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Friday, October 05, 2007

Laura Imbruglia at Monkey Chews

Laura Imbruglia made her only UK headline appearance in Camden this week. I made sure I was in attendance:So blown away was I by Laura Imbruglia’s solo performance at The Borderline last week (you can read the full and comprehensive review of that night here or just scroll down the page a bit), I thought there would be little more I could say upon watching her at Monkey Chews a week on. And when I learnt that she was suffering from the beginnings of a bout of flu brought on by the pesky British weather, I assumed that the gig would struggle to live up to the high standards set last time round. Therefore I was absolutely delighted that, if anything, her performance this week was even more impressive than the show that wowed me a few days ago.

The quaint Camden pub was packed to the rafters for her first ever headline gig on these shores, as the puckish songwriter took the largely uninitiated crowd on a trip through her wonderfully weird, funny, sad, colourful and lateral ruminations. After opening with a Syd Barrett cover, she performed tracks from her debut album including standout songs It’s Getting Worse, Surly and Home Sweet Home, as well as “fairly new song” Bubbles.

As with last week, the gulf in quality between Imbruglia and the other artists on the bill (who were all kind of okay, but were, in order: way too affected/not as good as they thought they were/worthy but slightly dull) highlighted just what a mesmerising live performer she is. Armed just with an acoustic guitar, her typically zestful and captivating display was in no way hampered by the fact that her vocal was fighting against her illness and, as each song concluded, punters whooped and cheered their approval in a venue so intimate that it felt like the gig was taking place in someone’s living room (below).As another beguiling solo performance drew to a close, the Australian had the attentive audience in stitches with her clever lyrics about undercuts and word pronunciation in a couple of her lesser-known ditties, 1st Boyfriend and Two Cockatoos. As I said last week, not many artists find the right balance between being laugh-out-loud funny and genuinely heart-rending in their songs. I honestly believe that Laura Imbruglia does this as well as anyone in the world. Regardless of whether she is being humorous or downbeat, there is such honesty to her words that they always hit the mark, and connect on so many levels.

There are simply not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to express how wonderful her stories are, so you would do well to allow Laura Imbruglia’s music into your world so you can find out for yourself.

Here is a clip of Laura performing It’s Getting Worse at last week’s show at The Borderline:

3 comments:

tom said...

Never been there. sounds like a cool little place.

And a good gig too...

bobbysix said...

I'd never been there before either.

In fact, both of these gigs were in venues that were new to me. And yes, it was indeed a very good gig.

cagey054 said...

I had the privilege to see 6 of Laura’s London shows all of which I enjoyed immensely but feel the Monkey Chews show was a bit special.

Laura Imbruglia, great lyrics, great melodies and a fantastic voice.

It is so refreshing to hear an artist being original and not trying to be the new Lily Allen/Kate Nash etc etc

Venue is also great, I highly recommend the Vegetarian Kebab