Archive for September, 2009

Massive Attack - Brixton Academy, 18 September, 2009

September 27th, 2009

Massive AttackFor the 2nd week in a row I find myself in awe of the production and sound at a live show, this time with Massive Attack. The style in which the executed their show was an awesome experience. The ever dynamic ensemble of Massive Attack performed with any number between 2 and over 7 people on stage, yet the sound never seemed to be compromised. In full flight - double drums, brooding bass, ripping synth and guitar riffs, silky vocal melodies - and for all the layers, there still seemed to be space in their music.

While so many other bands of their generation are washed out parodies of themselves, Massive Attack have kept their vision and resolve, and are still very much relevant today. Apart from musically hitting the mark, their show was well targetted. The weekly trash-filled headlines flashed across their backing screens, followed by more thought provoking political newslines, as if beckoning us to form our own opinions. Then, in a simply epic 8 minute version of ‘Safe From Harm’, inspirational quotes on freedom and current politics encouraging the audience to think for themselves.

They are just about to release a new EP - ‘Splitting The Atom’, to precurse a new album arriving early next year. So steam on the Massive Attack Juggernaut - if you get a chance, go check them out - I was suprised how much I enjoyed this show.

a sample:


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.


Beth Orton - La Pigalle, 7 September, 2009

September 11th, 2009

Beth OrtonBeth Orton provided an opportunity to reminisce the 90’s with a retrospective tour following the ‘legacy’ rerelease of one of her earlier albums, ‘Trailer Park’. La Pigalle was also the perfect place to catch her in an intimate acoustic setting, although this time around we had to do without chairs, as it was standing room only (probably due to the kitchen being closed).

She started loudly with her vocal processing playing up abit, but very quickly grew into her stride, singing classic after classic. I’ve never considered myself a diehard fan, but the conviction of her performance and strength of her writing was self evident and drew everyone there into her world. She seemed quite scatty and insecure sometimes, but this only helped enamor her to the audience.

heres a few tracks:

Sarah Blasko - Borderline, 3 September, 2009

September 10th, 2009

Sarah BlaskoSarah Blasko is yet another impressive young singer songwriter with perhaps not as much coverage as like that which mainstream contemporaries like Missy Higgins enjoy. I cant say I was hugely familiar with her work, but her myspace, Triple J airplay, and well priced tickets encouraged me to give her show a punt.

Suprisingly, unlike the folk/pop on her current album, she took to stage with a jazz trio supporting. The reinterpretation of her songs was quite pleasing in this format and she mixed it up with a range of old and new. She has quite an interesting voice, reminding me abit of Angie Hart from Frente!, or Yael Naim at times.Check out her new album ‘As Day Follows Night’ - she’s worth the listen!