Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cat Power LIVE

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Notoriously a reluctant live performer, it was somewhat of a surprise when I saw that Cat Power was playing in Manchester; indeed her last few visits to this country have seen her play one date in London and then bugger off back home. All I can say now is, it was definitely worth the wait to see her.

In an era where "attitude" is almost a prerequisite for an aspiring musician, Chan Marshall's continuing fragility and near-shyness is a breath of fresh air. For once the music was allowed to speak for itself.

The set list drew heavily on recent covers album Jukebox, and also tossed in varying other cover versions (Tracks Of My Tears, All I Have To Do Is Dream). Not that you would immediately recognise them as cover version, such is the transformation. Few artists could make an iconic a song as New York New York sound as if it had been written just for them. Backing band Dirty Delta Blues Band were in top form although occasionally they threatened to drown Marshall out.

The only complaints were an over reliance on said cover versions and the fact that, for once, an artist gave TOO much value for money. After an hour and a half, people started to drift away and I have to admit that even your esteemed reviewer was looking at his watch and wondering if Marshall had ever heard about leaving your audience wanting more.

Still, it was a night that was hard to beat. Beguiling and refreshingly "showbiz" free; this was certainly a concert to remember.

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