Kris Kristofferson is back in the UK touring, and tonight at The Queen’s Hall we were treated to some of the songs that have over the years of a long career made this man a song-writing legend. A new tour, and also a new album “The Cedar Creek Sessions” mean that Kris is still as active as ever touring and writing.
The show opened with a short set from daughter Kelly Kristofferson accompanied by Andrew Hagar which gave us interesting covers from bands “The Flaming Lips” and “Neutral Milk Hotel” plus an original song from Kelly, “Empty Chair”.
For a man who has had such a successful career as a musician, song-writer, performer and actor, it was refreshing to see someone on stage with absolutely no star pretentions around them at all...the only things that Kris Kristofferson brought on stage with him was himself, a guitar and his music, and that was all that was needed as for the next 90 minutes or so he did nothing but let his music speak for itself. Many rising stars (and not so rising) could take a lesson in humility from Kris and realise that in the end it is not egos or theatrics that matter – just the music...and in this case just wonderful music and lyrics.
Kris Kristofferson has written so many classics...some made famous by him and others made famous by other recording artists. There are many singer/songwriters out there, but few have a back catalogue of songs so strong that they can put songs like “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Help Me Make It Through The Night” into a set very early on and still have many more classics to come throughout the evening – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”, “Wide Awake and Feeling Mortal”, “They Killed Him”, “For The Good Times” and the final song of the night “Why Me” to name just a few of them.
These songs (and many more) to me show what makes Kris Kristofferson so special – he is an artist but instead of painting picture with paint, Kris does it with words and has that very special ability to capture and describe emotions and little moments in people’s lives and almost trap that moment forever in a song (almost like in a little bubble). For some people, it is the actual music of Kris Kristofferson that they love to hear, and while the music is always there for me, what is always more special is the words to the songs. With songs like “Help Me Make It Through The Night” Kris Kristofferson has put down on paper some of the most wonderful and at times beautiful and moving lyrics ever written.
Also nice to see Kelly joining her father later on in the set to do some songs with him as their two styles complement one another wonderfully.
Also on tour with Kris are a band from Dusseldorf called “Rocket to Stardom” who perform rock-a-billy /rock n roll versions and covers of his songs. Catch up with them at https://www.facebook.com/rocket.to.stardom/
Throughout the evening, Kris was just having a good time playing his music to an audience that in many cases had been with him for many years and knew the songs just as well as he did. There was real warmth here between Kris and his audience. The Queen’s Hall is a great venue for a show like this as it is big enough to seat around 900 people (this show was sold out), but small and intimate enough to let an audience be close to the performer. The front row of the cabaret table seats were only a few feet from the stage itself.
You can also catch up with what is happening with events at http://www.kriskristofferson.com/
Review by Tom King