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Toronto Gig review

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:14 pm    Post subject: Toronto Gig review Reply with quote

Review of the Horseshoe Tavern Show (Nov 7th) - by lyre_byrd
(originally posted on old BB by Lilypod)

This review was posted by lyre_byrd on another message board, and she kin'ly agreed to let it be snipped and posted onto here. Ta!


Originally posted by lyre_b:

Review: The Divine Comedy (Horseshoe Tavern Toronto) November 7th
This will be just a quick synopsis of tonight's event while its fresh in my mind . I don't know the full titles of some of the songs and am leaving punctuation, spelling, and grammar in abeyance. I am really tired.
Tonight's event was fantastic!

I arrived at the venue at about 6 pm and the bartender lead me to the back of the building where I had a lengthy conversation with Simon the base player and then the band went right into the sound check.

Wow, when Neil played the intro to Lennon's Imagine I nearly fell off my chair it was soooo beautiful, then Songs of Love, Generation Sex, Morning has (un)Broken, (very funny!), Mutual Friend , and in between much cheeky banter and laughter was going on amongst the band members whilst Neil made lots of notes and conversed with the sound fellow. "Cool", "Mate", "s**t", and the "f---", jokes, funny imitations; delicious folly, all of it. The whole room vibrated wildly with the music, and right through me; I knew we were in for a phenomenal show.

This whole process took a long time. It was now 7.45 and I was late for a dinner date, so left but was back for 9 pm to get a good table by Mark, the sound check fellow. BTW he was an adorable Scot, shy and unassuming and very, very nice!

(I'll skip the opening act, which was unremarkable).
TDC came on at 11.10 and launched right into an instrumental; Flood. Actually I will just give you the list here and only a little of the commentary for brevity sake. Here's the order: National Express, My Imaginary Friend (New Song and he did say something funny here, talked about his birthday being today and said it was their 1st visit to Canada , "It's nice that we could come. It's always nice when you can come!". Lots of laughter), The Frog Princess, Mute FD, Generation Sex (the crowd went crazy!), Bad Am, Regeneration (again great applause), Medley (Daddy's Car, ?, Woodshed), The Happy Goth (New Song), Becoming More Like Alfie, The Summerhouse, (He played Happy Birthday to himself on that "instrument" that looks like its made of green and white plastic and sounds like a harmonica, Mark didn't even know what it is called), Songs of Love, Mr. Right (New Song), Woman of the World, Perfect Love Song (this was my favourite of the evening, if I had to pick one!), A Drinking Song, Tonight We Fly.

1st Encore: Flaming Lips cover, Race for the Price and Sunrise (truly sublime, we were spellbound!)

2nd Encore: Booty

The whole show was energized, fast paced, versatile, lively and the crowd loved every minute of it. Most of the songs had different arrangements from those on the albums, definitely louder and peppier with a prominent rock and roll feel to them.

I like the progression of Neil's music from Promenade to Regeneration. It's growth, it's different and shows how really talented he is as a musician and performer and he isn't afraid of trying new things. He is very capable of doing it all and he does it flawlessly.

Then as I was leaving the table, shy Mark came after me and asked if I would like the set list (is that what its called or is it a play list??) and I happily took it.

While waiting for Neil to come out the road manager approached me and asked if I was the lady from PEI. He presented me with The Divine Comedy, a short album about love, Casanova, fin de siecle, Liberation and Promenade. We had a short chat before he led me into a back room where I met the band, including Simon and Rob, took some photos, and had a marvellous visit. Neil told me to tell all of you that he was wearing a long purple robe with a stout in his hand! He said you would expect it and like it!(Quite a sense of humour.) Actually he was wearing a navy, ribbed mock turtle neck sweater, jeans and very trendy, moss green runners, but wore a white dress shirt and navy jacket for the show. Lovely big, blue eyes and slightly unshaven, he was extremely charming and not a bit shy or pretentious. Yes, I kissed him (for his birthday).
What a magical night.

