Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paloma Faith, Somerset House - 18 July

This will be my last gig post for several weeks, due to the Olympics. I'll try and post about them too. But what a concert to go out on. Paloma Faith! I forget what she did in a former life, busker or something, but she is both a gifted singer and a real crowd pleaser. She seems to instinctively know what to say to the audience. By the end of it we were all eating out of her hand, singing along and clapping. I danced most of the night. A good performance. She veers from an olde timey vaudvillan to 40s dame to modern singer in her demeanour and her banter. It's fun to try and keep up.

Her opening act was her former guitarist, which was eh. A couple of kind of forgettable songs, but he was enthusiastic and had a great hairstyle. He came on later to join her for "Stone Cold Sober" and she joked that he had graduated with a 2.1 from the University of Paloma. We like it when they bring on the support act.

Interestingly, a song that didn't make the current album (which is more maudlin than her first one) she used to introduce the band, "Cellulite". Yep, we sang along to that one as she waggled her un-cellulitely legs at us, hoiking up her elegant floor length ballgown to do so. We were further back than with Anna Calvi because this show was sold out, but at least it didn't rain much.

 Mr and I did a Tim the plumber this time, because the queues were long for the bar - we bought two drinks each. Sorted us out nicely for the duration and we stuck the other ones in our pockets like winos. Nice!
Let's see - "Freedom" was a highlight too, where she invited members of the audience up to dance with her. Mr opined that there were only females up there (and a lone man who galloped across the back of the stage before he was dragged off) because the security people are blokes. I said it was because they didn't want men pawing at her, so they put women up there who would behave themselves and just dance around. Which they duly did. What fun.

Ooh, and there was confetti during the song. Loovely. We were encouraged to clap as "clapping is the currency" for the encore, which we duly did. Anything for you, Paloma. She also mentioned that we helped her by buying her album so she doesn't have to do a 9-to-5 job. I couldn't imagine a less likely office mate. She'd get fired anyway for chewing your ear off and then bunking off early. She'd never do the tea round. No, she has to be on stage. I'll do the 9-to-5 to pay for the tickets. I am still humming "You want the truth or something beautiful" this morning.

PS- Mr wound up talking to the support act, Seye. Got his autograph!
Marks out of 10: 9, because we'd give Paloma anything, really.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Anna Calvi, Somerset House - 12 July

This venue is great if it's not raining. Actually, it was raining and still fairly cool. They had different coloured lights on the walls and we stood in the courtyard. The artistes were under cover. The opening act was pretty good. Never heard of them myself but Mr had - Cold Specks. They were quite listenable, and the lead singer kept apologizing about the rain. She has a lovely bluesy voice. We saw the bulk of this set and enjoyed the cider. Also the sight of people squabbling over umbrellas in front of them. Some people get a bit worked up about it all.

Anna Calvi came on quite late after CS had left the stage. Or maybe it just seemed a late because it started raining hard. Anyway, we sat there waiting until about 2145 and then Anna arrived, in full matador outfit. I wasn't crazy about her sound when we saw her indoors last year, but she does know her way around a guitar and is just amazing, really. Very talented. Somerset House worked better for this musician.

She played Jezebel, she riffed ala Jimmy Hendrix and she had a cool backdrop with an eclipse. But it dumped down and Mr grumbled that she waited for three songs to apologize for the rain. Lucky for us she only has one album out so we were done and dusted by 2245. My fingers were wrinkly and it was time to go home and dry off.

Marks out of 10: 7. Would've been higher but the rain. The incessant rain...