Davey Dreamnation: “But Seriously …”

DNRC088 | 2xLP | 2018 | DELETED

This stunning Qatar-only import sees Davey at his relaxed best, during an unplugged concert he put on during a trip to his Davium facility somewhere in the uncharted depths of Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter. Showcasing Dreamnation’s legendary between-song banter, the set-list includes some of his best-known hits, including an incendiary (or should we say, ‘extraordinary’) rendition of “Guns of Davey”, a breathtakingly haunting “Nicotine Angst” and, of course, a spirited version of “Scaramouche’s Theme”. Indeed, Davey may well have non-plussed his Arabian guests by insisting that Scaramouche (his ever-faithful confidante and a passionate animal-rights activist), accompany him on stage for the duration of this two-and-a-half hour marathon restrospective. One can only wonder what the audience thought of the dextrous llama’s synthesiser work on “Dim Stars II”, for example, given the unplugged nature of the concert. Perhaps the sound of a hoof hitting plastic keys has some kind of political resonance in the desert kingdom. Alas, we will never know, as Scaramouche later became involved in what appears to have been a political fracas, and was found to have been herded onto a ship carrying lambs and sheep from Saudi Arabia to an unknown destination. Despite possessing a walkie talkie which allowed him to communicate freely with Davey, it appears that the shipmaster found some way to jam the transmissions, meaning that Scaramouche’s cabaret career was, effectively, jitched. All of which adds extra potency to the moving encore included here, wherein Davey calls for a moment’s silence, before launching into an astonishingly-faithful Phil Collins medley, featuring many of the UK crooner’s greatest hits. And so we get “Another Day In Paradise” (clearly a protest at the treatment of sheep sent by ship to the Middle East), “Pseudio” (clearly a riposte to Davey’s pseudo-liberal “audience”), “Billy Don’t You Lose My Number” (undoubtedly a heartfelt plea to Billy Piper from Doctor Who, apparently present in the audience), “In the Air Tonight” (obviously a reference to the smell of incence wafting in from the club lounge), “I Wish It Would Rain Down” (an anthem for suicidal civilain casualties of the world’s conflicts) and, finally, the entirety of the Hello, I Must Be Going LP, the performance of which quite possibly was the cause of the sudden expiration of Davey’s Saudi “tourist” visa. While the fallout from Davey’s mercy mission to the UAE in order to free Scaramouche continues, we can say with confidence that this album, blistering Phil Collins medley notwithstanding, constitutes Davey’s clearest statement of intent to date. Sadly, the master tape from the concert was accidentally deleted after being sent to members of the rainforest tribe in South America befriended by Sting in the 1980s. But seriously …

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