I had bought the tickets well in advance, and was eagerly awaiting the gig. We heard shortly before the gig that the band had quit, but the tour would still go ahead, so we were unsure what to expect. All credit to Beefheart and the band for putting together a show in such a short time, but what we got was a competent rock band, that tried their best, but they just weren’t “magic”.
The support band was Henry Cow, whom I liked, but most of the audience were restless, and talked through the set. The biggest cheer they got was when someone threw a paper dart from the balcony, which drifted to the front of the stage.
The best bits of Beefheart’s set were “Mirror Man”; “Bin Yuh Dog” and “Peaches”. The rest was enjoyable rather than brilliant. A sizeable minority of the audience weren’t happy. The guy behind me walked out after about 20 mins. muttering “I’ve been a fan for 7 years, but this is shit.” Some people were shouting things like “Where’s Zoot?” “Bring on Rockette Morton” etc. to which Beefheart replied “Rockette Morton took off; Zoot Horn Rollo rolled out the other way; and Art Tripp’s on another trip, but its not art.”
I had a good time, and enjoyed the gig; but I was kinda expecting my soul to be transported to another plane, which just didn’t happen this time.