Thursday, October 29

Big Mama, Rome, 25th October 2009

One hour before the show, and when only a few people were at the venue, Jonathan gave a CD to the DJ, because he didn’t want to make a great change in the style of music when the show began. And after that, we could listen to some themes of Van Morrison and Elliott Murphy (among other songs that I didn’t recognize).

It was a great show, with a lot of new songs (six that I didn’t have heard before). And new lyrics in some others (like In che mondo viviamo, Cosi veloce, and Es como el pan). The rapport was great, specially in the Italian songs. The only problem was that Big Mama didn’t have a good visibility of the stage for some parts of the venue, but Jonathan fixed it up by approaching to the extremes of the stage. And in the middle of “Dancing in the moonlight”, he even walked through the crowd while he was singing. The show was a little longer than usual, distributed in two sets.

1st set:

1) Egyptian Reggae
2) In Che Mondo Viviamo
3) Pablo Picasso
4) Dancing In The Moonlight (King Harvest cover)
5) The Dark Crypt Like Arcade (?)
6) The Sadness Of The Youth (?) New song in Hebrew
7) Keith Richards (with 2 reprises)
8) I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar
9) Le Printemps Des Amoureux Est Venu

2nd set:

10) Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild
11) Sunday Afternoon
12) (?) New song in French
13) A Hard Time Saying Goodbye (?)
14) Take Me To The Plaza
15) Cosi Veloce
16) South American Folk Song
17) Vampiresa Mujer
18) Es Como El Pan
19) Springtime In NY
20) No One Was Like Vermeer
21) This Romance Will Be Different For Me
22) When We Refuse To Suffer

A girl yelled at the end: Torna pronto! And I’m sure that all the audience was thinking the same. Jonathan, come back soon!

Monday, October 26


Hi Jojo-sphere, trying to sort out what's wrong with blog loading! Will be back up asap! Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, October 22

Suspect Parts

The Suspects Parts (with ex members of Xlorox Girls & the Briefs) cover "She Cracked"
on their first single

Monday, October 19

Tribute to Jonathan

On Radio NK, Thursday 22th October at 21.30h.

Friday, October 16

Schauburg, Bremen, 1985

Thanks to Andi for sending us the link of a radio broadcasted concert at Schauburg, Bremen, Germany (3rd June 1985) posted on


1. Egyptian Regge (2:54)
2. Ice Cream Man (3:14)
3. Vincent Van Gogh (3:12)
4. Louie Louie (2:20)
5. When I Dance (5:00)
6. The Beach (3:11)
7. The Ufo Man (3:22)
8. Chewing Gum Wrapper (3:40)
9. Affection (4:30)
10. Corner Store (4:31)
11. Lover, Please (2:26)
12. Malaguena De Jojo (1:39)
13. Stop This Car (1:45)
14. Rocking Leprechauns (1:32)
15. Now Is Better Than Before (2:38)
16. Not Yet Three (2:38)
17. I'm Just Beginning To Live (2:30)
18. That Summer Feeling (5:00)
19. This Kinda Music (4:52)
20. Hey There Little Insect (2:59)
21. Shirind & Farah (5:25)
22. Chewing Gum Wrapper (3:23)
23. Give Paris One More Chance (4:00)
24. Walter Johnson (2:58)

