Report on the 31 January 2002 Glasgow show

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Glasgow ticket stub 15 February 2002 -- This is a first in a series of fan reports from the current 'Anything Anytime Anywhere' solo tour by Bruce Cockburn. Julie Yeaman, a BC fan, wrote the following review on Humans, the largest Internet-based Cockburn discussion forum. Julie caught the very first performance on Bruce's 'Anything Anywhere Anytime' tour, and we are reprinting here with her blessings.

3 February 2002 -- I am back from my trip up North to see Bruce in a very wet and windy Glasgow! :)

The venue, The Old Fruitmarket, on Albion Street, Glasgow, [map] was billed as a 'unique' setting for a concert and they were right! From the outside, it looked like a disused and run down building. The only clue was a battered and faded banner bearing the name on the front.

However, the front of the building was no indication of what it was like on the inside! It was great! Maximum capacity is 400-500 people and they use different seating formats depending on the style of the artist.

That night, they had set out little candle lit tables with chairs and there was a bar. I'm not sure whether it was an old market, but it could have been. The floor was pitted and uneven, the hall was draughty and gritty rather than glitzy! It had a balcony and bits of signs that could have been stall names on the side with ornate spiral staircases leading up to it.

We were second in line to enter the building (a group of Canadians were in front of us! One of whom said he had seen Bruce in a nearby pub on his way over!) and we managed to get in the front row of seats, they were approximately 13' away from the stage :)

There was a warm up act, which wasn't bad, a guy with a guitar and keyboards who had a good voice. It made my blood boil though the way that a few people talked right all the way through! He played for 45 minutes, there was a 15 minute break and then....

At 10:00pm, Bruce came out :) He looked so well, happy and relaxed and he seemed to have as much fun playing as we did listening to him. Bruce played for 2 wonderful hours in total :)

I have seen Bruce play several times before, I have nearly all his albums but still he can make me watch him in sheer disbelief at the truly incredible sound he creates from his lone guitar. The acoustics seemed to be good in the venue and the sound was amazing, he was in top form.

[For a setlist of this show see the gigs page.]

Early into the concert, he finished a song and smiled to himself, he said "I almost lost it there, I was thinking about Elvis". He checked out the audience to see if they were interested and he said "I don't normally do this, but I just want to get my notebook" and off he went! He returned a couple of minutes later with an A5 size notebook. Bruce told us about a report he'd seen recently about Elvis. Apparently when Elvis was alive, there were about 35 impersonators, now there are 35,000 and somebody had predicted in the year 2020 1/3 of the global population will be impersonating Elvis!!!! He laughed and said "just wanted to share that with you". :)

I'm afraid I don't remember which three songs (answers on a postcard please) but after a particular three songs, he advised us he doesn't usually sing three songs in a row in 'E' as he likes to try to avoid repetition. I smiled to myself and wondered if such words had ever been uttered at a Spice Girls concert or other 'manufactured' group! ;-)

Before Bruce played 'My Beat' he picked up a guitar that looked a little different to his others, a little older and larger. He said proudly, "my girlfriend gave me this, it has more strings than my others". Apparently Sally had bought it in the 70's and now Bruce is playing it! :) It sounded great.

Towards the end, a few people shouted out requests and whilst I've never known Bruce to actually go onto play any requests, I think it's nice as it lets him know we know our subject matter well! Somebody shouted out "why don't we celebrate?" to which Bruce replied "I thought we were!"

Last note, "All The Ways I Want You" was played with such passion and honesty that it was the best version I have ever heard and I'm sure it made a few female knees week! ;-)

Julie Yeaman
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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.