Bob on tour in Japan
© Andrea Orlandi
(via Rainer Vesely)

This substantial tour has gone well: there have been some comparatively good, and certainly interesting, vocal performances - showing something closer to a willingness to sing  than in the past couple of years. You can find some examples at www.notdarkyet.org - and in extremely good audio quality (even though, Neil, they are mp3s).


  1. Rambling Gambling Gordon

    Fairly impressive performance here, matched by decent quality of film:


    Tom Wolfe camping it up good style.

  2. It's great to hear you've warmed up to some of the recent tour material Michael. The audio quality is terrific on some of the Tokyo gigs, which probably helps. He is doing some wonderfully long vocal lines on 'What Good Am I'. I was surprised at how good some the Tempest material sounded after a couple of years on the road. The arrangements for 'Duquesne Whistle' and 'Pay In Blood' are better than the studio versions. 'Blood' especially has developed some great dynamics, even if it's still a pretty content-free song.

  3. Anonymous01 May, 2014

    Have these latest performances caused you to rethink your dismissal of most of Tempest? I have been listening to Tempest quite a bit lately and find myself liking it. I do not think that Early Roman Kings and especially Roll On John should have been included on the album, but the rest I like to love in varying degrees. I wish he would play the song Tempest live.

  4. Elmer Gantry05 May, 2014


    Found some of these performances both extremely impressive and encouraging - first, for the fact that, as you point out, Bob is actually 'singing' on them, second, for the care that he is taking with the words and his active engagement in the performance, something we have not seen for quite a while and, third, for the subtlety of the band's playing...

  5. Anonymous07 May, 2014

    I went to the first night at the Opera House Blackpool ( a few rows behind Michael ). I deliberately avoided all the news/videos prior to going to the concert and I had no idea what songs he would be likely to perform,who was on guitar, that there was an intermission and that he was performing the religious based songs from his Tempest album. I always take this approach to a new tour and it has enhanced my experience... such as a few years ago when he played guitar for the first time in many months. I always do the same with a new album - avoid all snippets, gossip,etc.

    I hate it when I hear people in the pub or going into the concert saying " he sang ' Soon Aftter Midnight ' third song last night " and when the so-called "fans in the know" automatically assume he will only play one encore.

    I saw Dylan leave his hotel at 4 pm for his 7.30pm performance ( he went by himself on his tour bus and his band followed about 10 minutes later in a minivan leaving the hotel from a different exit) ...the man obviously gives everthing he has got to give in performing. I wanted to thank him for performing in Blackpool which has a very special in my life ( being a child of the 50s from the North ) but I decided it was best to let him get on with his work.

    The concert was very good.


  6. Elmer Gantry08 May, 2014


    Know this is off topic, but would like to get in a quick plug here for the new Jason Isbell album, Southeastern.

    It is, by the far, the best album I have heard from someone I had not previously known of in a long, long time. Discovered him through the excellent thebestmusicyouhaveneverheard blog.

    This video was featured there:

    and, unusually for me, I went out and bought the album on the strength of it.

    Have been listening to it a lot since and Isbell is a very fine songwriter, indeed...

    As this shows, he has also toured with Mary Gauthier:


  7. Anonymous08 May, 2014

    The Japanese leg has been a continuation of the superb European leg last Autumn and the quality of performance has not just been maintained but arguably improved. Great to see a Tempest driven setlist to showcase that wonderful album. These shows are the best to my ears since 2002.

  8. Elmer Gantry13 May, 2014

    Just listened to Bob's excellent version of Sinatra's 'Full Moon and Empty arms' on the official website.

    Bob's best vocal performance in a long long time ...

  9. Elmer Gantry14 May, 2014

    Further to my recent post, it seems that the Sinatra song itself is based on a theme from the third movement of Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto.

    It can be heard here from about 2.14 onwards:

    A theme from its second movement also formed the basis for Eric Carmen's dreadful 'All By Myself', but we won't hold Sergei responsible for that..

  10. Elmer Gantry14 May, 2014

    Bob's fine and quietly dignified version of 'Restless Farwell' at Sinatra's eightieth birthday 'do' can be seen here:


  11. Elmer Gantry15 May, 2014


    Left out the You Tube link from the Rachmaninov post. It is:


  12. elmergantry19 May, 2014


    Again off topic, but thought this might interest you: