Last night the Universal Hall played proud host to music legend of the 60s, Donovan. One of only two concerts in Scotland, Donovan chose to perform in the intimate setting of the Universal Hall, having heard so much about Findhorn since its early days. He intends to explore the community today with his wife Linda.
Donovan, who grew up in Glasgow, was promoting his new CD Beat Cafe and this sell-out concert traced the ‘beat’ generation from its gypsy bohemian beginnings.
Beginning solo with guitar and harmonica Donovan sang such perennial favourites as Catch the Wind and Josie. Outside his normal repertoire, he performed Celia of the Seals, referring to the early days of ecological awareness and the part the Findhorn Foundation played in that.
Flanked by huge photos of poets Kerouac, Burrows and Ginsberg, and explaining that “poetry is in the vanguard of any change”, Donovan stressed the importance of the fusion of poetry and musical beat. He then performed a freestyle experiment, reading Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night with his band, in unrehearsed accompaniment. It was a powerful moment.
Another powerful moment was the singing of the Buffy Saint-Marie classic, Universal Soldier – such a popular peace song of the 60s and still, sadly, so pertinent today.
The evening finished on a high foot-stomping, hand-clapping note with Hurdy Gurdy Man, Mellow Yellow and Atlantis.
– Yvonne Cuneo Reporting –