Archive for the ‘Tori Amos’ Category

My Top 5 for 2009

December 31st, 2009

After 42 shows in 50 weeks, heres my top 5:

#1 - Bobby McFerrin @ Royal Festival Hall
for his playfulness, outstanding performance, and inspirational interaction with the audience.

#2 - Max Richter @ Union Chapel
for his beautiful melancholic music, and perfectionin performance.

#3 - Alex Lloyd @ The Troubadour
for the heartfelt simplicity of his songwriting and performance.

#4 - Andrew Bird @ Union Chapel
for playfully weaving beautiful melodies with little else but himself.

#5 - Fever Ray @ The Forum
for their eye poppingly slick production and dark ambience.

In particular, Bobby and Andrew and a particular Buckley-ish flavour to their shows, with their energy on stage, and musical playfulness. A special mention goes out to Noah and the Whale @ Crisis Hidden Gig, Tori Amos @ The Savoy, Bob Brozman @ The Half Moon, and Massive Attack @ Brixton Academy.

Samples:
Bobby_McFerrin-Sweet_Home_Chicago.mp3
Max_Richter_-_On_the_Nature_of_Daylight.mp3
Alex_Lloyd_-_Beautiful.mp3
Andrew_Bird_-_Why.mp3
Fever_Ray_-_Keep_The_Streets_Empty.mp3

Tori Amos - Jazz Cafe, 2 December, 2009

December 21st, 2009

image by http://www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/2106781876/Its not every day you get the chance to see Tori in a tiny venue for free, so I jumped at the chance to queue for tickets early on the day of the gig. Tori was in fine form, in a slinky red dress, she performed almost completely new repertoire, including a few tracks from her seasonal ’solstice’ record ‘Midwinter Graces’. I never expected to hear Tori sing carols, or let alone enjoy them, but they are actually quite reasonable versions of lesser known carols.

Having stood in a queue since 6am, and then another 3 hours before Tori came on stage, I lacked the energy to pay due attention to the show, but having listened the to the recording, it was much better than I recall it to be. I’m bitterly disappointed to say tho, that my recording failed about halfway through, so I missed the climax and encore of the show, not to mention a few ‘Midwinter Graces’ tracks that may not be played again in a live context. As consolation, my gf did get to talk briefly to Tori’s husband, and even scored the tracklist for me! anyhow - heres a sample:

Tori_Amos_-_A_Silent_Night_With_You.mp3

image by pagedooley on flickr.

Tori Amos - Hammersmith Apollo, 11 September 2009

September 20th, 2009

Tori AmosTori, Tori, Tori - does she ever get tired? and do we ever get tired of her? its unlikely judging by the show Tori put on last night. Adorned in bright orange, spandex-like leggings and what was more like a long cape than a miniskirt, she looked like some intergalactic shamen with long bright orange hair to boot. Her show also puts many other artists to shame with fantastic lighting and a cohesive, contrasting sound in comparison. It clearly pays off to have a good ear for sound and a Sound Engineer as a husband!

She played alot more of her newer stuff, and at that, a strange collection of her more stadium oriented bits and pieces. I must confess of course, that I much prefer Cabaret Tori (like the Savoy show earlier this year) than Stadium Tori - give me Tori and a piano any day! She even said at the Savoy show that she would get to play alot of stuff she wouldn’t be attempting (ie her more acoustic repertoire) on her main tour. None the less, this made no difference to my appreciation of the night -Tori is always abit of a religious experience for me, like going on a pilgrimage to see old friends.

Having seen a pretty disturbing ‘one under’ on the tube over to see her, I was hoping Tori would play ‘Happy Phantom’ (which doesn’t feature much in her setlists these days) to put myself at ease with seeing Death up that close… So to whoever you where, I hope your life was full, and that you moved on quickly. You will be missed by those around you, and by one passing stranger too. rip.

Tori_Amos_-_Precious_Things.mp3

Tori Amos - Savoy Theatre, 11 May, 2009

May 13th, 2009

Tori AmosTori once said ‘I may not always be caramel, but I hope I’m like a red wine that gets better with age’… And Monday nights performance certainly rang true to this. I was abit anxious about spending almost £100 on 2 tickets, even though I was one of the lucky ones to get some after her postponement… You see, I was half expecting a full preview of all her new album, but I still couldnt resist the idea of seeing Tori in an acoustic setting - something I haven’t experienced since my first (amazing) Tori gig in 1995.

From the first notes of her first song, my conscience was vindicated - as soon as I realized she was starting into a rarely performed cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, I was totally gobsmacked, in thrown into awe. This was quickly followed by a few new tracks from her to-be-released album Abnormally Addicted To Sin. In all, she played 5 new tracks, despite having said that most of the new album wouldn’t translate acoustically.

The red-haired Diva, like the fine wine she is, then powered through a swathe of known material, showing the depth of her back catalogue, without (suprisingly) even playing anything from ‘Under The Pink’. ‘Cool On Your Island’ made an appearance, though - which I suppose shouldnt be such a suprise considering its recent renaissance in her setlists - but still greatly appreciated.

Anyone who’s seen Tori live is well aware of her different voices, from furious devil woman to pure angel and back again. This was no more apparent than in ‘Welcome to England’, which, compared to its official recording, sounded alot more emotive - sweet and pure verses, and darker choruses.

Between Tori and Scott Matthews opening, this was definately a memorable night, and potentially the best gig of the year for me. Of course, its easy as a typically dedicated Tori fan to say that she was amazing, but she was in exceptionally fine form. If you get a chance to see her when she tours again with her band, do it!

heres a few samplers:
Tori_Amos_-_Famous_Blue_Raincoat.mp3
Tori_Amos_-_Smooth_Operator.mp3
Tori_Amos_-_Taxi_Ride.mp3
Tori_Amos-Mary_Jane.mp3 (link fixed…)
Tori_Amos_-_Barons_of_Suburbia.mp3

EDIT: Due to lots of requests, heres the acoustic ‘Welcome To England’ :
Tori_Amos_-_Welcome_to_England.mp3