Peter Hammill Thursday May 15 2003

Sarzana, Italy (Thanks to Emilio for the photo)

Electric Piano

Easy To Slip Away
Just Good Friends
Nothing Comes

Ovation Red Acoustic Guitar

Out of My Book
Slender Threads
(On Tuesdays She Used To) Yoga
Bareknuckle Trade


A Better Time
Faculty X
Stranger Still



I never thought I could end up with a bad if not terrible seat for a ph show, but it happened. This is just my opinion.

The club seemed like any other club, hard floor, a little lower than the stage, tables set up in front (smaller ones for 4 people) and longer ones around the rest of the club. I imagine for most of the people up front it was a fine enjoyable concert, but as most ph fans know he usually sits down while playing, which from the back made it difficult to see between heads, and when sitting, playing guitar, made it impossible. I couldn't even tell the color of the guitar.

Tables could be reserved in advance, (which I did and was guaranteed I'd be somewhere near the front, and this was confirmed via e-mail).

I'm still not sure what happened, but I ended up somewhere near the back, where I really couldn't see much of anything.

I really don't like to complain, but people ask me how I enjoyed the shows, and I'd prefer to be honest about it rather than say nothing, and sit on my hands...and maybe this can help someone else in the future, so they don't have to go through something similar.

It was just a little discouraging to travel 7,000 kilometers and end up not being able to see much of this concert. I know others also traveled long distances as well; did anyone else have trouble with the reserved table situation? please E-mail for what it's worth.

As far as the show:

"Slender Threads" was played for the first time solo, in 29+ years (correction welcome)...well I almost saw him play it; I was in the same room at least....

I'm sorry for not listing "Out of My Book" earlier, by this point there were a group of 4 men (40-60 years old) talking away as loud as possible to the table next to mine, and I had a really hard time concentrating on anything.

After they refused to tone it down I did ask them "Could you talk a little louder"? It was just really awful, a ph concert isn't a rock and roll free for all, where you don't really need to pay attention. It was like trying to read a book, and every time I found my place, someone bumped into me, and turned the book upside down. (For 90 minutes)

One 'person' in particular, at least 60 years old, grey, bald, would not shut up ... and I didn't get the impression they were deaf and had to talk that loud.

I asked afterwards if anyone knew who they were; and no one did....(No one would sure admit to it) And it wasn't just me, others were exasperated as well.

Not only could I not see, now I couldn't hear very well either and I really, considered leaving....I don't expect a perfectly behaved crowd, or a front row seat for every show, just "A" seat where I can see, and not have to put up with people talking thru an entire concert.

Why were they there?

Maybe one of them was translating the entire concert from English into Italian, (was that it?)

And there wasn't any place to move to, except back...there was some limited standing room on the side but I didn't see anything that wouldn't be blocking someone else.

Absolutely the most discouraging and disconcerting concert experience I've ever had.

And even more noise from the video arcade and bowling alley that is below the club; a constant stream of crowd chatter that seemed also to be filtered thru the sound system, as there weren't that many at the bar to make that much rackett.

It sounded like a party was going on next door and someone had left the door open.

However, that's not to say the bar didn't produce it's own annoyance, no, no, no, they leave no base uncovered, no stone unturned, the wonderful people working the bar at JUX TAP, thought it funny to throw stuff back and forth, letting things fall to the ground, laughing about it. I only noticed this since I had to look at something, I sure couldn't see much of the stage.

Really upsetting to have been guaranteed a front table via e-mail and then end up so far back, only able to view those at the tables in front and most of those people seemed disinterested.

I know, I shouldn't go to a concert expecting to see and hear it.

For those that had a good or great seat and were away from that distracting table I'm sure it was a great concert; many told me after Firenze that Sarzana was the better of the two. I'll really never know; I don't recall 'out of my book' or 'a better time' even being played. (Someone will have to prove that to me). Anyone have an accurate set list?