Saturday, September 29, 2007
My Brightest Diamond @ The Luminaire, 24 September 2007
Monday night, and an evening of mixed blessings. It seemed too good to be true at first. My Brightest Diamond (one of my highlights of the recent End of the Road Festival) supported by The Young Republic (another) and The Luminaire (one of London's best small venues, even though it is one of the furthest from my house). It was too good to be true. Some necessary domestic/baby duties (on my part) and an earlier-than-expected support slot (on the Young Republic's part) meant I missed Julian Saporiti and his band of merry men and women completely, which was especially annoying since this was the last chance I'll get to see them before they head back the their American homes for the winter. But I have my End of the Road memories to sustain me till they get themselves back over here - hopefully before too long.
But I did get to see My Brightest Diamond again, and that was never going to disappoint. Shara Worden and co. fairly blew me away back in Dorset and although this gig may not have had the shock of the new that seeing her nine days previously did, it still packed a heck of a punch. The first thing that hits you is the voice. Although Shara was very good as an Illinoisemaker, ultimately she was wasted as just Sufjan Stevens' backing singer. She needed to get out there and let her pipes be heard on her own terms. But a good voice alone does not a fine artist make. Thankfully Worden has the songs for her vocal skills to live and breathe in. Wonderfully. And she rocks too. For someone some slight of frame and stature, she sure has a commanding stage presence, as she dashes around, stopping for a riff here, rushing back to the mic to belt out the next line there. She's in here element, and seems to be enjoying it as much as we all are.
Most of the songs from the excellent debut album Bring Me the Workhorse are aired, all nicely augmenteed by a few choice covers. Roy Orbison's It's Over, a Edith Piaf tune, and the best of all the encore of a French song, sung by Shara alone on the piano. Even though she kicks up a decent racket with the band, there was something about just that voice unadorned save for some choice keys that was just so spine-tinglingy good. The perfect end then, and for an evening that started with a measure of disappointment, a triumphant close.
Download: My Brightest Diamond - L'Hymne à L'Amour
Download: My Brightest Diamond - Feeling Good
I've been posting a few tracks ftom Bring Me The Workhorse lately, so maybe I shouldn't post any more. You should really buy the album if you like it. Look - I bought one at the gig, even though I already had a (legit) download copy. Call me old-fashioned, but it's just unsatisfying only having an electronic copy of an album you love. Now I have a nice vinyl copy, so I'm happy. But I digress. Here are a couple of live covers from a MDB Planet Claire session from last year. You'll know what one of them is. The other is a medley of Edith Piaf songs, the last of which was the one she played at this gig. It's lovely. Now I just need a copy of that encore song.