Barras Bootleg At Christmas 1983 Is The Glittering Prize!

A “new” recording from Art & Talk was dropped late on Monday night. A true bootleg, recorded from within the crowd. For a bootleg, the quality is absolutely AMAZING!

They open with Waterfront. Jim intros it with “this is Barrowland, this is Christmas, you’re Glasgow and this is Waterfront.” Later on in the song, Jim says “this song is about Glasgow. There’s something about Glasgow, and other cities like Glasgow. People say Glasgow gets you down but I believe in Glasgow things are gonna turn around and go UP”.

That vision. That faith he has in the city it just feels sssooo contagious and beautiful. Even though in latter years he’s talked about it being all monochrome and that he and Charlie wanted to get out – not so much because they hated Glasgow – nothing like it – but that there was just a big old world out there to see and they wanted to see it. It was Wanderlust. And Glasgow is definitely not monochrome any more.

The love he has for Glasgow is so palpable in this.

Then on to The American. “Tonight’s a special night. It’s the first night of this new venue. The best venue. And this song is called…The American.” LISTEN TO THAT CROWD GO MENTAL!

The real special treat? Hearing White Hot Day. As it started to play I was thinking “what is this? It must be something off Sparkle, right? Or is it? Perhaps a different start to East At Easter? Maybe a different start to Book Of Brilliant Things? No… what is it?” And then Mick’s keyboards and Charlie’s guitar riff kick in and wow! “IT’S WHITE HOT DAY! OH MY GOD!”

Just beautiful! And Jim sings with such passion! The energy is astounding! It’s 3am when I’m listening and I just want to fling myself out of bed and just dance and scream and sing at the top of my lungs. Lol

Track of the track, it just builds and builds.

Up On The Catwalk – Jim changing the words to say “Get out of Glasgow, go up to Brixton”. I love those little things.

The intros of the songs are just so lovely. Promised You A Miracle and then Someone Somewhere In Summertime. During PYAM, he says, “I spoke to some people today. People who traveled from London and Birmingham and Manchester. People who traveled from France and Belgium. And I asked them ‘why’d you come to Glasgow?’ Do you know what they said? They said they’d heard it was the best audience in the world. (Crowd cheers) I’ve told you that before but you don’t believe me. And you’re right not believe me because I’m biased.”

Someone Somewhere In Summertime intro “for this next one, you’re gonna have to use your imagination. It’s cold outside but this is called…”

The interaction Jim has with the crowd throughout this gig is just so amazing. Even 12 months prior to this he seemed to struggle to be this engaging with the crowd. You could see and sense him slowly getting more comfortable during the New Gold Dream tour but I think the festivals in Europe during the spring and summer of 1983 really helped out with that. At least in part. A culmination of New Gold Dream being so well received, the band being so tight and on it, Mel joining – I think he gave Jim an added backbone of support. You can really feel that point Jim made when talking of Mel when he first joined the band. He said of him “with Mel behind me I feel 10 feet tall.” You can hear it!

Speaking of New Gold Dream – this version of the song is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Finally, the fun of Love Song. Dedicating it to all the people who traveled to see them at Barras, and for all the local Glaswegians. And I loved the alternating line of “Scotland’s a boyfriend.”

An amazing, wonderful gig. I’ll stop waxing lyrical and let you enjoy it for yourself.

Thanks to Art & Talk for the upload – he promises a second night for us shortly…

P.S. Jim – I adore you, you beautiful man! Thank you for being the most amazing frontman ever! ❤️❤️

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