I went to see Joe Cocker in concert last night.
Wow, excellent, super, ace....anything else you care to throw in.
He was obviously not very interested in being on stage at first, we're a small place and his warm up act had more or less sucked the life out of the audience. A first she was good, kinda a Janice Joplin voice, but she reached a climax and we got over it wayyyyy before she did.
Anyhoo Joe comes on, and checks with his drummer where he is, "hello"...mumbles to drummer..."cairns"...he then throws in a few unfamiliar songs and the audience starts shifting a bit. Then he chucks in love lift us up " for valentines day" ( Not very convincingly it has to be said) but now we're getting with him.
Joe tells us its good to be back...audience looks at each other...has he been here before...not sure...but damn sure he wouldn't remember if he had, We all think he was thrown out of Australia last time he was here? Joe comments he has been to Australia often ,and we believe him, but we're not sure he believes him. Quick poll of audience around me found four people who had not seen him in Brisbane because he was drunk and one who had not seen him in Perth because he was high, oh and a retired customs officer who thinks he may once have deported him.
Joe is now clean and sober but boy he has not lost the magic. Afer a slow start we got all the old favorites icluding with a little help, delta lady, candle in the window....oh tons of stuff. He was on over an hour and a half and came back for two encores. By the end he was looking a little , well, stuffed, but we were getting all the old screams and air guitar. We even had leaping in the air. He was quite getting into it. We definitely were.I think the second encore took him by surprise. It definitey took the band by surprise, some of them didn't come back on.
At the end he said he liked Cairns,( without being reminded where he was) and would be back...and I think we had converted him. We're a good crowd, we don't get out much. Lots of dancing in the aisles and cheering, and I think when its an encouraging shout between songs that not heckling, aye? No big bands up here so we definitely make a night of it.
Joe's kit nearly didn't make it through the floods, and when he saw the stage ( ok, a couple of pieces of plywood on some beer crates) he must have been surprised , after all the last time he saw a stage like that was probably in a Sheffield working mens club. But hey Joe its called back to basics touring....until Melbourne anyway.
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