Monday, June 05, 2006

Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler in Rotterdam

The last big star we saw in concert was Bonnie Raitt, and since that is Val's area, it was she who wrote the review.
Tonight it was Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler's turn. Emmylou and I go a long way back: 1976, the film The Last Waltz where she performed Evangeline apart from The Band's farewell concert. She came, saw and conquered. We have been lovers ever since, so when Val and I met that was a fact to be dealt with, not always easily.
Yet - good English sport as she is - Val mentioned the posters announcing Emmylou and Mark in concert. I have the sneaking suspicion that Mark Knopfler might have something to do with it.

Anyway we went tonight and we saw these two masters of their trade perform with an ease that showed that long time practice makes very perfect. Their repertoire leaned heavily on their recent All the Roadrunning cd, of course, complemented by numbers from their individual catalogues, like Emmylou's Boulder to Birmingham and Mark's Why Worry, a slow one by just her and him, only a few necessary keyboard notes added by one of the five backing musicians, who were of the excellent quality we have come to expect at this level.

This was a memorable concert by two stars that are very dear to me, and who, time and time again, knew how to play just the right thing at the right moment. They've both been very important to what is now musical taste. It seems I am not completely alone at that, as about 5000 others had found the way to this same concert, which leads to a drawback of this venue: with a size like this, building up a form of interaction is practically out of the question.

We're back on board now. For the second time tonight I play our favourite of the album, This is us, if it were only for the Who-like synthesizer beginning of the song...


ian gordon said...

Thanks for this Koos. I've got my ticket at the ready for Nottingham, although Mark Knopfler isn't with her on that date.

I would have loved to hear them do "Why Worry". As you might know this was covered by the Everly Brothers, and later on they, he, and Chet Atkins performed it on a TV show. Incredible combination. (I'm a HUGE Don and Phil fan also, believing that Don deserves much more credit among the history of country rock manuals than he gets).

This album itself hasn't quite settled with me yet. Was I expecting too much? I think the singing and musicianship is superb. (How could it be any other). But some of the material doesn't quite live up to what I was expecting.... Or is it the collaboration itself? Would Emmylou and Elvis Costello have been a more interesting combination? Hmmmm...

Jodie said...

Good to hear you guys had a great time at the concert and a special thank you for the lovely comment you left on the Burbanites!!


Koos F said...

My thanks to you Ian!
We were very happy to hear them together, euphonious to the core. Doesnn't mean Emmylou alone is worth less.
As she said last night, her first performance in Rotterdam was 30 years ago, "...there must be something I'm doing right".

Chet Atkins has been my idol since well over 40 years ago. Neck and Neck (he and Mark Knopfler) is one of my dearest albums; so sorry I missed the combination with the Everlys!

Hi Jodie,
Always honoured by your visits to my humble pages.


VallyP said...

It was great, wasn't it Koosje! I wouldn't have gone if it hadn't been for you as you know I'm not really a fan of Emmylou, but together, they really rocked!

Thanks for giving me the spur to go..

Dale said...

Dear Koos

It sounds like an interesting combination - I would never have guessed Mark & Emmy Lou.

Good to hear you enjoyed it so much.
Wish I could have been there!


gypsy noir said...

its a true testimony that true talent never dies..i love the songs of dire straights...the lyrics walk-a way walk away...from collorcoats to whitleybay...always bring a lump to my throat as that is the place of my childhood holidays....about 10 miles from where i live....and the other one brothers in arms...i think of my own brothers....

Koos F said...

Thanks for a really touching comment Gypsy.
Do I hear a hint of pride there too? Quite understandable!

It is one of the things I've found missing in my life: identifying myself with a region. When people asked me where I was from I had no answer. In the end I made up Rotterdam, because that was the domicile of my parents' barge.

gypsy noir said...

ive never really moved around so i dont know what its like..but i understand what you mean..does that make you a rotterdonian...we aren't classed as northumbrian or even northern...from my part of the uk we are known as geordies..

Koos F said...

Ah Gypsy, Geordies, that's the word I was looking for but was too proud to ask Val. The name Eric Burdon comes to mind and yes, he was born in Newcastle (1941, time flies). There was an interview with him where he was asked what a life without music would mean to him. He said 'I'd rether kill meself'.

People from Rotterdam are just prosaically called Rotterdammers, no special name. I'm sure by now some of the regional accent has rubbed off on me, but I couldn't speak Rotterdams to save my life, and my Amsterdams is not what it used to be.

We do have regional 'titles' though.

For Amsterdammers, the rest of the country are simply 'boeren' (farmers).
Limburgers (that's the province where I was born, but that's inconsequential because it could have been anywhere else) are referred to as Limbabweans. Think of Zimbabwe to get the meaning.

These are more nicknames than anything, but we have a special serious 'title' for the people from around Enschede: Tukkers. I am not sure if they agree with that though. Their area used to be a textile region, which reminds me of the town of Tilburg, another centre of the textile industry, now long gone - the industry; the town is still there. Still Tilburgers are 'kruikezeikers' (jug pissers) because the industry made good use of the chemicals in urine, which the workers were happy to contribute - in jugs.

Coming back on Geordies, I attended the Basement Jam concert in December 2005.
While queuing up outside, a northerner who'd read my blog, said 'So you live on a batch!'. 'I'm sorry, I don't think I know what you mean sir. ''A Batch!' he repeated. Luckily for me his wife came to my aid and said 'He means barge'. I apologised for having learned only one type of English and that settled it. I, a foreigner, do not accuse an Englishman of speaking with an accent, do I?

I feel I can be forgiven for not understanding an authentic Geordie because there is now way I can understand a Groninger, let alone a Frisian, not to mention a Zeelander (Zeeuw) or a Limburger. My dad could understand them all but he was a travelling man by profession, more or less like a gypsy.

gypsy noir said...

ah yes eric burdon think he lives in america now..other famous geordies..brian ferry and sting...thankyou for explaining about your regional accents...we have it here too as in ... people from the south are cockneys..liverpool are scousers..manchester..mancunuans.scottish are or paddys..and welsh are well welsh it goes further as every region breaks down in to little tribes and even here in the small villiges we have our own identity...i think people hark back to their cave man attitude still and are like tribes or clans..

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Koos,
I was lucky enough to win the first Dire Straits LP from a local radio station way back in the late 70s, and just adored the record immediately. Waterline and Wild West End were my original favourites, but I have to agree that the song Brothers In Arms get a few replays whenever it comes on the iPod. It has such a hauntingly beautiful melody, and the words are just phenomenal. One of the top three songs I wish I'd written...

Lucky you for seeing this show.


gypsy noir said...

you are forgiven koos as you can speak both dutch and english which us english, most of us anyway dont bother to learn any other laungage and just take it for granted that people in other countrys speak english..

gypsy noir said...

like the spanish city to me when we were kids..that line...spanish city is a fairground in whitleybay...where i used to hang out on my holidays..its a beautiful white dome that dominates the shoreline along from the ST marys lighthouse..