Archive for the ‘Concerts of 2008’ Category

Sandi Thom – Bush Hall, Monday 30th June 2008

Forget fantasizing about punk rockers, a radiant looking Sandi Thom took to the small stage at Bush Hall to showcase tracks from recently released album “The Pink and the Lily and old favourites from her album. Gone was the kind of cute girl next door meets struggling look  from the previous tour to be replaced by the sophisticated Country Music girl dressed in a fetching little black dress with plunging neck line and a black cowboy hat. She also looked extremely fit as if she had spent the last year in America with a personal trainer.  The new look was matched by her quality vocals that rarely put a note wrong. The 200 strong crowd hardly had time to catch their breath before Thom, backed by her 4 piece all male band, launched into old favourites like “What if I’m right” and “The Human Jukebox” with head spinning speed. Three songs in, she finally greeted the crowd with a brief “hi, how you all doing out there”, then it was off again on another jolly ride with more perfectly honed tracks from “Smile, it confuses people”. The 2006 No.1 “I wish I was a Punk Rocker (with flowers in my hair)” got everyone happy clappy. Songs from the new album were dropped gradually into the set (the first being the optimistic “I’m a human being”) and these were generally bouncy and upbeat. Although some stories and anecdotes were shared with the audience largely as intros to the songs, chit-chat was kept to a minimum as Sandi adopted a slightly detached air. Quieter ballads were at a premium but the acoustic “My ungrateful heart” very briefly slowed the show’s pace and “ Mirrors” (in the encore) written, as Sandy explained, about changes in life that people face, was captivating.  Her voice, during this track was sublime, extending through a full high octave range and won her an ovation for her efforts. The set went very up-tempo in the latter third of the show as people clapped their hands to the infectiously catchy rhythms of tunes like “Saturday Night”, “Horse Power” and “The Devils Beat”, heavily encouraged by the bassist and Thom herself. The applause and cheers became louder after each song and because of this, she seemed to relax and returned to the warm girl next door persona. . She closed the show aptly with title track from the album The Pink and the Lily, in a well thought out performance that left me wondering why this talented performer has never played big venues.

THIS IS THE FIRST OF SERIES OF RETROSPECTIVES LOOKING BACK AT MEMORABLES CONCERTS OF THE PAST. BY POPULAR DEMAND, I BEGIN WITH THE NATIONAL ON FRIDAY EVENING 4TH JULY2008. THIS WAS A BAND I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE BUT THEY MADE A DEEP IMPRESSION ON ME.

The National play an Impressive Set at the Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, London,UK, July 4th 2008

The National play an Impressive Set at the Wireless Festival, Hyde Park, London, UK, July 4th 2008

The National, headlining, in the tented SanDisk at the Wireless festival put their heart into their hour long set to perform their mournful psychedelia flavoured tunes with an intensity rarely seen by other live performers. In the case of lead vocalist Matt Berninger, it seemed like he put his soul into the show as he girated, twisted and swung around the stage awkwardly like a man possessed. His penetrating baritone voice washed over the audience in the tent like a wave reminding me of The Editors and Joy Division. Showcasing tunes from the latest CD Boxer mournful, the atmosphere the National conjured up could only be described as doleful, deep but brilliant. The songs lyrics can be at times intensely introspective or can resemble an emotionally analytical observation of another individual as if a fictitious conversation were taking place. After a fairly low key start with “Start A War”, the intensity of the band racheted up with every song. Medium tempoed “Slow Show” exuded longing and regret at the same time. “Mistaken for Strangers” was mesmerizing, haunting and dark. The chorus of “Abel” bordered on the anarchical. The rich keyboard sound and instrumentals were something to be experienced on “Fake Empires” and took the gig to another level. And there it reached it climax with final track “Mr November” to a rapturous reception from the crowd. The music will not be to everyone’s taste but if you like your indie deep then this is the band for you. Personally I loved it.