepers again, so it would be great if you release something – either a CD or maybe just MP3 downloads of the songs from this tour.

  3. Agustín Mendilaharzu says:

    I’m sorry to add one more “any chance” comment. Any chance you bring this concert to Buenos Aires? It would be a complete sold out, as every PH gig here was.
    To all this blog’s followers, I’m glad to tell you we’re still performing our theatre play “La edad de oro” (Golden age), a heartfelt hommage to PH’s music. http://www.alternativateatral.com/obra20478-la-edad-de-oro
    If any of you are visiting or living in Buenos Aires, that’s a must!
    Cheers,
    Agustín

  4. Ian Thorogood says:

    I was at the Berlin concert, standing room only (which is how I like it!) and was well impressed. Before the gig I was actually apprehensive about how “Lighthouse keepers” would work out live on stage with only three musicians. It was a great experience to watch you guys perform this old classic and at one point to see Peter with a big grin on his face half way through the performance, obviously enjoying it as much as we were. A big pat on the back also to Guy and Hugh. Excellent stuff that sometimes brought a lump to my throat, a tear to my eye and those old goose pimples again. The power of VdGG! Oh and a special thanks for playing “Scorched Earth”, I simply loved it.

  5. Ed Wilkins says:

    Absolutely stunning gig at the Barbican, would love to hear a live album from this tour.

    I wrote a review for the Barbican show, is it okay if I link to it here?

    • Bert says:

      At the site vandergraafgenerator.co.uk I read that a new live album is in the making. Could this be from this tour? I surely hope so, really enjoyed the concert in Amsterdam.

  6. Nick Haward says:

    Thanks for the Glasgow show, yes that was one of the ‘standing up’ venues so a big contrast to the comfy Barbican which was the following gig. However the performance overcame all the obstacles the venue tried to put in it’s way.
    A wonderful set, great sound and an electric performance. The ‘re-engineered’ Flight was an especial treat.
    Thank you for coming to Scotland

  7. Phil Royston says:

    Absolutely brilliant at thr Barbican. You should record this tour at some point.

    Phil Royston

  8. Angelo Tagliani says:

    Been yesterday in Milan: unbelievable. Thanks for generosity

  9. Mikayel says:

    This tour is a huge and serious step forward, another page in The VdGG History.
    Thank you for making this scary but very exciting prospect come true!

  10. bayernmike says:

    Just like to echo all the comments about how good the latest tour is/was. Went to the Barbican on Sunday and was simply astounded by how good it was, especially Flight, Man-erg and of course Lighthouse Keepers.

  11. Ólafur Audunsson (Iceland) says:

    We went together my brother Sveinn and I from Iceland to Amsterdam.The gig was fantastic ,sound and everything perfect.Best concert I have been to.Thank´s Banton,Evans and Hammill.Now we just wait for a live record from this trip.

  12. Bob Hadfield says:

    Brilliant show at Bilston last Wednesday after I made an horrendous three-hour drive from home in Hertfordshire, alongside my daughter who had come from Newcastle – I couldn’t make it to the much-closer Barbican on Sunday because I’d already booked to see Ian Anderson do his Thick As A Bricks at the Albert Hall.
    No regrets, though – the atmosphere at the Robin 2 was fantastic, as was the show. Being only a few feet from the stage added to the thrill.
    I’ve seen VdGG many times, going back to Manchester Free Trade Hall on the 1971 six-bob tour, but I can honestly say that this was one of the best – great vibes, wonderful setlist and superb playing. And to hear Lighthouse Keepers live after so many years was an absolute wonder. Many thanks.

  13. Asaf Carmeli says:

    Two of us flew in from Israel to see the first two shows (Prague and Berlin). I felt i just had to see these shows with both Plague and Flight being played each night. Knowing this drove me to do this, and it was worth every cent and moment. Also worth the price i will surely pay for leaving my wife with the kids 🙂
    The band are at their peak! I didn’t know quite what to expect, and I was totally blown away.
    Thank you Guy, Hugh and Peter for an unforgettable trip.

  14. Alejandro Torres says:

    Hi Peter

    Is there any chance you might bring the VdGG tour to Mexico City?

  15. Marc Roberts says:

    I like the ‘geeky’ angle. They give an insight and perspective to the work. Thank you (all and everyone) for the wonderful shows. I was at Bilston and Barbican. Nice contrast in venues! Only downer, too many camera phones in the air, especially with flashes going off. I thought the nature of this kind of event would be to be ‘wholly present’? Thank you for being such a gentleman and popping out to say ‘hi’! It was an excellent birthday present! Onwards eh!

  16. Iain says:

    Thanks for the show at The Barbican last night. I was humming the end refrain of the encore all the way home to Cambs. Have loved watching n listening since 1970 ” Left the Earth……..” All wonderful – old and new…..

  17. Simon Wenham says:

    Hi Peter,

    I was at the Barbican last night (middle of the third row!). Stunning gig, excellent sound and dynamics and brilliant set list combining old and new(ish) seamlessly.

    I’ll always remember your intensity and passion, Hugh’s concentration and supreme skill and Guy who was just fantastic – spot on throughout.

