Review: Emmy The Great at ULU

There’s not exactly a shortage of Emmy shows here in London… I saw her last November, December, January… and finally this February. I’m hoping she’ll do a show every month of the year. I managed to get a bit lost on the way to ULU, despite having been there before. I am so directionally challenged.

ULU is a fairly big venue, 800 capacity. The show was nearly sold out, only 20 or so tickets left. This was the first time I saw Emmy do a ‘proper’ show in a proper venue. I don’t really like ULU to be honest. They are anti cameras and I don’t like really high stages because I feel it removes the band or singer from the audience quite a bit. The staff, however, were very friendly. Well done, ULU. 

So anyway, on to the show. I’ve seen Younghusband before, he plays in Emmy’s band. His band and Ex Lovers were Emmy’s supports. Neither of them left any lasting impression on me, and I couldn’t see much of Ex Lovers because the lights were so bright behind the band. Maybe it’s because I was at the gorgeous Union Chapel the night before, but I thought the sound was kind of muddy too. So, I’ll just get straight on to Emmy.

The band launched into Easter Parade first. After a month of touring it’s understandable that the band were a bit tired. We didn’t get the usual amount of weird/awkward Emmy banter, but she did note ‘It’s been a long month.’. She stepped away then returned and said ‘well 28 days, a short month because it’s February.’ The audience laughed and Emmy responded ‘that’s not me making a joke, I’m just correcting myself’. She played lots of album tracks, a few non album tracks, and that absolutely brilliant cover she’s been doing of Skeeter Davis’ End Of The World. I’ve loved the original for something like the last six years so it was great to hear someone sing it live. Maybe it was because I was right by Younghusband’s monitor, but I though the parts where he sang drowned Emmy out a bit, which was not so pleasing. Towards the end of the set some random drunk fool barged his way to the front and barged the girl next to me out of her spot and was clapping out of time, when there wasn’t even any cause for clapping along. Despite him not being in my way, I thought this was incredibly rude and I was not pleased at all. After Emmy finished up her song, I told him off. I asked how old he was, 42, I asked him how did he get to that age and still be so rude, then he said he had a right to be at the front and to see, I said if you want to be at the front you get here on time, he said he pushed his way to the front and has as much right as us, then I told him he was deluded. And that’s how it went down. Eventually he moved and let the other girl back in, who was clearly a big Emmy fan (and not old, annoying and drunk) and deserved that spot way more than the other guy. Emmy ended with Everything Reminds Me Of You.

For the encore she said they hadn’t prepared anything, which obviously catalyzed a slew of requests. Adam wanted to hear the Secret Circus. We asked her to play it for him last time we saw her, and she said maybe. Adam called for it, and Emmy looked our way with a look that said ‘Adam, I’m going to play you Secret Circus’. She then went on to play Canopies and Grapes, Two Steps Forward and Edward Is Deadward. Poor Adam.

To conclude, Emmy is indeed great and I am quite happy to go to all her London shows whenever I can. Listen on Myspace. The First Love single came out Monday.

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3 Responses to Review: Emmy The Great at ULU

  1. Alicia February 28, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    Love the fact that you told that guy he was rude, I wouldn’t have dared to do that

  2. Robin February 28, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Emmy did get a bit drowned out from time to time, which is a shame. I love her voice but I guess it just doesn’t cut through the full band sound in less than ideal circumstances.

    That guy was shocking, glad you gave him a mouthful. The girls behind us also chose terrible times to clap badly. But it was a lovely set from emmy :) hope to catch her again sometime.

  3. The Daily Growl March 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    The perils of being more famous eh? It’s the casual Friday night gig-going and drinking crowd in a large(ish) venue. There was a buzz of chatter at the back, pretty loud during Emmy’s quieter moments. Plenty people continually pushing past me to get to and from the bar throughout Emmy’s set. There will be even more of these folks when she plays Koko I’m afraid. Just develop a harsher vocabulary and sharper elbows.

    Great gig though, wasn’t it?

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