Tuesday 13 November 2018

Empire of the Lizard: you can keep your hat on but there's no cat food

Robert and the boys performed at the Liverpool Empire last Saturday, so Steve, Mary and I went to see them. Not knowing the venue, I asked a local (i.e., living in Wales) Liverpudlian where the Liverpool Empire might be - he gave me a Merseyside look and said "You're in it. Always".

As you will know, I reviewed this orchestra in 2015 and 2016, so there's no need to duplicate observations already made, which largely apply unaltered (good!). So be assured it was a jolly night out, with significant differences as:

  • Where once there were 7, there are now 8, with Bill Rieflin appearing on keyboards, looking a little like one of Andy Warhol's cousins. The KC nerd press records that the last time KC had a "dedicated" keyboard artiste, it was Keith Tippett, whose wife I intend one day to marry. But I digress.
  • Most of them dressed as funeral mourners, as expected, but an air of slight frivolity seemed to have been allowed into the wardrobe. Stacey kept his hat on throughout.
  • The Merseyside audience were a lively lot, and rather less respectful than the Aylesbury crowd.
  • Two young Spanish persons were in the row behind me; I doubt their parents were born when I first saw this lot in the Exeter ABC in 1971
    (Photo: dusashenka) The young Spaniards looked enthused at the interval break, but baffled that the show had been so short with no encore (they did not know the word in English so struggled nobly and successfully to explain their problem). Characteristically helpful British people explained that we were only halfway through, and they cheered up.
  • Prince Rupert Awoke.

Not being so close to the stage, it's hard to be sure, but Mr Fripp appears to be in very good nick and we can probably disregard rumours of "the last UK tour", although we can all agree that the Times they are Uncertain. There are many of us out here just itching to sing along to "Cat Food", and give the show a "Half Man, Half Biscuit" feel, but I suppose we just have to wait a bit longer.