I went to see Martha Wainwright at the Lemon Grove tonight.
Seeing as how Law has a cold and therefore could not come to the gig (although I did run into S and some others I was expecting to see there), I shall put the remainder of this rave review behind a LJ cut. This will be invisible to most of you...
The support was a lovely earnest young man, Teddy Thompson, singing songs with that pleasing dark edge etc. Based on conversations I had and/or overheard more than one woman in audience fell in love with him and/or his voice. It's not everyday you hear a voice and think it is both distinctive and evokotive, so much so your skin tingles, so this gig was extra wonderful because Teddy was just the support.
Martha Wainwright is the kind of performer who owns the stage. The only female musicians I can compare her with, for sheer stage personality, are Courtney Love and the wonderful PJ Harvey. That's not say Martha Wainwright shares their musical style, but in the gutsiness of performance, in the ability to capture a crowd and mesmerise them, she has it. Her songs vary from dark vicious acoustics to rock to vaudeville and French torch songs. She has the kind of voice which works when applied to any musical genre and a freewheeling attitude which makes you love her. You don't want her to stop singing, even though she does a long, long set, because it feels like you're sitting in a dark lounge listening to someone singing whatever comes to mind rather than performing a set. I want to hear her sing the blues.
I have been traveling a lot this last week, went out to a gig tonight and will be off again on Sunday. This sound exciting to anyone who doesn't have to live out of suitcases but the logistics are deeply annoying. Home becomes the place where all the other clothes are, the ones you wish you could be slobbing around in whilst watching It Takes Two (the Strictly Come Dancing 'behind the scenes' show), instead of the carefully organised capsule wardrobe you've packed. Due to one thing and another, I bought two blouses today solely to go into this capsule wardrobe. I also bought a skirt to go under my denim A-line skirt because it is so frikking cold.