Tag: <span>Joanna Newsom</span>

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.


Well that was a quick week. One down, many to go and so far it’s all good. I’m beginning to remember names, suss out the office culture (much quieter than my last place, which is good and bad in about equal measures) and I think I’ve got all the shortcuts on my commute sussed out.

There is one problem though, guilt.

You see I’ve gone from a train user to a car user (and a single person in a car to boot) in one fell swoop. Granted I’m driving a small diesel and public transport just isn’t an option, the quickest journey I could find involved 2 buses, 2 trains and takes around 3 hours for one leg of the journey. Sod that.

Car it is then, pumping out noxious fumes left, right and centre (not as many as most though, it’s almost in the lowest emissions category). I’m very conscious of it, and with that in my head I’m trying to cut down on my consumption elsewhere, turning lights off, not leaving the computer on all the time, and so on. Every little helps, hopefully.

Stormy weather

The gales on Thursday morning finally did for the broken fence panel, removing it from it’s fixings completely. It’s staying down for now which doesn’t look great but it’ll just have to wait as it’s probably going to be fairly expensive to fix. It never blows but it gusts.

Still, we’ve got a nice quiet weekend planned. We’re off to Cameron House Lodges to stay over on Saturday night, and we’re taking some friends with us. Will be nice to show them our ‘home turf’ (sort of).

I’ve got a Joanna Newsom concert on Sunday night, which features a symphonic orchestra so should be pretty fab, and if I get any free time I’ll continue tinkering here. I’m particularly perturbed by the “you don’t have permission to do that” messages, as well as the “connection to server reset” error which is really annoying. Not sure how to fix it, and Google-fu is failing me. So if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.


Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender @ Amazon.co.uk

You always remember something unique, and it was on “Later with Jools Holland” that I first heard Joanna Newsom. Sitting with her harp, performing The Book of Right-On, the rhythms of a late night jazz bass underlined the classical sounds of the upper reaches of the harp with both taking back seat to that voice. So let’s get that out of the road first, Joanna Newsom’s voice is unique, piercing, nasal and yes at points reminds me of her highness of weird, Björk. Once you are accustomed to that you then have to contend with the harp being used in a pop/folk/jazz/rock landscape and that’s all before you get to some very very good songs.

The combination of the voice, the harp, and the songs, all meet to produce a wonderful sound, delicate, fragile and haunting all at once yet carrying moments of power and emotion. This is definitely an album for quieter times, contemplating life through the claret in a glass with the rain percussing the windows.

It won’t be for everyone but if you like to think you have eclectic music tastes I’d give it a listen, I keep coming back to this album and the more I listen to it the better it gets.


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