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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cat Power at The Enmore Theatre

CAT POWER
MICK TURNER
The Enmore Theatre, Enmore
09/03/08


The task of entertaining a crowd eager for the arrival of the highly-anticipated main act fell to the brooding instrumentalism of Dirty Three’s Mick Turner, who used loop pedals and occasionally played his guitar with a bow, all the while ably backed up on drums by band-mate Jim White to create an intense, uninterrupted sound, embellished with projected visuals of Turner’s art.

And so, an absolute age after Turner’s absorbing performance had finished, Georgia’s Chan Marshall, Cat Power to you and me, appeared from the shadows and offered the audience an elaborate bow and a pearly white smile. Much to the joy and surprise of all in the room, it was instantly clear that she was far from the morose character that legend suggested she might be. While one may have expected her to skulk motionlessly in the shadows from start to finish, she instead puckishly prowled the width of the stage, full of animation and gesticulation, looking hot as hell in skinny jeans and a scruffy shirt, while her band - comprised of the aforementioned Jim White, keyboardist Greg Foreman from Delta 72, Blues Explosion guitarist Judah Bauer and bassist Erik Paparazzi – lurked in the dusty red light behind her.
The occasion was wonderfully intimate and of course her distinctive vocal, which was equally husky, rich, strained and breathy, was mesmerising, although, other than a delightfully upbeat version of The Tracks of My Tears, the set lacked variety and suffered the occasional lull when a few of the many cover versions missed the mark. However, while her Patsy Cline and Van Morrison covers were limp and directionless, most of her own compositions were magnificent, especially The Greatest, Lived in Bars, Song To Bobby and Where is My Love? which were all extraordinarily beautiful in their pain and fragility.

While her set was lengthy - possibly too lengthy - Marshall simply did not want to go home and, long after the houselights went up as the clock neared midnight, she was still onstage, minus her band, doing a passable Aussie accent, throwing flowers and set-lists into the crowd (below) and humbly saying “thank you” over and over. Eventually she waved a final farewell having demonstrated that, while her cover versions often don’t do her talent justice, Cat Power’s true strength lies in the exquisiteness of her own songs. Oh, and she also proved what a good laugh she is. Who’d have thought?

2 comments:

Stacie said...

I WAS THERE! Wooooo. I thought it was amazing and not too long at all. And she looked sooooooo pretty!!!

woozyfly said...

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