With alot of friends across town in Elephant & Castle at The Decemberists’ show, I was really hoping for this gig to be a gooden to make up for missing a show that alot of people raved about. Luckily, this show was absolutely fantastic, and I would strongly recommend both artists that played.
The Bush Hall is a beautiful venue- all the tables and chairs were out, the lights were low and it looked gorgeous. Liz Green played first. She was amazing. She opened with a ‘story’, coming to the front of the stage and speaking unamplified. She has such an incredible bounce and rhythm to her voice! She does not sound like she’s from this time- there’s a jazzy, old-time, cabaret feel. Liz was charmingly awkward and shy, but held the crowd’s attention wonderfully- getting people to join in with one song, clapping, shaking keys, stamping feet and telling the crowd it’s okay to ‘tap on each others’ heads’. I thoroughly enjoyed her set, and I would definately definately definately recommend going to see her play. Listen here.
After the disappointing French show of the night before, I was so curious to know what this show would be like. Once again, a sizable chunk of the audience were French- but I think the appeal of this show transcended any language, and I think anyone could appreciate the wonderful music and performance that was taking place. Emily herself spoke in English and was warm and welcoming, and she seemed genuinely appreciative of the audience and her band. She played with a cellist and a drummer. Both of them looked so charming and sharp, they seemed to be thoroughly enjoying playing. The cellist was superb- perhaps the best I’ve seen. He had such a wonderful control over the cello, and played using it as a bass, and doing all sorts of fun and playful slides. The drummer was excellent, he had a grin on his face through just about the whole show and it was very endearing.
I have to admit, I didn’t really get into the latest album Pays Sauvage, bad after hearing the songs live I’m more than inspired to revisit the album. The show opened with a spellbinding performance of Fais Battre Ton Tambour, with Emily taking centre stage and animatedly clapping and singing at the top of her voice over bluesy cello and rattley drums. It was stunning. They mostly played songs from the new album, and really invited the audience to join in and be a part of the show. For La Femme À Barbe she divided the audience into people wearing glasses and people not wearing glasses, and got us to clap and stomp the rhythm, while the drummer played another beat over the top and it sounded fantastic. She sang with so much passion and energy, I loved it. It felt very French, with yelps and howls. It felt like a French hoe down, of sorts. It was alot of fun. Her voice is fantastic, and I just love the way the French sounded- especially when she was singing fast.
For one song Emily took to the piano and played alone and it was wonderful. The show passed by so quickly and it was the end before we knew it. The band playfully got the audience to whistle along in a call and response style to Sister. Emily played a little recorder and gave the audience lots of chances to practice, using her drummer to illustrate what we needed to do. It was so sweet and such alot of fun.
The band left the stage only to return shortly after, with the crowd cheering and demanding more. For the first song of the encore Emily went to the piano at the far end of the hall and played and sang with a friend, unamplified. It was beautiful. Next, she upped and headed for the centre of the audience. The drummer and the cellist joined her for a absolutely gorgeous rendition of L’Autre Bout Du Monde from the album of the same title.
What followed next has to be one of my favourite gig moments of the year- the band did a cover of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. They slowed it down and made it really playful. The audience clapped along and the song ended with the drummer doing a vocal trumpet solo which was light hearted, fun and absolutely brilliant. You can watch a version of the band doing it here, but with a larger band. But you get the idea, and you get to see the drummer’s fake trumpet skillz. I really recommend that video, and I more than recommend catching the band live. They were fantastic, as was Liz Green. A wonderful show.