Live at Royal Park Cellars on Saturday, 10th March 2001
Apologies to MABEL BLUE for missing the first half of her set, but boy did I like what I heard. I was a little later than usual (busses to blame again!) and when I opened the cellars door I couldn't get in there were so many people. Apologies to everyone who heard me say *shit* very loudly into the quiet bit of one of Mable's songs. Sorry about that, I was just so surprised that I couldn't get a seat. I wasn't that late... anyway - having a good look round (once I was seated on the floor in the doorway) everyone present was listening in rapt attention. Mabel plays acoustic guitar and sings emotional, attentive songs (the ones I heard anyway) - it's like she is speaking to you personally. She has a very rich voice. Having asked how long she had left and being told 7 minutes, she said "great! Here's a 7 minute tuning spree... if I don't get it right it will sound dreadful...) she did get it tuned satisfactorily with Rich jumping in to twiddle for her. The last song was written around holocaust day, when Tony Blaire was telling everyone how this would never happen again and in the same breath refusing asylum seekers. I think it was called Glass, and had us all thinking.
Next on the bill were FARRAH. Playing without their drummer tonight, they had keyboards and acoustic guitars with occasions where all of them were singing. These guys had great audience interaction and had us laughing several times, especially when they announced the new song that they couldn't remember how it started. It sounded fine to me. The keyboard player was sat with a guitar on his knee alternatively playing keys and guitar and singing bits too. I'm glad it wasn't me up there! Nice clear vocals from Farrah too. I loved the lyrics to Daytime TV - perfect! I have put both them and Mabel on my SEE AGAIN list.
On to FOUR DAY HOMBRE. I have reviewed them before and I guess you all know I really like these guys. I saw their acoustic set here last week, which was great. They have been practicing like crazy by the sounds of it and have altered some of their songs. I loved the acoustic version of Tenth White Lie, and tonight when they played, it was different again. Still able to sing along, and not changed enough to put fans off, just adding new dimension to their set. They did a completely new version of Small Talk. Almost a stripped down, mellower, essentials-only version. Needless to say we were all listening so hard that you would have heard a pin drop in the quieter moments of the song. The place was still heaving with people and everyone seemed to love all the changes they have made. I've said it before - variety is the spice of life, and we were not disappointed. I guess my main reasons for liking what they do is that the sound is very crisp and clear. Even in the louder songs I can hear every bit of what everyone is doing, the vocals and harmonies, as always, were spot on as well.
As usual though I missed the end of the set, as my bus will not wait for me... see you at the next one!