    You and the VdGG have collectively given me my three favourite live moments…

    The encore at the Queen Elizabeth Hall when the rest of the band joined you on stage.

    The re-union gig at the Royal Festival Hall, the best gig I’ve ever been to for so many reasons.

    Playing “Plague of Lighthouse Keepers” last night, I finally heard it played live after nearly 40 years!

  18. David says:

    Superb show at Barbican tonight. Thank you so much Peter, Hugh and Guy.

  19. GlentheEd says:

    Went to Barbican concert, just brilliant.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I was at the Glasgow gig with my 19 year old son and we were almost touching the piano – what a treat to be so close to my favourite band and solo artist since I was at school 43 years ago. The whole gig for me was superb and a live album of the tour would be amazing. Lang may yer lums reek as we say in Scotland!! Till the next one …

  21. Andrew Read says:

    Thanks Hugh, Guy & Peter for a utterly fantastic show at the RNCM in Manchester on Friday night. Something of a VdGG dream set list (with a couple of very welcome surprises). In contrast to the standing gig at the Academy 3 last time around, the elevated seated position at the RNCM afforded a brilliant view of HB’s nifty footwork on the pedals. This was a show of terrifying intensity and musical brilliance. Thank you chaps.

  22. Odette Swann says:

    Saw the show at Manchester. Brilliant. Well done you!

    – Odette Swann

  23. Peej says:

    The Manchester gig was stunning. The triple finish of Meurglys, Lighthouse Keepers, then Gog was wonderful – I did take along a sheet with GOG written on it so thank you for playing that.
    I do hope an official live recording is released of this current tour (hopefully containing all 17 songs played throughout the tour).
    A very memorable concert, thanks guys.

  24. T.J.W.M. Froyen says:

    Hmm…, The Tour of the New and the Old…
    The only thing I regret is the 21th Century Generator didn’t play some flares of “Alt”…
    And… an extended version of “Fogwalking” would do very well as an encore in my point of view !

  25. Paul S says:

    Didn’t add my name to previous post !

  26. Anonymous says:

    I was at the Manchester show as well. I’ve been a fan for 35 years and I’ve seen PH on many occasions and VDGG every chance sine it’s rebirth. I have to say that Fridays show was up there with the best shows. It’s clear that PH has really got the passion and enjoyment back – he looked so engaged and energised and the playing and the performance were beyond what I had thought reasonable to hope for. The years of doing VDGG again have clearly given band and audience a new lease of life and I hope that there is more to come. P.S. HB is immense – like an octopus ! Brain is a powerhouse and watched him closely – who says Portnoy has all the complicated rhythms !

  27. Max says:

    Please…please….please…
    play GOG to Pistoia show…. it’s my dream!!!

  28. Clive Price says:

    Glasgow gig for me, Chris (wife) sons Richard & Peter – we loved it and it went by in a blur. Lighthouse Keepers was sublime, first time I’d witnessed this done live and it worked well as a trio. Flight was as good as always and all other tracks were great performances. Thanks to you, Hugh & Guy – long may you be able to tour and record. Clive

  29. Andrew Lewis says:

    Any chance recordings of these performances will see the light of day?

  30. Chris Evans says:

    Fabulous performance at the Robin 2 , I won’t forget the live rendition of Lighthouse Keepers in a hurry ! Marvelous .

  31. I’ve got to agree with Russell, surely there needs to be a live album to accompany this tour. Considering the different setlists each night, make mine a double!
    As to the concert in Manchester I attended. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I can’t really think of the words but well….Flight, Meurglys, Lighthouse Keepers…. Gog!
    Many, many thanks. Brilliant.

  32. D&R Dyson says:

    Yes – a cracking gig in Manchester. At the edge of the front row we were right by the bank of speakers. The gentle opening soon gave way to a sonic blitz! – Every bass beat from Guy’s drum kit reverberating through the ribs and abdomen. Yes, some soundscape indeed; and I especially enjoyed the encore, which was most unexpected: Full throttle, holding nothing back. Thank You, Peter, Hugh. Guy. We’ll not forget this gig!

  33. jon Visser says:

    PH the voice, Hugh has 4 hands( he ust have) Guy, the glue to keep the two together.
    I have seen al lot of gigsn, but the one in amsterdam bles me of my socks. it was full of energy amd quality thanx mates!!!

  34. Russell Ashmore says:

    Also at Manchester. A stunning version of Meurglys III and then Lighthouse Keepers – completely blown away. So all we need to know now is when is the live album of this tour out?

  35. tom fritz says:

    peter- tom fritz here. i’ve been following your career for nearly fourty years. just thanking you for all of the fantastic music. one question; anything in the works with you & bill nelson? cheers,tom

  36. Cheers for such a fantastic show in Manchester on Friday night. My wife, sitting next to me at the gig, told me that Scorched Earth woke up my daughter and made her kick – technically I guess that’s her first gig then – not bad as she won’t be born until Halloween!

    So glad that you chaps played Lighthouse Keepers – and that twist ending – those few bars of the opening riff, the key change and the crescendo to finish with – was a treat!

    Thank you for that – a genuine moment to treasure.


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