Waits Tom-A Small Affair Inohio
In October of 1977 Tom Waits was a busy man. Tom's remarkable fifth album 'Foreign Affairs' had been released the month before, of which producer Bones Howe commented; 'It's like a black-and-white movie'. The record's cover perpetuated this idea and the live dates Tom was now performing in it's wake also, to an extent, used this concept in design and projection. Waits only played a handful of US dates in October '77, four to be exact, one each in Boston and New York, and two in Ohio. On 22nd he'd been at Cincinnati's infamous 'hole in the wall', 'Bogart's', and on 25th this show, at the well established Agora Ballroom in Cleveland, was performed in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The show was broadcast by WMMS FM across the local area and the whole gig, as can be heard on this CD, must have been quite incredible. Tom is in fine voice and in fine spirits, using his customary dry humour to keep the audience in fits throughout. The one rather curious aspect however, is the minimal amount of material he performs from his just released record. Of the ten numbers, only I Never Talk To Strangers originates on 'Foreign Affairs', the remainder of the cuts coming largely from his previous record, 1976's 'Small Change' along with one track a-piece from the live 'Nighthawks at the Diner' and 1974's 'The Heart of Saturday Night', and a delightful cover of the old Frank Loesser show tune, Standing On The Corner. Those in attendance certainly don't appear to have minded this factor however, and for whatever reason Tom chose to play the tracks he did, the results, as can be heard here, are nothing short of startling.