Call me Russ L

The sounds I hear in my mind

Posted in Music by Russ L on 8 February, 2007

Regina Spektor’s “Begin to Hope” is quite possibly my favourite album released last year. You can’t call it anything innovative or new, but it is an absolutely great collection of songs with often interesting lyrics. As a newcomer to her oeuvre, I was greatly looking forward to my first chance to see her (at The Wulfrun Hall in Wolves on Tuesday the 6th).

Very good she was too. I suppose at the back of my mind there was a faint fear of a repeat of the Tori Amos debacle of a couple of years ago, but blessedly this was all a lot more warm and human, with a few little twists on top to prevent it all descending into simple recital (tapping on the mic and cracking a drumstick against her chair to percussively accompany herself during the band-less first half of the set, for one example, and occasionally splitting off into Russian, for another).

The crowd in attendance were, shall we say, very loyal. She could have wondered onstage, burped into the mic and wondered off again and she still would have received rapturous applause. That sort of thing can get very annoying if you’re not enjoying what’s going on yourself, but blessedly I was. Regina herself seemed genuinely surprised and overawed by it all, which was sweet.

“That Time” was probably the highlight for me (one of my faves on record, too – it illustrates a very dark time in a very playful way, showing a light touch far beyond the ability of a lot of artists), but the whole set was great. One thing, though – is her name really pronounced ‘Regeena’, as people were chanting? That would save on many occasions of having to repeat oneself after people inevitably mishear…

~ Russ L, having dreams of orca whales and owls.

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