Cosmic Charlies – Fidler’s Elbow – 19 August 2017

First up my thanks to the Cosmic Charlies for posting the set list for the gig. This is the first time I have had to do research to find out what a Dead tribute band have been playing.

To be honest the first set was a bit of a ‘damp squib’, not eclectic exactly, and not many crowd pleasers. ‘It ain’t no use‘ ( from Cats Under The Stars) was beautifully bluesy and there was a fine version of ‘Tangled Up In Blue‘. That was about it really, as an OK ‘Deal‘ sees us into the break.

A solid ‘Truckin‘ kicks off the second set and a couple of relative rarities follow. ‘Smokestack Lightning’ and ‘Easy Wind’ (the least played song from Workingman’s) both of which are well played. ‘Alabama Getaway’ has pace and energy and some nice guitar and this leads us into AC/DC’s Bag. It turns out that this is by Phish and the Dead connection is presumably Troy Anastasio. The premise of the work this song is taken from, seems pretentious and not a little naive. I don’t think I will be delving any deeper and this song is best forgotten.

For the next hour or so I am in one of my favourite musical places, primal Grateful Dead from 1969. ‘St Stephen‘ and ‘NFA‘ lead into ‘Fleche D’or‘ (by Django Reinhardt). The original isn’t my cup of tea but as a jam/intro to ‘The Eleven‘ it works superbly. ‘Lovelight‘ is a great set closer and I was so annoyed to miss the Mountain Jam teases because I was so busy dancing (well, I call it dancing). The encore is ‘Dancing in the Street‘ and it’s time to get my feet moving again.

I emerge into a balmy August night happy as a sandboy and ready for the 2 (that evenyually turned into 4+) hour journey home. Yes! Over 4 bloody hours to get to Reigate (up yours Southern Rail). The things we have to do to worship at the church of the Grateful Dead. The journey was broken up somewhat by talking to a bunch of girls on the train who had been to see Bros. Not exactly a meeting of minds. I mean Bros (ffs) ????

Incidentally, hats off to the Fiddlers Elbow for having Proper Job on tap. A lovely little beer.

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