Not the best start to a concert evening with the artists and, indeed, some if the audience held up by the closure of the M1 due to a major incident.
This resulted in the start of the Dylan Project gig being put back to allow for the normal thorough sound check. This type of delay is something that has been unheard of in the history of Warthog Promotions. However, the Warthog audience, whilst discerning and passionate about their music, are also a civilised lot, and took this minor hiccup in their stride.
With Dylan having been in the news recently for his award of the Nobel for literature, this was excellent timing for the band to return Lowdham Village Hall. Steve Gibbons led the crew on to stage, looking the epitome of a rock star in a crisp white shirt and flamboyant scarf.
Throughout he channelled the spirit of Dylan with his vocals ably matching the master’s gravelly tones. On their previous appearance in Lowdham the Dylan Project’s repertoire included songs spanning the great man’s career. However, Friday’s gig was largely based around seminal album Blonde On Blonde from the mid 60s. For those who remember vinyl, it was a double album.Backed by Dave Pegg (bass), P J Wright (guitar), Phil Bond (keyboards and accordion) and Gerry Conway (drums), Gibbons launched into Rainy Day Women #12 + 35 (everybody must get stoned!) followed by Pledging My Time. Both of these featured fine slide guitar from Wright and, along with You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine, are included on live recording, Caught In The Convent, the band’s latest release. It was also a great chance to give the album several on stage plugs!
Tom Robinson’s 6 Music Sunday request show last week played homage to Dylan and Visions Of Johanna proved the most popular song, so it was apt that it was included. Similarly epic was Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands, which as Gibbons noted, was slightly trimmed down from Dylan’s album version. I Want You, and, Just Like A Woman originally release as singles from the LP, stirred an impromptu sing-along from the audience.
Have run through the full Blonde On Blonde track list the Dylan Project left the audience with two rousing encores, I Shall Be Released, and, Like A Rolling Stone. Cue more crowd singing.