April 5, 2007

Warm sun pours over me :: Badly Drawn Boy live in San Francisco, 3/23/07

Today I am very excited about this fantastic show from Damon Gough, aka the perpetually stocking-capped Badly Drawn Boy, at the Great American Music Hall (love it) in San Francisco from a few weeks ago. I was actually supposed to see BDB a few days prior to this show up in Boulder and I totally goofed it and went out of town that weekend instead. I felt like an absolute dolt when I remembered ex post facto, and after hearing this I am kicking myself anew.

This is a trademark extra-long, gorgeous set from a talented and multifaceted musician. If you haven’t become familiar with Badly Drawn Boy (who has this kind of childishly-odd emo moniker, but you can ignore that and just call him Damon if it makes it easier for you to give him the props he deserves) — this is your chance.

BDB music is complex and literate; finely-woven pop songs that incorporate acoustic guitar, piano, strings, harmonica, even some attempts at whistling. You may also remember that Gough also scored the film adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel About A Boy, and he includes three songs from that album in this set (including the wonderful “Silent Sigh”).

He has an impeccable ear for unforgettable melodies that get under my skin and etch themselves in my memory. They are the sort of dense, truthful songs that I could see soundtracking my life if I could play them on a loop to overlay my quotidian activities. I would feel much more meaningful with this stuff scoring my day. But as Damon sings in the bittersweet You Were Right, “songs are never quite the answer, just a soundtrack to a life that is over all too soon.”

As likely to insert a snippet of Springsteen (“Thunder Road” at the beginning of the lovely “Walk You Home Tonight”) as he is to check Journey (a perfect choice of a closing tune once the bar has closed and everyone really just wants to sing along), Gough’s musical influences traverse a wide and rich landscape.

This set is stuffed with gems and engaging conversation with Damon and the audience. Damon says that “this whole tour’s been one of the best tours I’ve ever been involved in,” and that he is dedicating his shows lately to his grandfather who passed away in March, as a celebration of his life. A celebration indeed, this is one of the loveliest shows I’ve listened to in a long time and it makes me wish I could keep my concert dates straight and not be so daft. Grrr.

Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, March 23, 2007

Time of Times
Journey from A to B
Degrees of Separation
Born in the UK (title track from his new album)
Further I Slide
Nothing’s Gonna Change Your Mind
Welcome to the Overground (instrumental)
A Minor Incident
The Shining
Once Around the Block
Don’t Ask Me, I’m Only the President
This is That New Song
Above You, Below Me
What is it Now
The Way Things Used to Be
I Love You All
All Possibilities
Without A Kiss
Walk You Home Tonight
Like a Virgin -> Silent Sigh
You Were Right
One Last Dance


I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
Donna and Blitzen
Don’t Stop Believing (Journey cover)


Damon heads next to Carnegie Hall to play the upcoming Springsteen tribute, a benefit show which just keeps getting more interesting.

Top pic by Anders Jacobsen


  • You cannot believe how happy these songs make me. Like a Virgin into Silent Sigh is absolutely brilliant.

    terry — April 5, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  • H

    Thanks I recently got Born in the UK. As you know Silent Sigh is one of my favourite ‘sing along songs’ – all together “oooh ahh, ooh aah” fantastic.

    CJ in the UK (Tottington)

    Anonymous — April 6, 2007 @ 1:02 am

  • Thanks a lot. When I finally go the Bewilderment CD, I was pleased that it lived up the hype and astonished that it went EVEN BEYOND that. A truly great one.

    Bruce K.

    Anonymous — April 6, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  • fab post! i’ve seen damon loads of times and am v grateful.
    gerald , wales

    Anonymous — April 6, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  • Saw him two months ago here in Germany
    and I think he´s amazing! Totally cool and professional!! Great stuff! Thanks for the zip!!


    PS: I love Like a Virgin becoming Silent Sigh!

    Anonymous — April 7, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  • This is one of the best posts I have ever seen. Two years ago I saw BDB play at the fillmore in SF and it was the best show I have ever seen in my life. Opening for Damon that night was an unheard of Ray LaMontagne who blew the audience away. His sage presence was so shy that he could not look at the audience. It was the first time I have ever heard the crowd yell for an encore from an opening act. In between set’s I met Ray to get an autographed CD and my friend told him she was going to have “shelter” played at her wedding a few months out. It turned out to be a promise she lived up to. This post brings back a great memory.

    Jonathan — April 7, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  • Thank you so much for the zip. Never had a chance to see him live, but I hope to one day.

    Myriem — April 11, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  • Hullo!
    i found your post about seeing BDB and would love to hear the Like-A-Virgin/Silent-Sigh recording
    you’ve taken down the files..

    could i have that one track emailed to me?
    or the zip somewhere to download?

    thank you thank you



    dominic vine of the owls — November 7, 2007 @ 1:07 am

  • I just found this here any chance of renewing the links????????????pleeeeeeze

    Anonymous — October 17, 2008 @ 4:42 am

  • or i’ll even trade you a zip for zip!
    By the way, your blog is one of the best i’ve run across! thanks

    Anonymous — October 17, 2008 @ 4:57 am

  • heather, did you get my message re bdb 3/23/07?

    Anonymous — October 21, 2008 @ 3:23 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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