Bob Dylan set for 2011 UK tour
Dates in Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff and Bournemouth
Rock stars, like canines, maintain strange relationships with the tally of the passing years. The job is viable till the moment the performer hits 60, at which point the shade of pensioner-hood lowers like showers on a Bank Holiday weekend. We’re currently slap-bang in an age when rock’s founding fathers – McCartney, Daltrey, Jagger, Bowie – are finding their hitherto ageless glory sniggered at by the Grim Reaper and his armoury of hair dyes, pacemakers and tummy girdles.
Perversely, though, in rock, 70 is coming to be the new 50; it’s assuming the ring of a manly and defiant score, a Clint Eastwood and Willy Nelsonish, grizzled but lean kind of age. And it’s the age at which Bob Dylan finds himself, as he comes out the other side of several years’ intensive revaluation and accolade-receipt. How the times are, well … changing. Ten years ago (and for several decades prior to that) Dylan was a disgruntled, no-eye-contact nutter, an auto-vandal and entertainer as reliable as a chocolate stopwatch.
Suddenly, though, he’s a survivor with a calling and a mission, a hotline to the deep, forgotten pasts of American popular music. He’s both, of course; he’s large and contains multitudes. Which you’ll no doubt discover if you board the raggedy, ramshackle switchback of Dylan’s live show, stopping soon for two nights at Braehead Arena, a pleasant change from the echoing caverns of his usual SECC. At times these shows will have the air of seances, as Dylan concentrates heroically to contact the eternal, elemental soul of the song he’s performing. At others they’ll resemble autopsies, as the faceless, tune-free and tortured cadavers of his repertoire pile up around him. Whatever you get, you can be certain you’ve looked the essence of legend in the whites of its eyes. He was so much older then; he’s younger than that now.
Bob Dylan UK Tour 2011
Dublin 02 (Thu 6 Oct)
Glasgow Braehead Arena (Sat 8 Oct, Sun 9 Oct)
Manchester Evening News Arena (Mon 10 Oct)
Nottingham Capital FM Arena (Tue 11 Oct)
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (Thu 13 Oct)
Bournemouth International Centre (Fri 14 Oct)