Buckley made a guest appearance at the Incredible String Band's packed Royal
Festival Hall concert last Saturday and amply illustrated the difference in
approach between the British and American creative scene.
He appeared to share a complicated relationship with his 12-string guitar and
the microphone, as he moved sensuously around them as he sang and strummed. He is
still your actual performer, doing his own thing but in the same game as Nancy,
Frank, Bing and Elvis.
Not for him, the anti-showmanship of the Incredibles who act as if it is a private
party into which several thousand people have somehow strayed. Buckley tells them
the way it is. The Incredibles still seem to be trying to find out.
The real differences between the two scenes is that, in America, unlikely
combinations like Buckley--Incredibles are commonplace, while here guest artists
are usually selected with more care.
The atmosphere after Buckley's spot was rather like a church when a mother has taken
out her noisy child. But it took Robin and Mike only a little while to recreate
the magic. All the more pity that technical hang-ups like disconnected organ cables
and inaudible lyrics should have come between the Incredibles and their audience.
Or should I say congregation?