Call me Russ L

Angie & Bev

Posted in Music by Russ L on 7 January, 2006

Originally posted on 14/4/5.

So, last Wednesday (the 6th) and Thursday (the 7th) I went to see Angie Stone at The Academy and Beverly Knight at The Civic, respectively. They were both looking very likely to be great gigs since I love both artists, but I had a tiny touch of apprehension about it all. Sometimes the happiest of memories might not make you happy. The gigs themselves went without any problem worth noting, but afterwards there was some… something. Vagueness is the new clarity, and so I write fashionably. Yes. Another drink and I’ll continue. Yes.

I didn’t bother getting till The Academy until about nine, as the venue’s website proclaimed Angie ‘with special guest DJ.’ My first thoughts were of more and less – the crowd seemed bigger than last time I saw her. Admittedly (part of) the balcony was open the first time and not last week, so the massive was contained in a smaller space, but I’d still venture that there were more folk there. On the other hand, she had a much smaller backing band that last time I saw her (if I remember correctly). A couple of members of her band actually put down their instruments to duet with her, although rapper THC (ha ha…) was a genuine additional figure.

Highlights? An absolutely fantastic “Wish I Didn’t Miss You” (my favorite Angie song anyway), a really beautiful “No More Rain In These Clouds,” and a particularly slinky “My Man.” Angie has a very good sense of precisely when and for how often to do the crowd-participation bits – they’re rarely well judged and normally get on my nerves, but she has the ability to put the spots in perfectly. It sounds a bit silly, but her story is an inspirational one to – making music for twenty-plus years before her time in the spotlight, but persevering.
Combine that with her great songs and her voice both soulful and funky, and you get the conclusion that Angie Is Great.

Thursday I was working till eight, so I didn’t get to The Civic till shortly before Our Bev’s set. This was the fourth time I’ve seen her, and I have said this before in this diary, but Bev’s greatest advantage is her local-ness – she really does strike you as someone who could be both a huge star and your best mate. At the same time.

Once more, highlights seem silly due to the overall greatness. She opened with a storming ‘Get Up,’ overflowing with energy and enthusiasm. “Sista Sista,” “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and “Gold” were all beautiful and stirring. “Supasonic” funked like none have funked before. Our Bev’s “I wouldn’t have thought of that myself” cover version factor came into play with “Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart” and “Let It Be” (which, we now know, should always have been done in a gospel style. Always). “Made It Back” performed to the riddim of Luther Vandros’ “Never Too Much” was a great one-off, I was singing “Keep This Fire Burning” for days after and… yes. All great.

Even though this has been short, it’s taken me a few days to write it, and I’ve largely been drunk while doing so. I am, therefore, quite proud of myself for having resisted writing other things that I’ll later regret. Hurrah.

~ Russ L

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