St Vincent / Fireworks Night @ The Slaughtered Lamb, 5 September 2007

Thursday, 6 September 2007, 17:24 | Category : Uncategorized
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So last night The Baby Growl allowed me out for a rare (these days) gig appearance. But which one? So much choice! Emmy the Great and Eugene McGuinness at The Borderline, Richard Hawley at the Roundhouse, A Hawk and a Hacksaw at the Luminaire and The Early Years and a heap of others at 229, to name but a few. But I went for St Vincent and Fireworks Night at The Slaughtered Lamb in Clerkenwell. I saw Annie Clark supporting Sufjan (and playing in his band) at the Barbican last year, but back then I’d never heard of her. Now I’ve got the benefit of a love for her debut album Marry Me to spur me on.

First up though were a band which I’ve been trying to see for a long time but various circumstances have conspired to thwart me. But I finally got to see them and I’m glad I did. I’ve been a fan of their As Fools We Are album for a while, and their delicate brand of noir-ish folk-pop was a real treat live. I’ve got to mention the venue as well, as it’s the first time I’d been there. Basically it’s like having a gig in someone’s living room, complete with sofas and standard lamp, with the band playing in the corner. This intimate setting was the perfect place for Fireworks Night’s music, and the respectful hush from everyone in the room was a pleasant change from the incessant chatterers at London gigs. I definitely aim see them again – let’s hope the crowd’s as good as last night’s.

Download: Fireworks Night – When We Fell Through The Ice

For the main attraction, the lights were dimmed to the point where Annie was almost playing in the dark, save for a couple of dim coloured lights and the occasional camera flash (a few of them mine). Given that Marry Me is an intricately and wonderfully orchestrated record, a St Vincent solo show was always going to be a bit different. But that was why it was so good. Don’t you just hate gigs where the band plays note-perfect rendition of their songs? You may as well have stayed at home and listened to the CD. What we discovered was that all Annie needed was an electric guitar, a couple of mics, some effects pedals and the occasional backing track to magically rework her songs to formidable effect.

The darkness in the room only served to make the cacophonous riffing at the end of Now Now and the start of My Lips Are Red seem almost terrifying. Unreleased track Bang Bang was a joy. And her closing song, a cover of Jackson Browne’s These Days was the perfect end to a brilliant show. She’s back in town in November. She may or may not have a band with her, but in any case, I’m so there.

Download: St Vincent – These Days
Download: St Vincent – Bang Bang (live)

Buy Marry Me and As Fools We Are

Credits: These Days from anyone’s guess and Bang Bang from blogs are for dogs.

One Comment for “St Vincent / Fireworks Night @ The Slaughtered Lamb, 5 September 2007”

  1. 1I-used-to-be-a-little-boy

    The nine tracks I’ve heard so far are some of the most inventive indie compositions I listened to in the last years. The unexpected turns her melodies and rhythms often take remind me of the way Frank Zappa broke and glued his music, though her voice is so much more fragile, luring and enticing.
    I love the energy and the simplicity she sometimes stomps her feet to stress or break up parts of her performance. A very, very interesting combination of softness and determination in one person! I hope she’ll soon come to Germany, too.

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