Tuesday, October 13

Brudenell Leeds

Made my way up from Hertfordshire for the Leeds gig. Brought my 22 yr old daughter with me for her first (and hopefully not last) taste of Jojo. Arriving a bit early we stood outside whilst my daughter texted her friends (it takes a while). Whilst we were stood outside Jonathan came out with the show organiser who walked Jonathan up the car park to the main road giving him directions up the road past the (several) kebab and taxi shops, taking in the local attractions as you do!
I got the distinct impression, assisted by an overheard remark, that the guy (I suspect a committee member ), was particularly made up at having Jonathan “at his place”.
I had brought with me my Jonathan Songbook (highly recommended - only £9.85 from UK Amazon), with the intention of asking the great man to autograph it, but didn’t have the bottle, it didn’t seem seemly to chase him up the car park!
Sign inside the door gave details of doors open and on stage times for Jonathan, and a bit of a cryptic request for punters to remain quiet during the performance (!)
About 40 mins before performance time I espied Jojo walking across the club floor, past the stage and through the stage door, followed 5 mins later by Tommy holding a food carton (the sort which normally would contain a kebab or burger), sampling no doubt the local cuisine! They seemed to make it across the floor largely unnoticed!
When Jojo came on and had done 4 or 5 songs or so it became apparent that many had took the sign completely seriously and although the crowd (sold out) applauded greatly at the end of each song they were noticeably restrained during the performances, so much so that Jonathan saw fit to mention how quiet they were,(with good natured humour of course). Some chap in the audience called out about the sign and its request , which drew confused looks from Jonathan, and him saying words to effect that he “didn’t like the idea of that much”, which resulted in much laughter. After that there was no problem with audience participation!!!
I was particularly struck by the size of Tommy’s drum kit. Normally when i’ve seen him before he has had a smaller “jazz” type kit, but this seemed much bigger with larger crash and ride cymbals too. This was reflected by the sound, which seemed larger and “rockier” than at other times.
The litmus test was my daughter, brought up on Busted, McFly and now a devoted follower of unsigned indie bands and emo bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy. How would she find Jonathan? Would she be bored, or find Jonathan ridiculous, or his songs silly? Result? A thumbs up ! She enjoyed the songs, thought his dancing spot on, and generally enjoyed the whole thing clapping along and joining in with the “I was dancing in the Lesbian Bar” choruses. Although Jonathan wouldn’t necessarily be going to the top of her “must see list”, she wouldn’t rule out seeing him again!
Don’t ask me about setlists – I can never remember these things, but it very much the same as the Glasgow gig. Particularly enjoyed “Keith Richards”, which if I recall had a tiny lyrical snippet of “Roadrunner” in it. Plus we got “Vermeer” at the end in the encore, which is my favourite at the moment.
Anyway, it all finished all too early,and we both went off to the Kebab shop up the road, and back off to our hotel.
Caught the train back down towards Kings Cross the following morning, fully aware that Tommy and Jonathan would probably be heading down to St Pancras for the Eurostar to Paris. Alas no Jonathan spotted on the train - so my songbook remains unsigned!

Deaf Institute, Manchester, 11th October 2009

What a great little venue the Manchester Deaf Institute is! Much smaller and far more intimate than the usual place Jonathan plays in Manchester (Manchester Academy just a couple of minutes away down the road).

The show had been sold out for weeks, so me and Jan got there early and positioned ourselves pretty near the front, at about 10 feet away from the stage. By the time Jonathan and Tommy came on, pretty soon after 8.45, the place was packed with maybe 300 people seeming to fill every space possible. I was glad we’d sorted out our places early on as there didn’t seem much ability to change position within the tightly packed crowd.

Jonathan did quite a few new songs, one of them 'Keith Richards' went down really well and seemed to be a highlight of the night, as was the 'Cellphone Song' which Jonathan did soon after someone had called out for it as a request. I'll post the set list below.

At one point, towards the end of the show, Jonathan broke off mid song to sing something like...

"Folks in the audience, this is Jonathan asking a question to you...

I use no watch or program on the stage, so I've no idea how long we've been playing... but if we're getting boring for being too long, just let us know, Please do..."

The response was an emphatic "NO - keep on going!” and Jonathan and Tommy carried on for something like another 20 minutes. The audience would have happily had them stay for long - much longer!

Among the encores was a excellent 'off the cuff' classical guitar piece that Jonathan performed solo, Tommy had left the stage thinking the show was completely over, but there was one more song that Jonathan had thought of as an afterthought that he really wanted to play to close the show, so a couple of minutes later after Tommy had been found, the show ended with another new one ‘Mr Sorrow’.

I really enjoyed the whole night and, judging by the overheard comments around us on the way out, many other people were also heading home extremely happy too! A great show and one of my favourites!

Set list: -

1) Celestial

2) I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar

3) Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild

4) No One Was Like Vermeer

5) When We Refuse To Suffer

6) Let Her Go Into The Darkness

7) This Romance Will Be Different For Me

8) The Dark Crypt Like Arcade

9) Take Me To The Plaza

10) Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love

11) Keith Richards

12) Egyptian Reggae

13) A Que Venimos Sino A Caer

14) A Hard Time Saying Goodbye

15) You Can Have A Cellphone, But Not Me

16) Fender Stratocaster

17) Nishi

18) Classical Guitar Piece (?)

