Sunday, February 12, 2006

Jenny Lewis LIVE

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Well it's been a bit of a wait, but the first concert of 2006 finally came around. Anticipation was high, what with Jenny's Rabbit Fur Coat album being rather fantastic, but what would it be like live, in the comfy Manchester Academy 3?

Stocking up on Magners and Corky's meant we only caught the last few songs of the support act, Jonathan Rice. He was, frankly, a bit dull, although singing along to that "we are all in the desert and gonig to die" or whatever the hell it was did liven up the proceedings a litte.

Having been handed a "song sheet" for Jenny Lewis, (and The Watson Twins - I should be fair here), upon our entry to the building I was at a loss as to know quite what to expect. As it turned out the song sheets seemed little more than an excuse to collect e-mail addresses for Jenny's mailing list, but they did give a hint at the eerie and dark tones that would pervade the rest of the evening.

Lewis and the twins made their entrance through the crowd (as I bemoaned the fact that they were on the side where EVERY other time I've been to the venue I've stood, but not tonight oh no....) singing the album opener Run Devil Run. From that moment on, I was captivated.

Most of the album was recreated (minus Handle With Care sadly) to a positively spine-tingling effect and there was a genuine dark and eerie tone throughout with only Jenny's funny banter in between some of the songs lightening the mood in any way. But this is not to say it was a depressing evening; far from it. This was uplifting and vaguely spiritual evening which brought to life an already brilliant album and made for one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

By the time Jonathan Rice shared the mic for the closing song, Cold Jordan, there was little else to do but bask in the glory of a spellbinding night out. Rilo Kiley fans better watch out, because if she's this good on her own, she might never need to go back.

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