M.M.S. 21st October 1997
Melanie in Belgium 1997
Report by David J Boldinger.
Eight glorious shows in ten days ought to be enough for anyone, but I would love it all again! Just had an eight hour sleep, I had been up for 45 out of 48 hours travelling to Hilversum and back to London, falling asleep on trains, missing stops etc.
The venues were of varying types, ranging from a small (300 capacity) disco hall in Hilversum and the local Church Hall types to the prestigious Knokke Casino, which reminded Melanie of her days at the Olympia in Paris. Giving the audience a very descriptive account of how the Parisian presenter wanted to show her; with dressed-up dancing girls of the New York Ballet (that had never been to N.Y.) and how she had to share a dressing room with a Camel! Leading into "Tuning My Guitar".
Her rapport with her audience is second-to-none, especially when the audience is knowledgeable of her repertoire. "Animal Crackers", "Ruby Tuesday", "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma?" and "The Nickel Song" are firm favourites.
I was somewhat surprised to hear "Please Love Me" and "People In The Front Row", which I never heard on stage in the 70/80s. I am very pleased Melanie has reconciled her differences with these two fantastic songs.
Some one requested "Birthday of the Rain", and Melanie jokingly replied; I only ever did that once at Woodstock!.
Beau-Jarred proved to be an exceptional sixteen-year-old guitarist/vocalist. Even on numbers he didn't know ("Tuning My Guitar"), he came through with flying colours! He appears shy, but from those I spoke to, is very well liked; "He is a very beautiful boy" one girl embarrassingly admitted! She also thought he was twenty-years-old!
His attitude to the stage is also very mature, he takes the occasional embarrassing moments from his mother in his stride! At one of the shows, everything seemed to be going wrong for him, his guitar strap was left behind in the dressing room, he ran to get it, came back, had trouble fitting around his neck, Melanie lent her motherly help to everyone's delight!
Their performance of "Momma Momma" is amazing, refreshed by Beau's influence, but still retaining the hurt feel.
Melanie herself, has demonstrated her seasoned performer qualities, she knows what is expected and ensures it is given! Her professionalism really shows whenever any hiccup occurs. You name it - she can handle it!
Her introduction to "Saving Everything You Do", about saving all the little things Beau as a child, gave her, and her rendition had me in tears!
"Mr. Tambourine Man" was performed impeccably, almost out-of-body with the sincerity we all know of Melanie.
None of the shows was bad, they were all fantastically great! The one that stands out as the best in my opinion was the Geel show. The audience was a bit older thus probably had most of her CDs and was quite versed with Melanie's repertoire. The last show at Hiversum was probably the next best, but lacking the sound quality of the other shows, a different sound system was used there.
The Sound system for all the Belgium dates were by ROCH from Ostende, All shows were recorded for a possible CD release.
Back to Chronology
Back to Melanie