Bournemouth, England
Bournemouth International Centre

October 1, 1997

Thanks to Matt Innes for the following review:
Bournemouth 1st October
Bob came on looking a little stilted, but the venue was so small, and 
the response from the audience so good, that he was soon into the 
swing of the set. Absolutely Sweet Marie warked up quickly, and Man 
in the Long Black Coat was well delivered, a personal favourite which 
I've been waiting eight years to hear him play. Tough Mama packed a 
punch, as was to be expected, and the rhythm section, to my mind, has 
improved immensely since the last tour I saw in England (Brixton 
'95). Bass particularly held Tough Mama together, seemed to be 
driving it fiercly from country rock to the Armeggedon feel of Down 
in the Flood form previous gigs. 
Enough of that. The real treats started coming thick and fast. You 
ain't going nowhere was sublime - as other reviewers have said, it 
has become almost lecherous, ans the final harmony was the sweetest 
thing I've heard in a while. Nostalgia aside, there was almost the 
Basmement Tapes feel lingering on the new album. You had to be there. 
Really. A brisk Silvio followed, not a personal favourite, but Bob 
did seem to start moving a little more, and was well warmed up for 
the acoustic part. I haven't heard the version of Cocaine Blues 
before, but this really blew me away, his voice back to mid-seventies 
standard, real commitment ot the song, and, again beautiful, 
workmanlike harmonies. Bliss. 
Tangled was good, if not as perfect as the Wembley version (see 
separate review). Tambourine man was sweet, but with a little more 
edge than previous Never Ending Tour version. The next revelation was 
Stuck Inside, which was punched out in as close to Blond on Blonde 
form as I've heard - the drums were absolutely spot on. The song 
roared towards the chorus with an energy I have never heard before. 
Absolute dynamite, and one of a few truly special moments in the 
show - you could close your eyes and just get lost in the song 
(Honestly!). Blind Willie McTell needs little said about it - a great 
sing, rephrased musically, with a straighter, less reverential 
intent, played live the only way it could be, and a little bit of 
history for any fan. Highway 61 rocked, to nearly as great effect as 
Stuck Inside, before the encores came. Standard, with a great Don't 
Think, and the most fantastic Love Sick -a whole section of the crowd 
cheered the opening chords - better timing in this than later 
performances on the tour. The usual #12/35 jam, and Bob, soaked in 
sweat, left. The whole venue was up and cheering (they don't do this 
much in Bournemouth!), 15-55 year olds, Bobcats, mums, dad St. John's 
Ambulance, everyone. He 
just turned up and knocked the whole place off of
its feet. Tapes (please!) may show 
the performance was technically down on '95's tour, but the sheer 
expectation of the crowd made it a fantastic evening.
Matt Innes

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