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Comrades From The North

Summertime is here and, once again, Dylan is doing his thing in the ballparks of the US. It depends upon your viewpoint - some may see these as the stadiums of dreams and others as the stadiums of the damned. In terms of the shows the truth is somewhere in between. These are shorter shows than usual - he shares the bill with Willie Nelson and John Mellancamp - and this allows him to concentrate his efforts. This often produces a wow of a show. On the other hand, for those shows where he takes a bit of time to get warmed up the 14-song set lists feel way too short. When Dylan has released a new album in recent times he has tended to play songs from it in his live shows quite soon thereafter. This tour has been no exception as the songs from Together Through Life have started to appear in the set-lists. At the time of writing, Dylan has aired six of these cuts.

The life of an American legend sure is a varied and fun-filled one these days. There is always another function to attend or a ceremony invitation or three. In June Dylan attended the 37th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award Gala to honour Michael Douglas. Even better, he strapped on the guitar and he and the band ran through a welcome version of Things Have Changed.

Those of us who live on this island of ours have recently been treated to this year's Glastonbury festival. Regular watchers will no doubt, like us, continue to miss the very real presence of the late John Peel and be grateful that his memory lives on in the John Peel tent which keeps the faith by showcasing the type of bands that Peel would have championed. Simultaneously we are drawn to wonder about the quality of the acts occupying the main stage, Neil Young excepted. There are few risk-takers and an awful lot of crowd-pleasers playing mundane songs. It really does make you appreciate what Dylan delivers on a nightly basis.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, work and rest in just the right proportions and revel in this issue of The Bridge.

May you climb on every rung ..........

Mike & John

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