Steve Earle - One4Review
As the first post-Fringe excursion for one4 review it was another visit to Dunfermline’s premier entertainment venue The Alhambra Theatre , where along with the excess of 700 others I was there to see country-rock legend Steve Earle.
But first there was the support act of Dave Arcari, who I have to confess I haven’t heard of before. Arcari is a Glasgow singer songwriter, replete with a gravelly voice, and a mean style of guitar playing that is an amalgam of styles, country, punk and rockabilly fused with delta blues, he performed mostly self penned material for his allotted 30 minutes or so. Just him his voice and his axe could have been dwarfed by the massive performance space, but his presence was large enough to cope.
He is about to release his fifth album and commence a UK tour in October playing in good sized venues so it is obvious that he has a fair following both in the UK and also in Europe. At least a few hundred other people are now aware of him following this gig. His material was well received by most and his applause was significant at the end of his set.
After a brief change over and recharging of glasses, Earle took to the stage with his guitars, mandolin, a multitude of harmonicas and proceeded to play to the die-hard fans for nearly two hours without a break.
Back in the annuls of time I bought Earle’s album Copperhead Road, but it hadn’t seen the light of day for probably fifteen years, so you could hardly call me a regular fan. This album had him backed by the Dukes his backing band at the time and I initially wondered how good these tracks would sound as acoustic numbers, but I need not have worried. They worked so well, almost better than the originals.
Much married, I believe he is on wife number seven, and a once hardened drinker and substance abuser, Earle now has a easy going manner that captivates the audience. Playing a mixture of well know material, even I recognised a fair number of his songs, and a selection of lesser know stuff too, but no matter, the guy can sell a song and was thoroughly entertaining throughout his entire set.
He is quite opinionated on some political issues and is totally unafraid to share his thoughts with all, most of which seemed to be those with which the audience concurred. His is witty and erudite in his chat, although given his ‘deep south’ accent one does have to listen carefully.
The two our set went very quickly, but was no where long enough for the staunch fans, I’m sure they would have stayed and listened all night.
This was the first of the many planned visits to Dunfermline’s Alhambra and to check out what’s for what’s available in the future check out the website www.alhambradunfermline.com
Reviewed by Geoff