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January 15, 1967

London, England, UK

Royal Albert Hall: The Sonnets Of Donovan

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Set list:

First part:

01. Lay Of The Last Tinker

02. Sand And Foam

03. Guinevere

04. Young Girl Blues

05. Bleak City Woman

06. The Observation

07. Preachin' Love

08. Sunny Goodge Street

09. Sunshine Superman

Second part:

01. The Tinker And The Crab

02. Voyage Into The Golden Screen

03. To Try For The Sun

04. Hampstead Incident

05. Writer In The Sun

06. Summer Day Reflection Song

07. Legend Of A Girl Child Linda

08. Isle Of Islay

09. Season Of The Witch

10. Mellow Yellow

Encore:

01. Bert's Blues

Read Ade Macrow's article about this concert

Trivia:

· The concert was called The Sonnets Of Donovan and the audience got an A4-sized programme with the word "Sonnets" on the front. The "S" of "Sonnets" was the same one used in the UK release of the Sunshine Superman album. You can see a reproduction of the programme here, in our Graphic Art section.

· This was the first Donovan concert in a big venue in the UK (the Royal Albert Hall has 5.000 seats). Until then he had been booked only into small concert halls in the UK (although previously in America he played in really big venues like Carnegie Hall in New York). The concert was a sell-out.

· George Harrison and Paul McCartney were in the audience.

· This was also his first psychedelic concert in the UK. He was wearing a yellow silk shirt, red trousers and white shoes during the first part and a long black cloak during the second.

· The backing band consisted of Shawn Phillips on 12 string guitar and sitar, Harold McNair on flute and sax, Danny Thompson on double bass, Tony Carr on drums, "Candy" John Carr on pecussion, John Cameron on harpsichord and a string quartet from The London Philharmonic.

· The concert started acoustically with Donovan playing solo Lay Of The Last Tinker and Sand And Foam, which was reported as Mexico in some reviews: many of the songs performed were new in the UK, where the Sunshine Superman album was still unreleased due to a contractual dispute (though not in America where it had been already released), so the reporters made up the unknown titles. In fact, Julie Felix recorded a cover version of Sand And Foam as Mexico that year. For Guinevere John Cameron joined Donovan on harpsichord. Then colour lights were projected onto a screen at the back of the stage and the whole band joined Donovan to play Young Girl Blues (reported as Saturday Night, under which title Marianne Faithfull recorded a cover version that year). The band also joined in Bleak City Woman, The Observation (reported as Sidewalk) and Preachin' Love. Donovan finished solo the first part with Sunny Goodge Street and Sunshine Superman.

· The second part started again with Donovan playing solo The Tinker And The Crab and Voyage Into The Golden Screen. The band joined again (with the string quartet, three violins and a cello) for To Try For The Sun (reported as Who's Gonna Be The One?), Hampstead Incident, Writer In The Sun and Summer Day Reflection Song. For the next song Donovan introduced a young italian ballet dancer called quite simply Valli (who supposedly asked for payment of one Nubian goat!). She danced around as Donovan sang a 12 minute rendition of Legend Of A Girl Child Linda (reported as Gold Apples). Donovan announced that this song was to be part of a ballet he was writing for the Ballet Rambert (a project that went no further). Donovan played Isle Of Islay solo and the band joined for Season Of The Witch, with Valli dancing again (Donovan gave her a kiss at the end). The second part finished with Mellow Yellow and the encore was Bert's Blues (although some latter reports list Good Time as the final song).

· This concert was a huge success and marked a highlight in Donovan's carrier.

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