Call me Russ L


Posted in Music by Russ L on 21 January, 2008

The entertainment for Saturday the 12th looked great. Carina Round, lord love ‘er, was playing a gig at Woom art gallery in the Jewellery Quarter. The £15.50 ticket price included not only entrance, but also access to a free bar and a print of Buron’s art.

I was quite looking forward to seeing what Woom was displaying, since I’d never been there before, but it turns out all the art had been cleared away (Carina wryly noted that “It looks much more like a gallery when they’ve got pictures hanging up”). It was probably sensible, given how many people were jammed in there. Accidents can and do happen. What was more of a shame was that the ‘free bar’ ran out of booze. I was tempted to start singing Rolf Harris’ “The Pub With No Beer”, but then again I suppose that “The Art Gallery With No Beer” isn’t all that incongruous.

Carina was up against it: too cold then too hot (it was absolutely boiling throughout where I was standing), some drunk heckler going on at length, and hole in stage that she kept falling down. Really good nevertheless, though. It’s not surprising, when I think about it – her gigs are always more fun when they’re chaotic than when she’s trying to be slick. The very first time I saw her (still the best live set I’ve ever seen) she tripped over getting onto the stage. It was a fun precedent.

She was band-less again, with a couple of cohorts assisting her on a few songs and adding percussion, backing vox, We Will Rock You beatbox, and glockenspiel. ‘Down Slow’ and (perhaps more surprisingly) ‘Ready To Confess’ sounded really effective with the glock. ‘The Disconnection’ didn’t quite work for me as a solo acoustic thing (it was already leaning towards sparse sound; the even-more-minimal style made it sound half-finished), but that’s the first and so far only one of her songs that hasn’t.

It’s all about the new stuff, though. The brand new (possibly unfinished, she said) ‘Simplicty Hurts’ was absolutely lovely. I was getting a vague bit of a Jeff Buckley vibe again. ‘Backseat’ was beautiful once more and we all had a nice singalong at the end (watch a version of it played in America here). I’m also by now completely sold on ‘Thief In The Sky’. The endings of both that and ‘Backseat’ were swirling around in my head a lot over the following few days (whenever I didn’t have Dholstroyers, anyway).

She finished with ‘Let It Fall’ (this appears to be customary again, which is a fact that’ll make me and a lot of other people happy), doing a version with bits of both “I’ve Been Tired” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog” at the end. I don’t think I’d ever seen her use both in the same performance before. Not sure, though.

Another triumph, whichever way up. Afterwards I queued up to get my print (it’s the artwork from the flyer, without the writing over it but with a few photos of Carina above) and buy the two special edition CDs of rarities sold at this gig only (great stuff, apart from the fact that one of them doesn’t work. Oh well…), and got them signed. I’m not normally an autograph hunter, but you had to stand in a long line with Carina at the end of it. It would have looked a bit rude not to by the time you’d got there. Faintly embarrassing, but never mind.

What I didn’t know was that there was another (presumably super-secret) Carina gig there the following Wednesday. Apparently there are lots of this sort of event at Woom all the time, so that may or may not worth watching out for. I would imagine the wine doesn’t run out every time.

You’ve got your collective memory bit here.



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