Saturday at Cameron House lodge, Sunday evening with Joanna Newsom, not too shabby, but it didn’t start too well though.
We were spending Saturday night at the lodge with our friends, and they picked us up at the back of 2. We loaded their car (an estate, thankfully) with food and booze, and headed off.
3 hours later we arrived. A journey that should’ve taken an hour or so, was thwarted by heavy traffic, atrocious weather, and the unannounced nor signposted closure of the Erskine Bridge (adding a 30 minute diversion to the route).
Thankfully the lodge was sumptuous, and so many thanks to my wee sis for organising it. We had a great night, chilling out, playing on a borrowed Wii, and generally forgetting all our troubles. Top stuff.
Home mid-afternoon on Sunday, I dozed on the sofa for an hour or so before heading back into Glasgow City Halls.
As she took the stage to rapturous applause, Joanna Newsom looked small and slightly embarassed at the cheering reception. She said hello and spent the next hour enchanting us as she played through her recent album, ably backed by the Northern Sinfonia (which was more chamber than symphony sized). It was a stunning evening of music, and when she came back on to do some tracks from her first album, and a couple of traditional songs, you could have heard a pin drop.
Not only does she have a far more powerful voice than I thought, the dexterity with which she plays the harp, and the passion she manages to evoke… well it was simply breathtaking.
I hadn’t realised that last night was the first night of the tour with the Sinfonia, and she did apologise for being very nervous and forgetting a few lines, but to be honest I doubt many people noticed. Glancing round the audience at the rapt faces, some with eyes closed, it was obvious that we were all sharing something special. The venue helped providing not only excellent acoustics, but the provision of a very intimate feel to the occasion.
I don’t like to make rash judgements but that might well have been the best gig I’ve ever been to… bugger it. It was sublime. Beautiful, moving, powerful, technically astonishing, and left me sitting with a pleasant smile on my face.
The memories of last night will live long.