I've been a fan of John Hiatt's since 'Riding With the King'. And a fan of Lyle Lovett since 'Pontiac'. I would regularly sing their songs at parties and gigs. So the idea of the pair of them sharing the stage (Waterfront Hall Belfast, February 16) and talking about songs seemed like heaven to me.
To me, the end result was a little disappointing, as it happens. First of all, they played without an interval for two hours and twenty minutes. My buttocks and bladder were screaming for less. And it seemed to start at about 40 miles an hour, and kind of stay at 40 miles an hour for the rest of the show. I know it's just two guys with acoustic guitars - it's not like you can bring the horn section out for the second half. But it seemed to kind of meander through the songbook without much sense of direction.
Hiatt turned out to be a surprisingly tasty guitarist and his voice is still a wonderful thing, thrilling and gravelly. The in-between chat about songs was supposed to be off-the-cuff, but felt under-prepared. At times they stared at each other and seemed to wonder what to say next. I thought - surely there's SOMETHING more you could say about some of this great material? I mean, what makes you write a line like 'if I had a pony' I'd ride him on my boat'?
Still, it was a pleasure to share the same space as two wonderful writers. High points - Lovett singing Nobody Knows Me and Hiatt singing Crossing Muddy Waters.