Review: St Vincent at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen

It’s been a very Annie-centric day. I’d say that was a good thing. Hoxton is handily only 20 minutes walk away, and what with the pleasant weather, it was nice to take a leisurely stroll to the venue. I’m not a fan of this venue, the lights are made of fail (you can’t really tell, but that photo there started out as a wash of red-ewww) and the stage is unflatteringly high. 

I don’t have much time tonight so I’ll skip right ahead to the good stuff: Annie’s set. I’ve been waiting years to see her play and it was absolutely brilliant. From speaking to Annie earlier and listening to her in between song chat it’s clear she has a very good sense of humor. The atmosphere  was brilliant; she was cheery and the crowd loved her.

She opened with Jesus Saves, I Spend and then announced her next song, The Strangers. This drew a huge cheer from the crowd, she smiled and said ‘I’m suspicious of you‘. She announced Actor Out Of Work next and there was an equally big cheer, to which she responded with ‘Somebody’s been downloading...’. She had a good sense of humor about it, which I think is alot more flattering than artists who get stressy about downloading.

One of the reasons why Wildbirds & Peacedrums succeed at being my favourite live band is that when they play live they do lots of improvised bits and bobs and add parts in that aren’t on the record. So does Annie, adding little bits here and there. I thought it was brilliant and made listening to her play really very exciting. Because I never saw her tour for Marry Me, I was really happy she was playing a nice mix of old and new songs. The title track from her first record went down a treat, and she noted how it always goes down well here, more so than in the Jesus-centric States, anyway. She did Land Mines and Black Rainbow, then Your Lips Are Red. She’s got a beautiful voice and is brilliant at the guitar. She did Marrow, her favourite track to play from the new record, and then ended with The Party, adding ‘don’t worry, it’s a sad party‘. She seemed genuinely happy and excited to be playing for us and the crowd were actually really good, clapping on demand and being totally silent during the quiet parts.

She went to leave the stage but Bobbles and I were sitting on the stairs, blocking her exit. Even if she got past us there was still a crowd of people she’d have to wade through. She resigned to the fact she wasn’t going to escape and came back and played Paris Is Burning, which made me most pleased as I got to hear everything I really wanted to.

She still couldn’t escape and came and sat near us on some gear. I took my chance to introduce myself and she shook my hand and said the interview was good and that she had a good day. I told her the show was in my top 5 of the year (it’s firmly in 4th, displacing Ane Brun to 5th). She said that she had a really fun time playing and was pleased. We didn’t have the chance to chat long as she soon became the sun in a solar system of eager fans. She gracefully signed stuff and did photos.

I also bought the Marry Me vinyl, FINALLY! I’ve looked in record shops all over the place for it, and no luck. I got it for a decent £12 too, and the Actor Out Of Work 7″ was a very very fair £2, which I also snapped up.

I have more photos which I will upload later, I thought I’d better get this review done before I go to Paris tomorrow. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, go see her live, listen to her records… very talented lady and also very lovely.

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