A Donovan concert is never just a Donovan concert, especially when we're talking about his 50th anniversary tour, which celebrates the US release (UK had to wait a little longer due to copyright issues) of his psych-folk masterpiece Sunshine Superman. He is indeed the original troubadour, a role that comes so naturally to him he was even chosen by Jacques Demy to play the lead role in his 1972 adaptation of The Pied Piper: he enters timidly onstage, and proceeds to sit on the floor, alone with his guitar, strumming gently along beautiful poems and stopping every once in a while to tell a story with the same soothing, child-like voice we all learned to know and love.

Among these stories, many of them retold at the Olympia stage like it was the first time, lie the bright remains of what it was like to be alive and part of the music scene in 1966: his séjour in India with the Beatles and Mike Love (during which he wrote 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' and taught John Lennon finger-picking guitar techniques, leading to him to write 'Dear Prudence'); his arrest in late 1966 by the infamous Sergeant Pilcher, who would also arrest The Beatles and the Stones before being accused of perjury, subsequently being sentenced to jail for planting drugs; and even more recent ones, like him having been with Marianne Faithfull the night before the Paris gig and inviting her to attend the show (she couldn't, but sent her friend instead), or meeting two Corsican guys playing at a Parisian restaurant and getting them invites (they were enthusiastically there all right).

But what impresses the most is that Donovan, always having relied solely on his guitar and voice, still continues to do so -- and amazingly well, I must add. Even if the highest notes may be a bit trickier for him now -- and maybe they were back then too -- there are not a lot of artists, both young and old, who would be able to sustain a two-set show without having a major band backing them up, plus a nice and solid chorus covering up for them when their voice doesn't reach the notes it used to. And probably no major artist would be so available as he was after the show, signing autographs for anyone who wanted a "proof-of-contact" souvenir.

Donovan is still the honest, humble, impeccable songwriter we grew up with. Keeping alive the beautiful folk tradition of one voice, one guitar (or just the voice, as he himself told us was the Gaelic way), he manages to pull us into every little world he created within each song, which on their turn work as eternal flashbacks, cosmic proxies of a time that seems too unreal to have happened.