Sunday, November 3, 2013

Eddi Reader @ The Gate, Cardiff

I'll keep this one short - goodness knows you guys get enough of my wittering during the week - but I've just come back from seeing Eddi Reader and I felt that it merited a wee blog post. Most of the bands I see live barely utter a sentence between songs, and so it was really refreshing to be a part of Ms. Reader's audience as she shared tales of her travels and the stories behind her songs.

Best of all was the stuff about her family. Clan Reader seems to be made up of a near-endless array of colourful characters, from drunken uncles to eccentric, fire-and-brimstone grandmothers (not to mention the various aunts from whose wardrobes Eddi's outfit had been culled), and so we were treated to a lot of fun family stories over the course of the setlist. Reader's impression of her mum singing Moon River was a particular highlight.

The Young Knives are playing at Clwb Ifor Bach next week; I bought two tickets this afternoon, but as enjoyable as that evening is sure to be, I am a little melancholy at the prospect of a gig that doesn't feature this level of storytelling. Eddi Reader was a warm, engaging presence (as was support act Keiran Goss), and the yarns she span around each song were just as essential as the music itself.

Not to do down the music, mind you. Reader's voice is quite phenomenal, and her sidemen were excellent as well, five specialists in meandering musical conversation who kept the jammy, laid-back atmosphere going even between songs. The accordion player was particularly special; it's a sod of an instrument to play, that one, and it's nigh-on impossible to look cool whilst playing it, but he was exceptionally impressive nonetheless, reeling off impossibly dexterous solos at the drop of a pink straw boater.

A great night, then, and since Sarah's parents (very kindly) paid for our tickets, it didn't cost me a penny! Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and I'll see y'all back here on Monday.

Photograph by whoyougonnacall

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