An artist indulged. The first half of the show was given over to a run-through of 'Days are nights: songs for Lulu' - a sombre collection, mostly chanelling Rufus' grief at the impending/actual passing of his mother Kate McGarrigle [she died of cancer in January]. He entered silently and slowly crossed the stage to the piano, dragging a 17-foot feathered train behind him - specially designed by his friend Zaldy. Fair enough, and I'm all for artists exploring the further reaches of their creativity. Several songs will no doubt make their way into the regular set-list - 'Who are you New York', 'Martha' and 'Zebulon' perhaps. But what did it for me was the visuals - a background projection of an eye (R's) heavily made up with black greasepaint, slowly opening and closing like a lizard's eye. There were even tears. We'd been warned/politely asked not to interrupt during this section, but it all got too much for the Glaswegian (?) heckler. I quote: "C'mon Rufie, play us yer f*****g songs!" Twice. Quite.
The second half was very much a requests/best-of show, ranging from 'Poses', 'Cigarettes and chocolate milk', 'Art teacher' to 'Going to a town' - which last one seemed seriously under-rehearsed. It's been one hell of a year (literally) for our man, yet he's touring relentlessly and has Kate's tribute concert at Meltdown in June to work up to. Thankfully, there were hints of the old Rufie, telling us of some of the old stuff "bubbling under", to erupt any time now. So, c'mon Rufie, we're waiting for ye.