Bob Dylan thanks fans for being music and art lovers on his new tour.

The 81-year-old has been speaking to audiences only a few times during the shows on his ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways World Tour 2022’.

Sitting behind a piano for almost the entirety of the gigs – emerging only a handful of times to stand in front of crowds – Bob has been saying halfway through: “Thank you art lovers” and “Thank you music lovers”.

He also broke his long-standing form of not addressing fans on Thursday night (20.10.22) when he played the London Palladium by announcing the late Joe Strummer’s wife Lucinda Tait was in the audience and asking her to stand so she could be applauded.

Aside from that and a thank you to the assembled “music lovers” he only spoke again to thank his band members by name.

Fans at the Palladium are told to hand in their phones ahead of the gigs, which are kept in sealed pouches only unlocked at the end.

Bob said: “Thank you music lovers” at Thursday night’s gig after playing ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece’ – one of only a handful of his well-known hits played on his current tour.

On Wednesday (19.10.22) the singer, now also a top-selling painter and sculptor, had thanked the audience for being “art lovers” after playing the track.

He is set to play two more nights at the Palladium, Sunday (23.10.22) and Monday (24.10.22), before continuing his tour in England and Ireland.

One fan at Thursday’s gig was sleepy and rowdy – nodding off around 15 minutes into Bob’s piano-playing and singing before waking up when the singer launched into up-tempo rockabilly numbers and repeatedly yelling: “Go Bobby, boogie-woogie”.

The largely quiet tone of the gigs on his tour have been branded “serene” and “haunting” by reviewers, with the Palladium stage a simple backdrop of a huge plain curtain lit by a few yellow spotlights, and the venue going dark in between songs.

Bob plays nine of the 10 songs on his ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ album – leaving out only the 17-minute ‘Murder Most Foul’, which recently gave him his first US No 1 hit single of his 60-year recording career.

In its place he plays a handful of his better-known songs recorded between 1966 and 1981, alongside his backing band – Bob Britt and Doug Lancio on guitars, Tony Garnier (string bass and bass guitar), Charley Drayton (drums) and Donnie Herron (steel guitar, fiddle and electric mandolin.)

Among the older tracks are ‘Watching the River Flow’ ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’, ‘I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You’ and ‘Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine.)’

His Palladium gigs have so far finished with ‘Every Grain of Sand’.

The rendition ends with Bob playing the harmonica for the first and only time in the show, before he stands briefly before disappearing without giving an encore when the stage is again plunged into darkness.