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at The Freebutt, Brighton, 28 March 2002
I had a great time at the gig on the Thursday before Easter.
I thought you were outstanding musically and with the style in which you presented your songs. I really, really like The Reminiscing, which lacks the angst of some of the others, but still maintains that 'I can't be happy yet' feel.
Tal Fahy was a revelation as a bass player of skill and inventiveness, and he looked like he was enjoying himself, which is rare in bassists.
Dieter has developed his style brilliantly since I last saw him play years ago. His bottlenecking was quite exceptional, and the melodic hooks and licks as well as the wide-ranging solo work rang deep into the memory and enhanced the sound enormously.
Paul played with sensitivity. He came over as much more than just a boom-chish merchant - a genuine musician, striving to interpret the music as well as accompanying it.
But the hugest joy of all, for me, was that the Guy Garrett I remember from bands gone by actually pushed his head through the dark, dark clouds from time to time. Nerves and adrenalin battled to subdue your natural bouyancy (and sometimes succeeded), but then the smile, the chuckle, the hint of cheekiness became evident. I loved the passion and creative acoustic guitar style (more than just a wall-of-sound strum) and the way you used the instrument to speak and weep and laugh and sing. Your voice has such a range of sadness, joy, liveliness and narrative tone which draws the listener into the heart of the song and the songwriter. I think you are the business!
You belt the songs out without being aggressive to the audience; you whisper and murmer with clarity and diction which are easy on the ear. I cannot thank you enough for an excellent set, packed with depth of emotion and statements of truth/philosophy/insight (unlike so many bands). You deserve to go far!
The only negative was the ear plugs (in-ear monitoring?) which hindered you from catching the comments the audience called out from time to time, as this slightly impeded your rapport. But it's a small, small point compared with the many towering achievements that garrett represents.
Well done, power to your elbow, sorry not to have become a fan a long time before, love you, God bless, pluck on, stay moist, happy days, etc.
Your pal, standing in awe, Andy.