Live review, Jan 2001
Right on cue, our Brummie minstrel finished his song about the mobile phone epidemic when someone’s dummy substitute sounded its inane clarion call.
A few might call that coincidence but others would shake their heads and mutter QED.
Yes, Harvey had manifested the proof of the pudding. And not the first time, one suspects.
This was a concert that radiated light shining from a beacon of long ago when this old world was blessed with a brief interlude of optimism and young men fought with guitars instead of guns.
Harvey mourns the end of an era, confirming what a few now believe – that the great age of popular music is croaking its death rattle. Yet this one-man bands does his best to keep the spirit alive.
For our old trouper of a troubadour can still turn a poetic phrase, as from the rooftops he shouts his love for the two Dylans, Bob and Thomas. He has also marinaded his soul with the words of luminaries as diverse as the peasant poet John Clare and the Sixties balladeer Tom Paxton.
The resulting muse ranges from sound sketches lamenting our worship of the material life to the folly of globalisation and the emergence of the superstate. Only the spiritually inert could fail to be moved.
Oh yes. Harvey also talked about the recent death of the musician Isaac Guillory and the night when a particularly sprightly centenarian First World War veteran enlivened one of his gigs.
Let’s hope the clear voice of Harvey Andrews does not fade for a long, long time.
John Phillpot, Birmingham Evening News