Friday, 15 October 2010

22 September 2010 - Bright Light Bright Light, The Lexington

Ellie Goulding fans are in for a real treat when they pitch up to her autumn tour gigs.  Absolutely do not miss the first opener, Bright Light Bright Light - totally amazing!

At The Lexington once more, this time to celebrate the release of his first single 'Love Part II' on the Pop Justice/Virgin label.  No expense spared for this special evening - with a full cast of backing singers, guy dancers, James Yuill on keys and heaps of glam and glitz, Bright Light Bright Light dazzled the sold-out gig with a set of fabulous gotta-dance to tunes.  This guy has talent oozing from every pore and is a dab hand at lyrics that set you thinking a bit (no cliches here).  Have a listen to 'These Things' above - every word about dead-beat partners is spot on.  Our man Rod next heads out a nationwide tour with Ellie Goulding (see  You lucky people.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

21/22 August 2010 - Alison Goldfrapp, V Festival

Alison Goldfrapp, originally uploaded by mlamx2.


27 June 2010 - Paul McCartney, Hard Rock Calling, London

13a, originally uploaded by mlamx2.


16 June 2010 - Teddy Thompson, Meltdown Festival, RFH

Teddy Thompson, originally uploaded by mlamx2.

I'm guessing TT would prefer an informal venue, but when his very close relative (Dad Richard) offered him a Meltdown Festival slot at the RFH he couldn't really turn it down.  Teddy's compositions are very country-and-western-meets-rockabilly and this showcase for his next album shows him reverting to 1960s territory.  Cue string section, supported as always by The Grey Race.  Set list: new - The One I Can't Have; Delilah; Only For A Second; Take Care of Yourself; Take Me Back Again; Over and Over; Looking For A Girl; The Next One; Home; Tell Me What You Want; Gotta Have Someone: old - Can't Sing Straight; What Will I Do (Jenni Muldar?); Babyshambles (with Linda and Kami); Down Low (Kami); Don't Know; One Of These Days; What's This: In My Arms.

We're now told the album 'Bella' won't be released until February 2011 - so I guess I'll have to be patient.  My favourite was 'Home' but there are plenty of videos on Youtube to choose from.  If he ever runs out of inspiration, though, a covers album would be very welcome - all those gems he has sung recently, such as Persuasion, Genesis Hall, Saratoga Summer Song, the Nick Drakes, Neil Youngs etc - heck, why not?

Monday, 14 June 2010

12 June 2010 - A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle, Royal Festival Hall

McGarrigle/Wainwright/Thompson gang and friends
Good start to the day when I bumped into 'Bright Light Bright Light' in Covent Garden on my way to the Festival Hall - yay for village London!

Opening Richard Thompson's Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, this was definitely a very special and moving occasion - fan-folk had come to see their favourites and of course to remember Kate McGarrigle, who died of cancer in January.  Some had seen the McGarrigle sisters perform BITD, and even Richard and Linda Thompson on their 'Bright Lights' tour - and of course many were there to see Rufus, Martha and Teddy.  The third McGarrigle sister, Jane, was there too.  Richard and Linda Thompson made history being on stage alone together for the first time in about 35 years for 'Go Leave'.  The Thompson/Wainwright/McGarrigle bedrock was interspersed with guest slots from Nick Cave, Neil Tenant, and the surprising Krystle Warren - among many others: Teddy Thompson shone for 'Saratoga Summer Song'.  However, the real treat was to hear Rufus sing his mother's songs such as 'I Eat Dinner' (with Emmylou Harris) and 'The Walking Song'. Sister Martha was absolutely amazing throughout and she and Rufus really teared up during 'Proserpina', one of the last songs Kate wrote.

Anna McGarrigle nailed it when she said "The really great thing about children is that they're there to sing with you when your sister's not.  It's different, but it's also wonderful".  Quite.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

3 June 2010, Bright Light Bright Light - Bush Hall (opening for The Hooziers)

Here's a clip from the rather wonderful 'Disco Moment' - there's more to come very soon from this amazing talent, a brilliant single in August 'Love Part II', we're told, and then THE ALBUM. Bush Hall was packed to the rafters for The Hooziers, who had the bright idea of opening with a New Orleans-style jazz band entering the room from the back - such style.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

19 May 2010 - Randy Newman, Royal Festival Hall

A rare opportunity to see this American legend and virtual soundtrack of every Pixar movie you have seen (and a few more besides). Delightfully warm and witty, he warmed to his theme as the evening progressed and cast a few spells of magic. I enjoyed his Buzz Lightyear schtick about the musician's craft being drowned out "by some bulldog on the screen" - that's Hollywood for you. The joke about old rock stars never retiring was given a twist of irony when he got the audience to belt out the "you're dead" chorus to one of the songs. Well worth stepping out for, I'd say.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

29 April 2010, Rufus Wainwright - Regent Theatre, Ipswich

An artist indulged. The first half of the show was given over to a run-through of 'Days are nights: songs for Lulu' - a sombre collection, mostly chanelling Rufus' grief at the impending/actual passing of his mother Kate McGarrigle [she died of cancer in January]. He entered silently and slowly crossed the stage to the piano, dragging a 17-foot feathered train behind him - specially designed by his friend Zaldy. Fair enough, and I'm all for artists exploring the further reaches of their creativity. Several songs will no doubt make their way into the regular set-list - 'Who are you New York', 'Martha' and 'Zebulon' perhaps. But what did it for me was the visuals - a background projection of an eye (R's) heavily made up with black greasepaint, slowly opening and closing like a lizard's eye. There were even tears. We'd been warned/politely asked not to interrupt during this section, but it all got too much for the Glaswegian (?) heckler. I quote: "C'mon Rufie, play us yer f*****g songs!" Twice. Quite.

The second half was very much a requests/best-of show, ranging from 'Poses', 'Cigarettes and chocolate milk', 'Art teacher' to 'Going to a town' - which last one seemed seriously under-rehearsed. It's been one hell of a year (literally) for our man, yet he's touring relentlessly and has Kate's tribute concert at Meltdown in June to work up to. Thankfully, there were hints of the old Rufie, telling us of some of the old stuff "bubbling under", to erupt any time now. So, c'mon Rufie, we're waiting for ye.

Friday, 16 April 2010

12 April 2010 - Bright Light Bright Light, The Lexington

BrightLightx2 treated us to an awesome run-through of (pleeease) soon-to-be-released album, 'Let Me Believe In Hope'. See for yourselves - it's a real treat.