3rd July 2016, Hyde Park London
Louise Goffin – vocal, guitar
Dave Arch – keyboards
Robbie McIntosh – electric guitar
Andy Kane – guitars
David Capel-Birch (?)– bass guitar
Jeremy Stacey – drums
Louise Goffin on screen
Watching The Sky Turn Blue
Here Where You Are Loved
It’s Not The Spotlight
Sometimes A Circle
Take A Giant Step
Devil’s Door + Rami Jaffee, accordion
Some of Them Will Fool You
We Belong Together + Rami Jaffee vocals
We timed our arrival in Hyde Park to catch Louise Goffin’s set. We walked through the entrance, noting the pile of folding chairs outside (No Folding Chairs Allowed) and past the No Picnic Blankets Past This Point sign to lay our picnic blanket down among all the other ones who’d ignored it, i.e. just about everybody. The sun was shining and many were lying flat to listen.
Louise Goffin is a senior member of the second generation rock club, along with Harper Simon, Jakob Dylan, Julian Lennon, Zak Starkey. It must be an unenviable position in many ways. Louise Goffin has a number of albums, and writes her own material, inheriting from both parents … Gerry Goffin did the lyrics, Carole King did the music. Then having Little Eva singing you to sleep as babysitter must leave an impression.
Lest you admire my apparently encylopaedic knowledge of her back catalogue, you can usually find song titles if you note a couple of lines of lyric and google! Four of the ten songs come from her Dreamworks album, Songs From The Mine, which I’m about to order. Five are on The Essential Louise Goffin Vol. 1 which I bought at the concert … it looked like the only CD on sale which surprised me.
It’s hard to note the band from a role call, though I recognized Robbie McIntosh, just a couple of months after seeing him with Natalie Merchant. The cameraman favoured him so we could see the switch from Telecaster to Rickenbacker (I assume) and Stratocaster. As a sideman, it amazes me that he can learn Natalie Merchant’s long UK set, then learn Louise Goffin’s set apart from whatever he was doing in-between. Keyboard player Dave Arch is the MD for Strictly Come Dancing so it appears to be a largely British line-up.
It was a mellow set with people relaxing back to watch and enjoy. The standout song for me immediately was It’s Not The Spotlight, though it’s difficult to assess largely unfamiliar material first time.
More familiar was Take A Giant Step, a Goffin-King song with a strange history. It was the B-side of The Monkees Last Train to Clarksville, then bluesman Taj Mahal slowed it right down, and made it the title track for an album. Louise Goffin has it on her Essential collection in a duet with Jakob Dylan. The song, as done cheerily by The Monkees was ostensibly a plea for a girl to move on and live again at last after a failed romance. Others think it was Gerry Goffin taking an early interest in psychedelics … take a giant step outside your mind.
Rami Jaffee from Wallflowers and Foo Fighters joined her on two numbers, playing accordion on Devil’s Door and adding vocals on We Belong Together.
Everyone around us was expressing appreciation as she ended the set. I’ll add a little rant though:
Louise Goffin on screen, with isolated standers oblivious to people sitting behind (see below)
For most of us, we were seated or lying on picnic blankets until Don Henley and Carole King, which people stood for. It was particularly sunny during Louise Goffin’s set. I noted something I’ve always seen at outdoor shows. That is people will walk into an all seated / lying area, and stand, obscuring the view of scores of people. A characteristic of these standers is that they arrive after everyone else, walk to the centre, then carry on a loud conversation … they come in twos and fours … mainly conducted with their backs to the stage. As at Larmer Tree, the offenders were middle-aged or older. I guess at a younger event, people would be more overt and tell them to sit down.