St Vincent – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – 16/11/2011

Posted on November 21, 2011

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16/11/2011 – The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – St Vincent, Cate le Bon

Good lord this was exciting. It was such an event that even my good old chum Benj and his darling Beth trekked up to Yorkshire specially for it. It was the first time in god knows how long that I felt I was actually going to an event, as opposed to heading to a bar with some live music happening. This was big. Cate le Bon started things off with her very infectious brand of folk, and her between song anti-banter is delightful. Very good to see a fellow Welshie supporting such a prestigious act.

Prestigious does not really do justice to St Vincent. Annie Clark is pretty much the subject of every indie/alternative guys wet dream, and all 3 of her albums have been complete stunners. ‘Marry Me’ found a healthy position at 21 on my all time 100 (https://penguinorchestra.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/the-john-bills-100-21/), ‘Actor’ was every bit as good and this years 3rd record ‘Strange Mercy’ really shows Clark’s guitar skills. Opening tonight with ‘Surgeon’, a brilliant song that is both fragile and forceful at the same time, with the lick (that is the only word I can use) played by Clark in the chorus reaching complete jaw dropping status. ‘Cheerleader’ maintains the consistent strength of her latest record and really comes alive in a live setting. Clark is every bit the glorious frontwoman, lit up and managing to captivate an entire audience whilst being barely visible.

In many ways, the beauty of St Vincent is the consistency of their back catalogue. Some of their best songs are absent this evening, old favourites such as ‘Paris is Burning’, ‘Jesus Saves, I Spend’ and ‘Laughing With a Mouth of Blood’ nowhere to be seen, but their absence isn’t noticed until after the gig. ‘Cruel’, ‘Chloe in the Afternoon’, ‘Marrow’ and ‘Save Me From What I Want’ are all highlights, but its the utterly spell binding ‘Year of the Tiger’ that steals the show for me, with Annie Clark speaking of the songs origins from her Mother’s piano playing to its rapid ending with Clark pleading ‘Oh America can I owe you one?’, its just a wonderful piece of music, the highlight of a wonderful evening.

Annie Clark, you are a modern day hero.

 

 

 

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Posted in: Gigs