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Simply Dylan


Simply Dylan is as straightforward as the title suggests; no frills, no gimmicks, no pretence. It is John O'Connell's personal exploration and celebration of the rich and diverse work of Bob Dylan. John O'Connell, a rare talent who has had his name indelibly written in to the tapestry of Liverpool's music scene, has collaborated with other highly reputable musicians from the city to form his Dylan Band. It is their precise playing and high energy renditions of Dylan's work from the 1970s onwards which has gathered momentum and generated incredible interest. From a modest project recognising Dylan's 70th Birthday in 2011. Simply Dylan has gone from selling out the Cavern Club 5 times to receiving fantastic reviews from the Spanish Press after a successful six date tour.


No ordinary interpretation, this is a remarkable and exceptional project which promises to delight Dylan fans young and old and to ignite a new wave of passion for one of the world's most prodigious songwriters.


The upcoming gigs are selling fast, book your ticket now to avoid disapointment.


April 17 - ALEXANDERS OF CHESTER 2 Rufus Court, Chester. CH1 2JW

01244 340 005 or Book tickets


April 20 CAVERN CLUB 10  Mathew Street, Liverpool. L2 6RE

0151 236 9091 or Book tickets


June 26  KITCHEN GARDEN CAFE 17 York Road, Birmingham. B14 7SA
Tel: 0121 443 4725 or
Book tickets


Bob Dylan Discussion Weekends


Michael Gray has just announced that he’ll be holding two new Bob Dylan Discussion Weekends at his home in South-West France this coming autumn/fall - the first in 18 months.


Places are limited to a maximum of six people per weekend and are offered on a first-come-first-served basis.


Cost: £399 per single person, or £599 per couple sharing a room.


The dates are:

September: Friday 12 to Sunday 14

October: Friday 3 to Sunday 5


These events offer Dylan enthusiasts holiday weekends of great food and Bob Dylan Discussion with the author of Song & Dance Man III: The Art of Bob Dylan and The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia in an elegant 1870s house 40-odd miles from the Pyrenees and the Spanish border. The house lies on the edge of a small country village.


More info and booking details:



04 April 2014




We previously reported that, while ‘For No One’ had been suggested as Dylan’s contribution to “THE ART OF McCARTNEY” album, we had received no confirmation.


We now understand, from separate and independent sources, that the song in question is ‘Things We Said Today’, one of the few McCartney compositions on “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT”.


Although not specifically mentioned in relation to Dylan’s contribution, ‘Things We Said Today’ is on the (incomplete) list of song titles announced by Arctic Poppy Music.


03 April 2014




Our previous newsflash about Bob Dylan contributing to a Paul McCartney tribute album was apparently received with a degree of scepticism in some internet circles. We trust those involved are enjoying their humble pie because Arctic Poppy Music has now announced the project.


The double album, to be called "The Art of McCartney", will be released later this year and Bob Dylan is indeed one of the listed contributors.


Arctic Poppy has stated that, "Final mixed tracks for the Paul McCartney celebration album have arrived at Arctic Poppy HQ. Design and marketing plans are in full swing".  More interestingly, perhaps, it also says that, "The project features some of the biggest stars in the music industry performing his and The Beatles' greatest tracks alongside McCartney's own backing musicians".


There will be 32 artists involved, including Jamie Cullum, Roger Daltrey, Barry Gibb, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Corinne Bailey Rae and Brian Wilson, as well as Dylan.


Boxset and collectors' editions of the album will be released in the summer, with the standard album version coming out later in the year.


We have still received no confirmation of the song that Dylan has recorded for the album but "For No One" is not listed amongst the 14 song titles mentioned by Arctic Poppy in their announcement.


01 April 2014


Dylan has recorded a McCartney song

There is a report (from sources that have been reliable in the past) that Dylan has recorded a song written by Paul McCartney.  The song in question is said to be “For No One” from the REVOLVER album, although there has been no confirmation of this choice.  It is understood to be in connection with a Paul McCartney tribute album, probably a charity album, likely to be released later this year.


“As The Island Slowly Sank”

Those of you who have already ordered Derek’s “As The Island Slowly Sank – Bob Dylan & The Isle of Wight Festivals” will be pleased to know that editing has now finished and the final layout is nearly complete. As promised therefore the booklet should be with the printer early next week. If you want to order a copy now is the time to do so! More details HERE.


31 March 2014


Bob Dylan arrived at Narita International Airport by private jet at 18:30 on Saturday March 29 (Japan Standard Time). On Sunday Bob visited a boxing gym in Tokyo.


As anticipated the tour band for Dylan’s Japanese dates remains unchanged and although the setlist began with ‘Things Have Changed’ in actual fact they haven’t. The setlist is much the same as we got in Europe at the back end of last year. I hope for the sake of Japanese fans the quality of the performances also remains the same!  


  1. Things Have Changed

  2. She Belongs To Me

  3. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

  4. What Good Am I?

  5. Blind Willie McTell

  6. Duquesne Whistle

  7. Pay In Blood

  8. Tangled Up In Blue

  9. Love Sick




10. High Water (For Charley Patton)

11. Simple Twist Of Fate

12. Early Roman Kings

13. Forgetful Heart

14. Spirit On The Water

15. Scarlet Town

16. Soon After Midnight

17. Long And Wasted Years



18. All Along The Watchtower

19. Blowin' In The Wind


25 March 2014


Derek’s new book, ‘As The Island Slowly Sank’, will be at the printers within the next ten days. In actual fact, it would have been with the printer yesterday, but after announcing this project on March 10, Derek received several great leads resulting in further fascinating information. Half the limited edition print run has already been sold! Order your copy HERE.


