|Donnie Vie & Baz Francis ‘Magical History Tour’- Ebbw Vale, EVI - 20th July 2013|
|Written by Rob Watkins|
|Wednesday, 31 July 2013 03:00|
Roll up, roll up for the Magical History Tour.....Step right this way...well to the EVI anyway for a date with two of the finest musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, from Magic Eight Ball and the UK Baz Francis, and from Enuff Z Nuff and the US of A Donnie Vie.
And it is the Brit part of the Magical History Tour package that kicks the proceedings off here tonight in the round. Baz Francis has stacks and stacks of harmony, bliss and melody to keep the gathered musical aficionados glued to their seats tonight. Playing a selection of his self-penned Magic Eight Ball tunes such as ‘Love Makes You Do Some Funny Things’ and ‘Rhubarb & Custard (Cats In My Home)’ whilst also slipping in a cover of Nirvana`s `Heart Shaped Box` the latter delivered in his own mellow-esque and thoughtful way certainly highlighted the stripped down beauty of the tune in question. Baz also performing tracks from ‘A Peacock Tale’ in the intimate yet glorious surroundings of the EVI adding a kind of ‘60s vibe and feel to proceedings. But even with just an acoustic guitar it’s Baz Francis`s mind-blowing song arrangements that really stand centre stage (or should that be floor?), this music really should be experienced in the live environment to be fully appreciated, holding court with his dreamy presence and groovy tunes filled with heartwarming intelligence, this is British songwriting at its highest echelon. People take notice and salute Magic Eight Ball.
Donnie Vie....singer songwriter, performer, musical legend and here touring the UK is performing his collection of compositions in the format they were originally composed, which is as unique as a night can get really. The respect this man deserves for year in year out knocking out meaningful world class songs and then touring the world over and over plying his musical wares is endless, and Ii thank you from the bottom of my heart Donnie for stopping off with this tour in my home town.
Tonight Donnie’s supreme tunesmithery is in full bloom with tunes such as `Jesus In Drag` and the Beatles-esque `That`s What Love Is` just for starters. Believe me when I say that if I was man enuff to cry I believe I would right now. It’s heartwarming to witness Donnie sat surrounded by real music fanatics, people who have attended not just tonight but quite a few shows on this tour not only for their love of proper music but also their adulation of one of Chicago`s finest sons.
Donnie taking requests throughout the relaxed and chilled out performance was also adept at answering questions and giving his own personal thoughts and heartfelt memories of Derek Frigo (R.I.P.) Vikki Foxx and so on, on what proved to be an exclusive history of Enuff Z’Nuff. The number of requests including fan faves and obscurities like `For Now` in all its stripped back originality in its purest dreamy form `Mother`s Eyes’ `Finger On The Trigger’ giving us the chance to share in some rarely heard masterpieces.
I even get my request of `Vacant Love’ which for me really is heaven plus we get the total finesse of `Fingertips’ delivered with a real honest openness, and credit to the man for that in this world of falseness and glory-hunting.
‘Right By Your Side’ gives way to the self-reflective side of Donnie in `Joni Lynn’, `Lazy Dazy’ and `Lisa` and there is no doubting where Donnie`s heart is right now. `Lollipop` gets mixed with `Blue Island’ whilst `The Way Home’ is almost like a psychedelic voyage, with the songs the vision through which we relive the musical life and times of Mr Donnie Vie.
With the beautiful `Goodbye’ it`s hard to believe that tunes such as this have now been out there for all to behold for over 20 years but it still seems to me like yesterday, and of course there`s the MTV generated `Fly High Michelle’ that rolls straight into `New Thing’ for the more casual listener to enjoy. I think we’re all getting high tonight though…. on Donnie, as sat in his songwriters circle he reels off `Wheels` and of course `Innocence`, this is Chicago family storytelling straight from the heart.
Memories of the Nelson tour are relived, and I’m honestly, for the first time in quite a while, speechless, as more Vie gems like `I`ll Go On’, `It`s Too Late’ and `If I Can`t Have You’ segue into some ‘Tweaked’ magic moments as snippets of `’I Could Never Be Without You’ give way to the perfect progression of `Time To Let You Go’. This encapsulating the super-duper brilliance, the intrigue and magnetic musical pull of Mr. Donnie Vie.
Nobody does it better.......