Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Support: Peter von Poehl
venue:Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow, 22nd November
Doors open at 7.30 or 8 according to an online site trying to sell tickets for this gig. Not very reassuring. St.Vincent’s MySpace page said 8. So I aimed for about 9, arriving slightly before. The basement of the pub, which has been used as a venue for these kind of gigs for so many years now, is not too busy, though busy enough that there are no tables left. I find a free seat anyway, and settle down with the book I thought to bring until the support comes on.
Support is provided by Peter von Poehhl, though this I find out from a flyer the night after advertising the single he had on sale at the gig. A solo singer with guitar and mouth organ, his vocals are breathless and airy. Edging towards the high end, some how fragile and whimsical. At times it seems like he is trying too hard to achieve a vocal style to go with the music he was making. On the whole, his sound was likeable enough, though not really to my taste.
When William Gibson blogged about an artist called Annie Clarke I admit I confused her for Anne Clarke, who is a different person altogether. Coming out of the Amiina gig at the start of the month, I saw a poster advertising St. Vincent later in the month. The girl in the picture looked quirky, reminding perhaps a little of Regina Spektor. Looking St. Vincent up I came across the video for Paris Is Burning, the same video I had seen when Gibson blogged about Annie Clarke, so it was at that point I put it together. The same day I watched the video, I was in a record shop, and came across her debut album Marry Me. Which I bought, and have been listening to through the last 2 weeks towards this gig.
Marry Me is an album that I find a little bemusing. There are bits of it that are pretty cool pop tracks, and then there are other bits that come out of nowhere, and leave me scratching my head. Overall it is an album which has left me a little conflicted. Regardless, I thought to hell with it, might as well go see her live, see how that works out. And, to a degree, St. Vincent’s music comes to life on stage, and makes more sense, for me at least.
On stage, Annie Clarke was joined by a drummer, a violinist and a bassist/keyboard player. The three guys were in waist coats and cravats, Annie was in a green dress, which added to the air that they were a kind of weird lounge band. The feel of the music had that laid back pop sound, casual and easy going. Contrasted by twitchy moments, where Annie would jerk and dance, lashing at her guitar, and cranking up the energy. At times stamping on a board at her feet, to create personal rhythms. The result being interesting and unpredictable, veering from easy going to rock out. Many of the tracks were familiar from her album - pieces like the obvious Paris Is Burning, the title track Marry Me, Now Now, Your Lips Are Red , All My Stars Aligned and the new single Jesus Saves I Spend.
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