Capercaillie : 2003 tour

[Choice LanguageCD sleeve]

Choice Language

Cambridge Corn Exchange
Monday 12 May 2003

This was my fourth Capercaillie concert, which accompanies their new album, Choice Language . I prefer to hear an album before going to a concert, but unfortunately, this one wasn't released until just afterwards. Nevertheless I enjoyed the music.

Yes, the music was excellent. But the lighting designer should be taken out and shot. Who on earth could think it a good idea to shine painfully bright lights, at irregular but frequent intervals, into the audience's eyes from five spots at the back of the stage? I'm sure it's forbidden under the Geneva Convention. I spent half the time with my eyes shut. True, this might have allowed me to concentrate on the music -- but seeing the performance is part of the pleasure -- especially to see what weird instrument is making each wonderful sound.

At least the lighting wasn't present during the warm-up act. Although still not my cup of tea, I think this was the best warm-up to accompany one of their tours yet. The songs were perfectly pleasant, in a down-beat sort of way, and the guy had an amusing self-deprecating patter to go with it all.

The concert lit up for me -- both musically and otherwise -- for the main event. As usual, about half of the performance comprised the wonderful jigs and reels, with marvellous instrumental performances (the fiddler even broke a string at one point!). The audience remained in their seats this time, though (at least, while I could see). The songs, some fast, some slow, were about half from their new album, and about half old favorites, with one outstanding almost-solo (about the Lord of Jura) from Karen Matheson towards the middle. All good stuff.

Not quite as sharp as their superb 2000 tour , I felt. But still, an excellent evening's music. Pity about the lights.

reviewed 17 May 2003