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17 July 2011

Live Show: Patrick Overway talks about meeting Robin Guthrie at a recent Guthrie/ Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) gig. Exclusive info, photos & video!

When the Sun Hits reader and all-around awesome guy Patrick Overway recently got in touch with us regarding a live performance he'd just attended: On June 5, 2011, at the Metro venue in Chicago, Patrick watched Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) make sonic magic onstage. We'll let him tell you in his own words about his experiences at the performance, his peek of Guthrie's gear set up, and about meeting his idol, Guthrie himself. All photographs and the short video that appear in this feature were all taken by Patrick Overway (unless otherwise indicated). They are copyrighted and watermarked, so no thievery, please. Many thanks to Patrick for sharing such cool stuff and for being patient about our posting of it (last month was crazy!). You're the best, Patrick!
June 5, 2011:

My girlfriend (Stephanie) and I drove 3 hours to see Robin Guthrie and Brendan Perry play at the Metro on Sunday night in Chicago.

Once there, we grabbed a drink at the bar, and without so much as a peep from the audience, Robin walked on stage and started playing a short solo, while Galerie played in the background. Band mates Antii Makinen and Steve Wheeler stepped onstage, and away we go.

Words fall short when describing his set. I knew most of the songs, but I hadn't heard Emeralds yet; and the version of "Thunderbird Road" was so incredible. He played through the entire Galerie film and then a bit more.

For all you gear sluts out there, Robin was playing a green Chandler, and using (what I believe) a Line 6 M9 stomp box modeler attached to possibly a pair of POD X3 Pro rack mounts tied together with his trusty Mac laptop. Robin makes all this look like child's play, but you know he's always thinking 5 steps ahead.

While my head was still spinning over all the ambiance, sonic beauty and glow from Guthrie's set, it took a mere 15 minutes for Brendan and his crew to step right up and start playing. Here's the highlight of my existence, ready!? Brendan brings out Robin, and they do a duet of "Song to the Siren"! Life is good, friends.

I have to make a comment here on Brendan's Gibson SG, because well, I'm a gear slut too. This thing was absolutely gorgeous! Bone tuners and bone whammy bar, guh... big time droolage! Now, I knew Brendan had some pipes, but man maybe I didn't know, ya know? He told the audience he was drinking whiskey flavored tea, so that's up for analysis, however, he played a couple of Dead Can Dance songs with twists and played more off of Ark.

Anyways, while I'm taking in the experience of Brendan Perry, Stephanie was busy talking to the road crew and Antii Makinen (drummer for Guthrie). Stephanie says that Antii told her his name several times, but she couldn't understand his thick Scottish accent. Finally, Antii proclaimed,"First we smoke! Then we go find Robin." After a few minutes, they did just that.

Stephanie met Joy first, who I believe is Robin's assistant, and she explained that Robin wasn't feeling well. Stephanie asked Joy if Robin would consider signing a few things for her boyfriend. Joy looked at the Cocteau Twins Snow EP (which had previously been signed by Elizabeth back in 94 on the Four Calendar Cafe tour) and said, "I don't know about this one, but the pedal and the Imperial CD for sure!" Stephanie follows Joy to Robin, and when Robin went to sign my Chorus pedal, his face lit up and said, "well, this is a first" as he signed the pedal, and then the Imperial CD, too. He looked at the Snow EP, opened it, giggled a bit and sighed, and signed the opposite corner of the CD. That's a tragic comedy right there, kids!

The concert is over after an exceptionally strong encore from Perry, and we sadly move to the exit door.
We had a 3 hour drive ahead of us, otherwise we would have stayed around to meet Brendan. Just as we turn the corner, Stephanie hip-checks me, and points. "Hey, there's Robin!" I'm freaking starstruck! Like a deer in the headlights. I know the guy is shy, and I'm a bit bigger than a set of car keys, so I approach my life long idol, and say,"Hi Mr. Guthrie, my name is Patrick, you just signed my Chorus pedal, would you mind if my girlfriend took our picture?" He replies, "So you're the one, aye? You're catching me at a bad time, mate. I'm not feeling that well, but I'm ok for one picture."

I thanked him for everything and wished him good health. He was immediately mobbed by every person in the entry way. People making goofy faces while posing with a guitar legend is embarrassing to even watch. I honestly felt bad for him! All he wanted to do was play, sign a few things and go to bed, I'm sure.

I hope Robin and/or Brendan will come back around to the Chicago area again. Maybe next year. I'll never forget this experience and the opportunity I had to shake hands with the man that got me absolutely geeked to play guitar and stomp on pedals over 25 years ago. It wasn't Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, or Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Robin Guthrie!

Thanks again, Robin!

Story, photos, and video by: Patrick Overway.