Due for release on April 14, 2014 Bob Dylan - "Original Album Classics" is a Sony budget priced 5CD Box set. This item is available to order HERE.


26 February 2014


ISIS issue #172 was mailed out today. This is the last issue of the 2013 subscription year.


If you have not yet renewed your subscription for 2014 you can do so HERE

13 February 2014


At long last dates are starting to come through for Bob Dylan’s summer European Tour. The first dates have now been announced by the Irish promoter, Aiken Promotions.


These dates are June 16, 2014, The Marquee, Cork, Ireland and June 17, 2014 at the 02, Dublin, Ireland.


Tickets go on sale Thursday February 20 at 9.00am. For further details go to http://www.aikenpromotions.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2165.html


Our understanding was that this tour would be mostly in the east of Europe but it now seems that there may also be a number of dates in northern Europe.

31 January 2014


Back on December 20, ISIS announced dates for 14 Bob Dylan concerts in Japan. Shortly after (Dec 29), we heard that three further concerts might be on the cards. The four-day gap on the itinerary (April 9, 10, 11 and 12) always looked like it was begging to be filled! Nevertheless, Derek reported in his blog on January 22 that since December 29 ISIS had received no further news regarding these potential shows.


Patience is a virtue and at long last we have been informed of two additional shows in Tokyo. The concerts will take place on April 09 and April 10 in Zepp Diver City, Tokyo


Pre-sale for the “special customers” will begin on Monday February 3, 2014.


News is expected soon re summer (June-July) concerts in Europe.


22 January 2014


Derek's "Access All Areas" has been updated today.


20 December 2013


As was mentioned a few days ago by ISIS it appears that Bob Dylan’s 2014 touring will begin in March. The venues are as stated in our previous postings.


As supposed, the dates will be officially announced very soon.

The dates we have are:


March 31 (Mon) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 01 (Tue) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 03 (Thu) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 04 (Fri) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 07 (Mon) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 08 (Tue) Zepp Diver City Tokyo

April 13 (Sun) Zepp Sapporo

April 14 (Mon) Zepp Sapporo

April 17 (Thu) Zepp Nagoya

April 18 (Fri) Zepp Nagoya

April 19 (Sat) Zepp Fukuoka

April 21 (Mon) Zepp Osaka

April 22 (Tue) Zepp Osaka

April 23 (Wed) Zepp Osaka


Prices: GA 13,000yen; Reserved seats 22,000yen

(A drink ticket (500yen) must be bought at the door)


Pre-order for priority customers will begin on Monday December 23, 2013.


                                                               * * *


It has been confirmed to us that Bob Dylan will be playing shows in Europe in summer 2014. The complete tour itinerary has not yet been finalized and therefore cannot be announced until the New Year. As stated in our previous postings, my understanding is that these shows are likely to be in eastern and southern Europe in countries not played in 2013. My understanding is that unless a festival promoter leaps in with something very special Dylan will not play shows in the U.K.



We are now taking subscriptions for 2014.

Full details HERE

18 December 2013


Since posting the news yesterday that Bob Dylan might “recommence touring in early spring 2014” with a series of concerts in Japan, I’ve been informed that a tour is indeed close to coming to fruition and that the proposed dates are likely to take place in March 2014.


I have been informed by an ISIS subscriber in Croatia that my information regarding a show in Zagreb “before the summer” may be wrong, but it seems a concert in the Roman Arena in the Croatian city of Pula could be on the cards. This concert is being talked about for the “second half” of June.


As pointed out to me by Ian Woodward, if you go back to 2010, the Far Eastern tour of around March was followed by shows in Eastern Europe in June (and then onto southern Europe). It is also worth noting that apart from a few shows in Italy, the recent October / November tour was confined to northern Europe.


17 December 2013


It seems that those who thought there might have been some great significance to Bob Dylan finishing his 2013 tour at the Royal Albert Hall in London thankfully jumped to the wrong conclusion.


We are already hearing talk that Dylan is likely to recommence touring in early spring 2014 so thoughts of his retirement from the road appear to be as far away as ever. 


ISIS has received news that Dylan’s people are again in talks with Japanese promoter Udo Artists. Yes, I know, we’ve been down this road a couple of times before and the proposed tours have not come to fruition. Nevertheless, this time round we seem very close and if all goes to plan Udo Artists could announce a tour before Christmas!


The venues mentioned to me are Zepp Sapporo, Zepp Diver City Tokyo, Zepp Nagoya, Zepp Osaka, and Zepp Fukuoka.


On the back of this proposed tour there is also some talk of shows in Australia.


One website, “muzika.hr”, has stated that Dylan will be playing in the Croatian capital Zagreb “before the summer”. A possible show at the Arena in the Croatian city of Pula was also mentioned. Although this might be correct I have heard nothing about these shows other than in this news item.


We are now taking subscriptions for 2014. Full details HERE



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