Cat Power is set to release a recording of her recreation of Bob Dylan’s 1966 ‘Royal Albert Hall concert’ later this year.
Dylan’s original performance actually took place at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall, but for years was billed as having taken place at the London venue due to a mislabeled bootleg.
Setting the record straight (or perhaps not), Power did take to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall last November, performing the same setlist as Dylan and, like him, switching from acoustic to electric guitar halfway through.
“More than the work of any other songwriter, Dylan’s songs have spoken to me and inspired me since I first began hearing them at five years old”, says Power.
The set opens with ‘She Belongs To Me’, one of the Dylan songs she has played for many years, of which she explains: “When singing ‘She Belongs To Me’ in the past, sometimes I turned it into a first-person narrative – ’I am an artist, I don’t look back’. I really identified with it like that. But for the show at Royal Albert Hall, I, of course, sang it the way it was originally written - with respect for the composition and the great composer”.
The most famous part of Dylan’s performance, of course, was an audience member shouting “Judas!” before he played ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’, in response to Dylan ‘going electric’. Unexpectedly, this was recreated in Power’s show too. Although she responded by saying “Jesus”.
“It was something impulsive”, she explains. “I wasn’t expecting the audience to recreate their part of the original show as well, but then I wanted to set the record straight - in a way, Dylan is a deity to all of us who write songs”.
‘Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert’ is set for release on 10 Nov, almost exactly a year after the show took place. Listen to her versions of ‘She Belongs To Me’ and ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ now.