Thomas Dolby, ABC2, 16th November, Act # 51

By the time an unusually tardy Spanner arrives at The State I am making serious inroads into my second pint of Border Ales’ Game Bird (4%). Barman Jason and I agree that it’s a stonker (that’s the technical term) and he’s already concerned that there may be none left at closing time when he allows himself a relaxing pint. Indeed this stuff is flying (no pun intended) across the counter like nobody’s business. Our previous game plan of just having one, in order to go and see the support band, is dashed and by the time we arrive at the gig they are indeed long gone.
Poor ticket sales have resulted in the gig being moved downstairs to the far more intimate ABC2. Tonight’s gig sees the small dancefloor covered in rows of seats, occupied by the tightest demographic I’ve encountered;virtually everyone is between forty and fifty years old (and bald to boot). We manage to find a standing spot in front of the desk, just as the band walk on. I think to myself, and am glad I didn’t vocalise, that I wouldn’t have recognised, the other TeeDee, playing the keyboards. however, I quickly realise that this is, in fact, because it wasn’t actually him. A roar from the small crowd informed me that the man approaching a second keyboard was actually ‘yer man’!

Lumme! Thomas and Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace were surely twins separated at birth. I keep waiting for John Torode to appear and challenge me to make a Pea, Mint and Ricotta Ravioli with Pancetta Butter and Pea Shoots.That doesn’t happen!

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A sensible mixture of old and new tunes then followed (it’s twenty years between his previous album and the current release) and the devoted Dolboids devoured it, whooped and hollered. I was there because I’d bought the early albums, when they were released, and had never got round to seeing him, at the time.

Support act, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ed Hicks came back on to flesh out the TD set with some fiddle, stomping and the most full-on beard this side of Billy Gibbons. Taking Razzer to the Tinkers? Take a Razor, surely?

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He, Dolby, tells us that the last time he played Glasgow he would have been using a ‘Fairlight’ which back in those days would have cost around eighty grand. Tonight the duty of that particular sampler is performed by a pad that he bought, new in the States, for two hundred bucks.

Finally, they finished up with an uplifting ‘She Blinded Me With Science’, Pyke’s disembodied voice from the grave (Dr Magnus that is, not the bumbling subordinate of Capt.Mainwairing) ,taken from studio outtakes, advising us the listeners, and I paraphrase slightly ’She would have to be very clever to blind me with science…and be a woman!’ The Prof would have enjoyed this, probably more than me!

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