Very Cellular Songs The Music of the Incredible String Band
Barbican, London
Sunday 19th July 2009

The performers:

Mike Heron
Cliver Palmer
Georgia Seddon
Dr Strangely Strange (Tim Goulding, Ivan Pawle, Tim Booth, Joe Thoma)
Trembling Bells (Lavinia Blackwell, Alex Nielson, Ben Reynolds, Simon Shaw, Hanna)
Scritti Politti (Green Gartside & Rhodri Marsden)
Robyn Hitchcock (who doubled as overall bandleader where needed)
Richard Thompson
Kami (Camilla) Thompson
Alasdair Roberts
Abigail Washburn
Bernard O'Neill (bassist, standing in for Danny Thompson, who had a family crisis)
Alistair Caplin.

Georgia and Dr Strangely Strange did a free set each in the foyer beforehand.

Set01. Georgia Seddon:

01. Shackled and Bound
02. Revive
03. Snow
04. A Leaf Must Fall
05. My Song
06. Alice is a Long Time Gone
07. Moment
08. We are the Stars

Set02. Dr Strangely Strange:
(1-4 as the four-piece, 5-7 with Joe Fawcett on bass & Paul Dufour on drums):

01. Intro
02. Invisible Kid
03. Horse of a Different Hue
04. Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal
05. Donnybrook Fair
06. Piece of Cod
07. Sign on my Mind
08. We Were Young

Set03. The main show. First half:

01. When the Music Starts to Play - full cast
02. Joe Boyd introduction
03. Way Back in the 1960s - Hitchcock (guitar, lead vocal), R Thompson (guitar vocal), O'Neill (bass)
04. Painting Box - K Thompson (vocal), R Thompson (guitar), O'Neill (bass)
05. Swift as the Wind - Washburn (kid vocal & banjo) & Hitchcock (parent vocal & guitar), O'Neill (bass, bowed)
06. Empty Pocket Blues - Palmer (lead vocal, guitar), Heron (guitar, vocal), + Tim Goulding (whistle)
07. My Name is Death - Roberts (guitar, vocal), O'Neill (bass)
08. Dust Be Diamonds - Gartside (guitar, vocal) & K Thompson (electric guitar, vocal), Marsden (keyboard)
09. October Song - R Thompson (guitar, vocal)
10. Mike Heron Chats
11. Chinese White - Heron (guitar, lead vocal), Seddon (keyboard, vocal), Hitchcock (guitar, vocal), + Joe Thoma from the Strangelies on fiddle
12. Air - Dr Strangely Strange with Green Gartside
13. Greatest Friend - Trembling Bells
14. Feast of Stephen - Heron (guitar, lead vocal), Hitchcock (guitar, vocal), Seddon (keyboard, vocal), Washburn (vocal), R Thompson (guitar), O'Neill (bass), Caplin (fiddle) + lead singer & drummer from TB

Set04. The main show. Second half:

01. Joe Boyd introduction
02. The Circle is Unbroken - Heron (keyboard, lead vocal), Seddon (keyboard, vocal), Caplin (fiddle)
03. "A tune from my grandparents' time" (= the N-tune) - Palmer (banjo)
04. Good as Gone - Washburn (banjo, vocal)
05. Cold Days of February - Trembling Bells
06. Cousin Caterpillar - Dr Strangely Strange (Ivan Pawle on lead vocal) with Trembling Bells, R Thompson (guitar)
07. First Girl Loved - Hitchcock (guitar, lead vocal), R Thompson (guitar vocal),
O'Neill (bass)
08. God Dog - Gartside (lead vocal), Marsden (keyboard, playing what sounded like the actual Dolly Collins arrangement), K Thompson (vocal), drummer from TB
09. Maya - Roberts (lead vocal on verses, guitar), Hitchcock (guitar, lead vocal on chorus), Washburn (vocal & banjo on chorus)
10. Log Cabin Home in the Sky - R Thompson (lead vocal, guitar), Washburn (banjo, vocal), Caplin (fiddle), Thoma (fiddle), O'Neill (bass)
11. A Very Cellular Song - full company led by Seddon (organ) & Hitchcock (conducting, guitar), with vocals in turn from Roberts ("Winter was cold..."), Washburn ("Lay down..."), TB lead singer ("Who would lose...), Seddon ("Who would come..."), Hitchcock ("Nebulous nearnesses..."), Gartside ("Who would mouse..."), K Thompson ("Who would skip..."), Palmer ("Amoebas..."), Heron (the
rest); Washburn square-danced through the finale, and Rose Simpson slipped on stage to join the Strangelies (but didn't appear to sing). Clive seemed to be playing sitar.
12. Nightfall - Hitchcock (guitar, vocal)
13. Everything's Fine Right Now - Heron & company, with a verse from Roberts (and a bit where someone else was supposed to come in on "you don't have to sing" but missed their cue). Rose did join in the chorus, albeit a long way from the mike.

With thanks to Nick L. for the detailed information given above.

Recording details:

Taper: BlackBoB
Location: front row, slightly right of centre
Taping Gear: Zoom H2, rear internal mics, gain set at low, 16bit/44.1kHz mode
Transfer: Zoom H2>USB cable>PC>Cdwave>Flac8(TLH)
Audio enhancement applied by Neuthorduo.
Some editing of the applause was necessary to the last set to enable it to fit onto an 80 minute CDR.

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