It was a very special episode of The Patio tonight. The musical guest was one Stuart Pearson, who showed himself as an innovator the moment he walked in carrying a guitar, a concertina, and a hurdy gurdy. I don’t believe I’d ever seen a hurdy gurdy played live.
The first part of his set was a patchwork of cover tunes, all sung in a James Taylor/Jim Croce “Denim Troubadour” style. Painful. Odd choices, too. Inevitable Beatles, Taylor, America, etc. And then “Telegram Sam” by T. Rex and “Walk on the Wild Side”, and even more oddly “Femme Fatale”. He completely murdered a few classics like “Ashes to Ashes’, and committed strange grave rapes of the Psych Furs and a few others 80s notables. His Croce/Chapin version of “How Soon Is Now” left us bruised and strangely aroused.
Then, out comes the hurdy gurdy. And, of course, he launches into “When Doves Cry”, followed by “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. We were flat on the ground. I really don’t remember what else was in that portion of the set.
After a bit more guitaring, out comes the concertina. We were braced for “Lady of Spain” or its moral equivalent, but no such. BOOYAH! We get “Feel Like Makin’ Love”. As we slid beneath the waves, he regaled us with a series of songs using a Slinky as rhythm box, including “Rock On” and then his closer: “Baby Got Back” almost a cappella with only the Slinky as accompaniment.
Hurdy Gurdy Prince: