So this is the Drugstore Anatomy album launch show and the tension has been building for some time, if you follow Isabelle Monteiro's twitterings. It realy has the feeling of an event - for a start the venue is a rarely (if ever) gigged church. The tickets are all hand made necklaces of a small anchor, including a pull off "vino" tab to get you a free glass of wine. So already we're feeling personally touched by the evening. When new band members strike up on stage with no sign of Monteiro you know that a dramatic entrance is on the way - she slopes down the centre ailse, seductively, bottle of wine dangling from one hand, reaching the stage with perfect timing to begin her trademark smokey vocals to Anatomy opener Sweet Chilling Girl. The sound is crystal clear and the audience spellbound into silence as they reel off some older songs with a gradually more verbal and more confident Monteiro filling in the gaps. The sense of occasion really shows on Isabelle - this really IS important. It is everything to her and we feel privileged that we are part of it too. Watching her onstage and hanging off every word is a moving experience for us - she lays her whole self out - she may as well be naked on stage at that's how intimate she can make an audience feel. Selfishly though, I never want het to be "happy" - to find her dream man, settle down. It's the unsatisfied edge she has that keeps her so compelling. But it's not all about her - the new band are integral and she even spells this out to us. You are watching a team - though there is clearly only one project manager.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
A cold and rainy night on mid summer and only a 6 quid ticket makes it really hard to get up off the sofa. I nearly bailed on this one until the rain stopped minutes before leaving - ok let's do it. The roof garden is a cracking little venue - 5 floors up with a view actods town and some funky astroturf under foot. The main - only - band are on at 8.30 and whack out a 30 or 40 set which is actually quite wonderful. The 4 of them are as tight as hell these days and the whole event reminds me of the velvet underground live album - like you were party to an intimate club. The rhythm guitar sounds like David Gedge if he had been in the Velvets. Ok there's not much variation between songs, but we'll allow them that. The only thing lacking for Mr was a stronger lead vocal or front man. If only they could find their own Kate Jackson icon. 4/5