Review & Set List: The Monkees in London

by Paul Chapinal,

Not sure what to make of Peter Tork’s plug midway through the set imploring the audience to buy their merchandise? It was done with humor but there’s a touch of acidity too. Possibly lingering resentment that they should really be earning more respect and reaping the rewards that lessers have achieved?

On to the music and The Monkees split the set in two tonight and the difference between the two was palpable. Opening part one with Last Train to Clarksville, they hit the ground running, with Micky Dolenz still in excellent voice, Peter Tork on guitar and the band in full flow. Only for the bad sound to knock the stuffing out of much of this section - though The Girl I Knew Somewhere and Randy Scouse Git (kettle drums and all) passed muster – and the band just waver a touch, though pull it back with a stonking No Time close this part.

Whatever they had during the break worked as they come on looking far more relaxed. Stools and acoustic guitars are in order for the first section with Tear The Top Right Off My Head and an effective version of …Clarksville and just-right-for-the- format, Take a Giant Step. The latter is a Carole King/Gerry Goffin penned song. They note several times during the set that they have worked with some of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. And then they do an interesting version of the marmite Sugar, Sugar which they rejected so many years ago!

Into the home run. Daydream Believer is fittingly played and so very moving. The back to back That Was Then, This is Now and Steppin’ Stone close the main set on a high, and with encores of Pleasant Valley Sunday and I’m A Believer its nirvana, notebook thrown away and all up dancing.

So what now for The Monkees? Well they celebrate 50 years in 2016, they have a clutch of songs that are cast-iron classics, could be party time on Sunday afternoon at Glastonbury?

The set list:

Set 1
  • Last Train to Clarksville (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • Your Auntie Grizelda (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (single, 1967)
  • She (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Mary, Mary (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • The Girl I Knew Somewhere (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • I'll Be Back on My Feet (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • For Pete's Sake (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • Randy Scouse Git (from Headquarters, 1967)
  • Words (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, 1967)
  • No Time (from Headquarters, 1967)
Set 2
  • Tear the Top Right Off My Head (from The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees, 1968)
  • Last Train to Clarksville (acoustic) (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • Take a Giant Step (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • Sometime in the Morning (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Midnight Train (from Changes, 1970)
  • Papa Gene's Blues (from The Monkees, 1966)
  • Porpoise Song (Theme From "Head") (from Head, 1968)
  • Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? (from Head, 1968)
  • Goin' Down (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, 1967)
  • D.W. Washburn (single, 1968)
  • Sugar, Sugar (The Archies cover)
  • Saved by the Blues (from Peter Tork & She Suede Blues' album Saved by the Blues, 2003)
  • Daydream Believer (from The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees, 1968)
  • Listen to the Band (from The Monkees Present, 1969)
  • That Was Then, This Is Now (from Then & Now...The Best of the Monkees, 1986)
  • (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (from More of the Monkees, 1967)
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, 1967)
  • I'm a Believer (from More of the Monkees, 1967)

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