Zappa Plays Zappa - HMV Picture House Edinburgh 15 November 2012
ZPZ's third visit to Edinburgh, and this time I took my son who is becoming a big Zappa fan. (He's playing The Black Page for his degree recital next year.) As usual, the band were amazing, playing for over two hours with no interval or support, and maintaining a phenomenally high standard of musicianship throughout.
Rather to Ruairidh's disappointment they didn't do The Black Page (it was in their set list not that long ago), though drummer Joe Travers did a pretty amazing solo. Special plaudits also to saxophonist/singer/keyboardist Scheila Gonzalez, and lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Thomas. Dweezil brought on a couple of guest musicians whose names I didn't catch, one a "stunt vocalist" for Tryin' To Grow A Chin and the other a clarinettist (female, and really good) for Zomby Woof.
As well as his usual Stratocaster, Dweezil played a replica of his Dad's Roxy guitar (the modified Gibson SG used on Roxy and Elsewhere). Apparently the plan is to market such replicas in a limited edition of 800 or so: guitar buffs take note.
There was a brief glitch with the sound system early on which caused a "magnetic pulse" to be sent through the in-ear monitors of the whole band. it was quickly sorted, but gave Dweezil the perfect opportunity for an intro when they came back on for an encore. A massive wail went up from his guitar system, and he said it was a fault but sounded strangely like some kind of drone. Then he noodled around playing pseudo-bagpipe riffs before saying that he was trying to remember how a bagpipe tune went: could we help him out? At this point his noodling started to include snippets of Scotland The Brave, and we were away, with the audience all singing along. Brilliant.
Here is the set list. It matches the one from last week at the Roundhouse in London almost exactly, apart from the addition of Scotland The Brave and the slow 3/4 time number that followed Who Are the Brain Police? which I haven't been able to identify.
Hungry Freaks Daddy
Echidna’s Arf (Of You)
Penguin In Bondage
The Idiot Bastard Son
I’m So Cute
Tryin’ To Grow A Chin
Harder Than Your Husband
Wind Up Working In A Gas Station
Ride My Face To Chicago
Let’s Make The Water Turn Black (instrumental version)
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
Debra Kadabra Who Are the Brain Police?
Instrumental slow waltz
Scotland the Brave (!)
Peaches En Regalia
Something for everyone there. Ruairidh, who prefers the later Zappa albums to the ones with the Mothers, especially enjoyed the numbers from Joe's Garage, while having come to the Mothers first via We're Only In It For The Money I loved hearing Let's Make The Water Turn Black and Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance. And I've always loved Zomby Woof.