Okay, that's it. Have to pack for my flight home; another night of no sleep.
Worth it though!!


Originally posted by lyre_byrd:
Just a couple of additions to Nov 7th and an afterthought... no one in my "real life" will listen so thanks for your indulgence.

Deciphered my notes yesterday, so I could fill in my gaps from the show, so here they are:
The 2nd song in the medley was "Lucy", and after "Perfect Lovesong"; the band went right into the Monkee's "Daydream Believer" and everyone sang along.

Magnus, "Booty" is what was on the setlist for the 2nd encore and I wasn't familiar with the song so had to go with that title, but in my notes wrote down the lyric "make those dreams come true", so it was "The Beauty Regime".

*and one afterthought, an image of Neil that I'll never forget...

The 'show' room at The Horseshoe is divided in half. One enters the room at the back where there is a bar to the far left and one big open space straight ahead.

Then on the right side is the section where the tables and chairs are set up and the stage is at the front. This is where I sat for the sound check; alone in the back corner. Though a few others where milling about on the other side, there was no one else on my side, save Mark the sound fellow. So essentially it was me and the band.

About 30 mins into the check, Neil got up from the keyboard and came to front, centre stage. He stood perfectly still and began to sing "Songs of Love". I was expecting him to move a bit, take a step or two, sway even.
I remained motionless myself; it felt like a sacrilege to breathe let alone blink. There was this unassuming, lone figure wearing a pair of scruffy jeans, sweetly and beautifully singing the lyrics with a bold, powerful voice that filled the room; looking like a confident young school boy at a Christmas concert or a toy soldier. And it was all done with such ease and grace and not having moved his body a tad, not once, yet emitting and eliciting such emotion.

*One last thing, Neil is a fan of Rufus' music


"...on the right side is the section where the tables and chairs are set up and the stage is at the front. This is where I sat for the sound check; alone in the back corner."

I've sat there myself - I can picture your night so vividly - the little wooden benches and the padded seats at the side - thanks so much for your review !!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2002 1:45 pm    Post subject: More Toronto Gig review articles from old BB Reply with quote


I was at the show last night in T.O. Magical.. Truly magical. This better not be the last time they come here!!

Here's most of the songs in No Particular order.. If anyone can help me fill in the blanks, that'd be fun.

Here Comes The Flood - Opening Toon
The National Express
Generation Sex
Becoming More Like Alfie
The Summerhouse
The Frog Princess
Songs Of Love
Tonight We Fly - End Of first set
A Woman Of The World
Sunrise - End of second Encore
Bad Ambassador
Perfect Lovesong
The Beauty Regime - Last Song
Race For The Prize - Cover
Medley- Your Daddy's Car, Something For The Weekend, ?
Imaginary Friend
Happy Goth
Mr. Right
A Drinking Song


Originally posted by BMovies:

Imaginary Friend
Mr. Right

Are these new songs, or covers?


New songs. He played them in Chicago, as well. I was especially fond of "Mr. Right".


How fab was the Gig??????? I had a great time. A bit sad to see neil not looking like jesus anymore. Last saw them in glasgow at the barrowlands when he had long hair, but what ya gonna do.

I thought the new stuff was great, I really liked Happy goth. Would have replied sooner, but had to work.

And I'm not canadian, they may be able to sleep, but we scots can still drink them under the table!!! Strangely that’s not seen as a good thing here!


I attended the Divine Comedy performance in Toronto on November 7th, and I concur with others who have said it was an excellent show. The Horseshoe Tavern was so packed that I and my companion, and several others, ended up standing on the top edge of the seats along one wall. At times, we were even clinging to a large pipe--just to get a glimpse of the band.

My only regret was that the band did not do MORE of the songs from the Regeneration Album. Oh well...can't have everything. But I sure do hope that the Divine Comedy returns to Toronto sometime soon.
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