Live at The Tabernacle – Review

Prelude

Well I guess this evening really started on the Monday. I was lucky enough to join a select few to get a sneak peak at the rehearsals for the show at The Joint studios. The band played the new album straight through for us 40 souls in attendance,  it was a rousing performance and really gave us all a massive sweetener for the Tabernacle show. No photos, audio, phones etc were allowed here and it was good as everyone concentrated on the new songs and just enjoyed the moment.

The Tabernacle Show

Arriving at the venue we were greeted by the ever lovely Vanessa and gave her the big thumbs up about the previous nights rehearsal show and for all the sterling work team Brett has been doing recently.

Heading into the main room itself it instantly looked like it would be a special night as the Tabernacle is a very nice place and with a unique mix of seating and standing space and a bar that wasn’t too busy!

The support for the night was ‘Cult With No Name’ (http://www.myspace.com/cwnn) who were a simple act who had some inoffensive songs that worked well within the venue and with the assembled crowd.

After them we moved into position for the night and carved out a nice spot close enough to see but not right under Brett’s armpit.

The Show

I won’t go through the whole show but just to touch on certain moments.

They opened with Slow Attack’s first track ‘Hymn’ and it is a good song to open a set with also and set the tone for the rest of the night with a simple mix of great vocals, slightly rockier tones and some fantastic working of the ivories, drums and guitars by the band.

They ran through 10 of the 11 songs from Slow Attack and the really stand out tracks were ‘Ashes of Us’, ‘Julian’s Eyes’, ‘Swans’ and ‘Frozen Roads’. These are already my favourite tracks from the new album and I have only heard them a couple of times!

The version of ‘Ashes of Us’ was a clear example of what Brett and the now settled band can do. They really ramped up the dials on this one and turned it into a rock song almost, which is no mean feat considering its a slow burner on the album.

I must say a piece about the band here. James Dare on guitar, Sebastian Sternberg on drums, Didz Hammond on Bass, Angie Pollack on keyboard and Amy Langley on Cello were all on top form and really gelled as a group now. It was so great to see James and Seb back again and they have really honed their skills since first playing with Brett 2 years ago and we shall be seeing all the band again hopefully in the new year!

Also there was a very special appearance by Leo Abrahams and he joined the band on stage for ‘Scarecrows and Lilacs’ and he seemed to fit in perfectly on stage and is a very good musician in his own right.

Once the main set was over, finished with a resounding performance of ‘Swans’ that got the whole place rocking and emotional, the band left the stage.

We were then treated to a more familiar site of Brett and the ever lovely Amy sitting and playing the piano and cello respectively and we got the ‘Wilderness’ section of the set. They went through ‘A Different Place’, ‘The Empress’ & ‘Chinese Whispers’ with ease and really brought the crowd back down (in a good way mind).

Next came my favourite Brett Anderson solo song to date…’To The Winter’.

This song I always felt was better with the live band as we often missed the crescendo at the end but they were back tonight and it was an amazing performance again and the point where I really got into the zone as they say.

This was followed by ‘Love is Dead’ and crowd favourite ‘Song For My Father’. This song is another one that really benefits from the full band version as the ending was magnificent and one again got everyone watching to be drawn in and really feel the emotion Brett was pouring into the song and performance.

Then came the very last two songs, ‘Funeral Mantra’ and ‘Back To You’.

‘Funeral Mantra’ was never top of my song list but the liver version breathes new life into the song and it really stood out amongst all the others and everyone seemed to really be taken a back at how good it sounded.

We ended with another of my favourite solo songs ‘Back To You’. This was always going to be a great finale as the ending once again builds into a phenomenal crescendo with Brett leaving himself exhausted but giving his all and the band also really helped to draw every drop of emotion from the song.

You will have noticed that NO Suede tracks were played and everyone I spoke to said it was a good move by Brett and that he has enough good material from his solo albums to stand up on his own right.

Setlist:

Hymn
Wheatfields
The Hunted
Frozen Roads
Leave Me Sleeping
Scarecrows & Lilacs
Summer
Ashes of Us
Julian’s Eyes
Swans

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A Different Place
The Empress
Chinese Whispers
To The Winter
Love is Dead
Song for my Father

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Funeral Mantra
Back to You

So that was it. One of the best Brett solo gigs I have seen and it instantly goes into the top ones of all time (including Suede).

Hopefully anyone reading this can get to see the band on tour next year as they will only get better still the more they play together.

So for now please enjoy the photos and feel free to comment if you went on your experience!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/simononly/sets/72157622680838880/

Simon x

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