19) Mr Sorrow

Train trip with Jojo

Thomas sent me a couple of photos from Manchester show, and this great story:

I have a cool story from this week that has pretty much made my day, week, year. I went to see Jonathan in Manchester on Sunday night... The gig was fantastic fun as I expected, but the day after I was waiting for my train back to Leeds when Jonathan and Tommy came up to the same station! I shook his hand and said what a great time I had an he was really courteous. Then we walked to the platform on the train and he actually came and found me at the opposite end of the carriage and said there's a seat next to him if I wanted to join him. Amazing! An hour in the company of the great man. Talking about Neil Young, new music (he really loves TV On The Radio), his part time stone-masonry, his past records (we agreed to disagree on Jonathan Sings, he hated it), his touring style, the French language and travelling. Just an amazingly down to earth inspiring fella. He also put me plus 3 friends on the guestlist for the gig in Leeds last night which was brilliant of him. I won't be forgetting it in a hurry. Hero!

Oran Mor, Glasgow

A review of the Glasgow show from Wojit. Also the complete setlist with some new songs (Keith Richards? I will love to hear that song!).

The performance was great. Purely joyful. Never have I seen a performer smile so damn much while on stage. Never have I heard so much handclapping and singing from an audience. The band consisted of him on guitar, plus one Tommy Larkins on drums. Occasionally he would put down the guitar to pick up a cowbell, or just dance awkwardly.

1) I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar (An insanely good choice of opening, as it immediately encourages both singing and dancing)
2) Pablo Picasso (With a great spanish guitar kind of sound, which made it extremely dissimilar to the punky original)
3) Springtime In New York
4) Keith Richards (New. Excellent.)
5) Egyptian Reggae
6) When I Dance
7) Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild
8) Girlfriend
9) Time Has Gone By So Fast
10) Let Her Go Into The Darkness (My least favourite of the night, for whatever reason)
11) Mr. Sorrow (?) (New? Pretty good!)
12) Old World (This is pretty interesting, because it's on both his first, and his latest albums. Back then he says he "stills loves the Old World," these days he wants to "say goodbye to the Old World." Time seems to have made him less nostalgic.)
13) Stultified (?) (New. Rather good!)
14) No One Was Like Vemeer (Best song of the night, for my money)
15) Le Printemps Des Amoureux Est Venu (So French.)
16) Es Como El Pan (An excellent song, even if it's twelve times too Spanish for me to understand.)
17) My Affected Accent (New? Look, no online video is going to capture how great this concert or this song was, but I'm going to embed one below anyway)
18) This Romance Will Be Different For Me
19) My Baby Love Love Loves Me

You can read the complete review here:

And a video of the opening song:

Sunday, October 4

Makeout Room/ Random Stuff Roundup

Our boy Jonathan played at The Makeout Room September 20th-23rd, and I'm now just getting around to doing the review roundup, due to my thesis-based lameassedness. (Expect me to be lame through December due to same/trying to graduate. I apologize.) Now, away from sorry apologies, and onto the reviews and such!

Katie Ann Doze of the
SF appeal is going to start us off, though I guess it can't be a review per se, since it was published the 20th. But, I love it anyhow. Katie shares my desire to give Jonathan a big hug and feed him dinner - though as far
as the wanting to wake up in bed next to him, you're on your own, Katie. Photo is by Russell Daniels.

Going to a Jonathan Richman show is like what you wish a
Litquake event would be. He sings of warm summer nights, youthful love, walking around in melancholy, sad heartbreaks. The all-encompassing love he sings about is the kind that, in real life, evaporates over time and age, but while you watch and listen to him, you daydream of this innocence you once had and what it would be like to have that again. So much so that you immediately fall in love and want to take him home and feed him a big dinner, hold him to your breast and put him to sleep - but at the same time, you want him to admire your beauty and caress your shoulder and sing to you in bed at 5 in the morning....

So here's some words of advice if you're having trouble with which day you'll go. If you are an older fan who enjoys the slower songs and likes to sit

down during shows, go today. If you're a die hard fan like me and like the mix of newly hashed-out songs, the slow, and the upbeat, go on Monday. If you've seen him 5 or more times, go on Tuesday. If you've never seen him, or maybe once or twice, or your favorite song is "I Was Dancing In a Lesbian Bar

", go on Wednesday.

Or you could be like me and see him and Tommy every night.

Going every night? A girl after my own heart. Read the rest here.

The next item of interest is not so much a review as Jonathan being a nice guy. He played in August for Creativity Explored, a group brings art to the developmentally disabled. I stole the picture from their website. you can see their storylet here.

And finally, Jonathan at the Make-out room, in video form. Pretty decent, if you can ignore the fact that the camera is on it's side. The first song is a newbie, which I am tentatively called "Stultified". And then stay tuned for Jonathan's patented dance moves! Every time I see a video from Make-Out room shows, I wish I lived in San Francisco.