I had been watching Dale’s official site for any news regarding gigs and low and behold two within three weeks of each other. Sadly I was only able to attend the latter one held at the Manor Farm Tea Rooms at Seale very close to the Surrey/Hampshire border.
After a three hour drive which went by quickly, myself and my other half and our son got out of the car and we made our way into the Tea Room, we knew we were in the right place because we could hear Dale warm up during a sound check with Argghhh and Ubbbbs as well as the obligatory “ONE” “TWO” and a brief run through of his songs.
We got ourselves a cup of tea and we were undecided on the cake as there were so many choices to choose from with this being a tea room all of the cake was home made to a high quality.
We found our seats in a rather informal setting; we were to be joined by around 55 people.
I found out from Dale’s webmaster who was also present that Dale would be the last act on; this confused me and it begged the question who else was on the bill?. It turned out that a multitude of people with a mix of influences and styles who would be ahead of Dale.
There were classical guitar pieces, blues and some Spanish pieces performed with one young lad that could only have been 13 playing the most accomplished blues on a Gibson Les Paul.
Time did indeed march on and you had a multitude of styles performed by a multitude of people eventually it was Dale’s turn, Dales webmaster seems to be a jack of all trades, as he was also the live sound engineer for the whole gig.
Dale started with a Paul Simon piece “Graceland” which was a credit to the original. Dale did it justice although this was of course an unplugged version.
Dale started a story that was about the next song this time an original composition “It’s not for me “from the album Cubed. Well this wasn’t as rocky as the album version, this was a rather unplugged perforamnce but the message still struck home in a very Bob Dylan kind of way I could even imagine Bob Dylan covering it some day.
Then another story and this time a new song from as yet an unreleased batch of songs, “The Hardest Part” was very thought provoking and again it hit home.
The next song was called “Fateful Day” Dale described it as the moments in your life were your presented with an opportunity and you basically say YES or NO and you make that instantaneous decision that changes your life, in Dale’s case it was whether he wanted to work full time for Mike Rutherford (of GENESIS) and to move from Fort Worth Indiana to Surrey over 26 years ago.
The song itself painted that picture well. The next four songs like this one were from a batch of unreleased songs the sound was just right for the venue not over powering but not under powered either the audience were very enthusiastic and they all seemed to know of Dale.
The final songs performed were Simon and Garfunkel compositions “Scarborough Fair “and “Mrs Robinson”. Mrs Robinson was excellently performed and it had my foot tapping along to it, Scarborough Fair was expertly performed also.
The audience clapped and everyone wanted an encore but sadly the venue had to close sometime and some of the previous acts had over ran in there own performances hence no encores this evening which was a little sad.
I will make a note here; I saw Dale open for the Musical Box (a Genesis tribute band) in Birmingham earlier this year (2005) and that was in front a big audience of around 1500 people, Dale is able to have an audience of that size warmed up with ease and in tune to his music being played in his style.
The real sad thing is that this is a guy with the talent and ability yet is going unnoticed which in my opinion is just criminal.
Songs performed were as follows…
- It’s Not for Me
- The Hardest Part
- Fateful Day
- What’s Going On (Originally recorded by “Four non Blondes”)
- Before You Came
- No Conversation
- Scarborough Fair
- Mrs Robinson
For more information about Dale Newman please visit dalenewman.net
For more information about The Manor Farm Tea Rooms please visit this LINK
Please bare in mind their site currently has adverts on it.