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The Soft Boys
March 24, 2001
Irving Plaza
New York City

Setlist

You'll Have To Go Sideways
The Pulse Of My Heart
Tonight
The Bells Of Rhymney
Old Pervert
My Mind Is Connected To Your Dreams
Airscape
Kingdom Of Love
I Wanna Destroy You
Evil Guy
Leppo And The Jooves
Sudden Town
Insanely Jealous

First Encore:
Human Music
Only The Stones Remain
Rock And Roll Toilet
Mr. Kennedy

Second Encore:
Give It To The Soft Boys [Young Fresh Fellows]
Queen Of Eyes [jam session w/Young Fresh Fellows]

Photos

Ferris has posted several on his website.

Reviews

From Mike Hooker

the irving plaza gig was fantastic, i think better than the maxwells gig. i'm guessing that the roomy stage, and the large rabid crowd energized the band in a way that couldnt happen at maxwells. it was really a great time, and a pretty good variation from the maxwells set list, which is always nice when you go to two gigs in a row.

the sound was really good, as good as i have ever heard at irving plaza. they finally seem to be getting it together soundwise.

From Ken Weingold

Well I saw the comment that there had not been much feedback on the NY show, so here it is, though I was hoping I wouldn't have to. :) It was great. I never thought I would ever get to see The Soft Boys live, so it was really special. I have been into Robyn since about 1986 and have seen him countless times since The Egyptians. Anyway, The Young Fresh Fellows I thought were great. I love when a band doesn't take itself seriously. Then the Soft Boys. Wow. They really looked comfortable and that they were having a great time. And I was glad that I knew most of their songs. I only have the Rykodisc double CD compilation, but have had it for years. I must say that though I always liked it, after the show I gained new appreciation for all of it. Too bad they didn't play Astronomy Domine as I heard they were supposed to, but was it Only The Stones Remain that they played instead? Fine. :) For I think the second encore, I thought I saw the YFF back on stage in the dark, and was wondering what was going on. They did Give It To The Soft Boys! Very cool. And even cooler was right after that The Soft Boys came back on stage and they all did Queen of Eyes together, completely filling the stage. Robyn said before they started, *quot;Okay, everyone have an instrument?" Great time.

From DougMash

The Irving Plaza show was great. We had the added bonus of "Rock and Roll Toilet," haven't seen that on other set lists. The sound was the best I've heard in Irving Plaza to my ears, but two people who came back from the front didn't like the mix up there. Shame that I heard the DC show had sound problems, because I kept telling my friend I can't believe how GREAT they sound! Loved Seligman's bass, Robyn's been blessed with two great bassists over the years.

From The Great Quail

Well, as I've said, I'm not going to go into set lists or anything; but speaking personally, the Irving Plaza show was great, except for the bouncers and their predilection for pure,unadulterated evil. (I should have been clued in when I saw a ring of thirteen beefy men in yellow jackets chanting around a pentagram a few hours before the show.) Arriving early, we staked out an area by the front of the stage, below the place Kimberley would play. As a pre-show warm-up, Irving Plaza played their usual array of Eighties videos on a screen, where I was amazed to discover that the fucking Pogues had, at some time, made "Fiesta" into a video without telling me. Though it was also nice to see those lads from Ultravox at it again....

Having never seen the Young Fresh Fellows, I didn't know what to expect, and I have to say I was more than pleasantly surprised. In fact, I found myself liking them more than I have *ever* liked a previously unknown-to-me opening act. Scott McCoy, the lead singer-songwriter fellow, was charismatic and cheerful, and Kurt Bloch, the lead guitarist, looked, talked, and acted like Bobcat Goldthwaite's younger brother. I thought he was going to spontaneously fall apart in a flurry of nervous laughter and broken strings. Tad the Drummer was also very impressive, rigging his set with rubber tubing and bronze turtle-shells, even playing some sort of flexible antennae-cymbal thingie with a football helmet. The bassist seemed to be the only one who could possible keep a day job, and looked like Drew Carey as drawn by Bob Fingerman. In fact, I think I saw Buddy Bradley saluting the band with a bottle of Ballantine. But anyway, I really liked them, and I picked up their CD, which I am listening to at this very moment. While I can't say I like the more laid-back and offhand feel of the CD better than the bright metallic crunching groovy joyous machine I saw live, it's still worth it, and the Minus Five stuff is great. I hear music like this and I like America, you know?

Anyway, about the Soft Boys -- Wheeee! What a wonderful show! I have to confess, a few early songs seemed a bit sluggish, but soon the they slipped into a groove and just exploded into an intense swirl that carried them through the entire evening. I am sure I am not alone when I say that it's more than a thrill -- it's fucking unbelievable to hear the Soft Boys! I never thought I would hear some of these songs played, let alone played with such a level of enthusiasm -- it was like they had been written recently, not twenty years ago. Robyn was so enthusiastic, and everything sounded so fresh. And the new songs are pretty good, too, especially "Mr. Kennedy," "Zzub Zzub Zzub Ha ha" and "Chris Gross Take that Gerbil Out of Your Mouth."

Of course, as a huge Egyptians fan, it was a real treat to see Morris again, and Kimberley Rew was even more manic than on the Rock Armada tour. I know there's been a lot of discussion on the List about Kimberley and his unusual looks; as I have said a few times, I think he looks like a Muppet, a giant Muppet escaped from Doctor Tooth's Electric Mayhem. And yes, he still looks surprised at how many sounds he can force from his guitar.

Another great thing about Kimberley is that he keeps Robyn on his toes -- I love Robyn's guitar playing, but I have never seen him quite this good. It was a joy to see them together -- Kimberley's playing is almost like a challenge, it seems to drive Robyn on to greater and greater heights. My favorite moments were the sheer pleasure of watching/hearing Robyn and Kimberley were trading riffs or just grooving together, especially on "Pervert," "Insanely Jealous," and "Mr. Kennedy." Robyn's spidery, fluttering fingers don't look like they can keep up with Kimberley's effortless blur, but they never seemed to miss a beat.

I liked Matthew Seligman, but I had to say that overall I prefer Andy Metcalfe for some of the music -- the tight, bubbling grooves that Andy and Morris perfected as the Egyptians would have really added some punch to "Leppo and the Jooves," "Kingdom of Love," and "Only the Stones Remain," I think. But having said that, I have to add that I was more impressed with Seligman in Boston, so maybe it's just a matter of getting used to him. He certainly has the chops, really doing some nice things with "Human Music."

So anyway, it was a great show. "Pervert" was perhaps the highlight for me -- they have changed the song a bit, and it now loops around in an even more tightly sinister way, and Robyn and Kimberley's interlocking guitar parts were fantastic. Not to mention that Robyn seems to sing it with more, er, *conviction* now that he's getting older. I suppose I have always heard the song as more theatrical/sarcastic; but there was something about the delivery that really struck me, especially the ending -- it seems so pathetic, the last lyric making the pervert "character" almost sympathetic. "Leppo" was also a highlight, and "Only the Stones" just blew me away -- Robyn really has it down, and he seems excited to be singing it again with a full band. Again, an increased level of maturity really brings a new shine to the songs, which also shows how good they were to begin with, I suppose. "Only the Stones Remain" remains one of the most gleeful celebrations of nihilism I can imagine, and Robyn delivered it with the perfect amount of sardonic good cheer. (Forgive me for sounding like a half-assed rock critic! This was just so exciting for me.)

As already reported, the YFF came on for "Give it to the Softboys," followed by a jam session for "Queen of Eyes." Yaaaay! (MMMMMucky the pig, by the way.)


woj <woj@smoe.org>