I've got most of Cat Power's albums. For some reason I never took too much interest in what she actually looked like. Perhaps it was the lack of clear imagery on the records. Perhaps it was the manner in which I "previewed" the records before purchasing them. Either way, I wasn't that sure what Chan Marshall really looked liked (the fringe photos were indistinct). When Chan walked onstage I was slightly surprised.
This was Tripod again. We went to Solas and had more pizza. We met Conor. We met Alida. They were both going to the Village. Wandered up to Tripod. Missed support. Emma got a beer. Walked through the crowd to about three from the front. Same location as JAPW
. A good view.
There was some setting up. Waited around a bit. Eventually the guitarist came out and messed around. He motioned to the the sound desk as he walked on. A twirling "keep the music playing" finger motion.
A while later all the band came out. They played before Chan came out, though I might be wrong about this. When Chan walked onstage I was slightly surprised. I had expected a quiet fringed female, maybe someone slightly older, maybe someone quieter, maybe someone sitting with a guitar refraining from real animation. Ms. Marshall was very animated, moving around the stage constantly, kneeling and standing, cautiously sneaking from one side to another. Her hair was tightly tied back. Her eyes constantly searching the stage, gazing into the crowd. Her voice was different from the recordings. The same voice, but more animated, more dynamic, projecting through the band with greater strength that I would have expected.
The band were extremely good. The keyboards were a classic organ sound, an Electro for pianos, lots of spikey hair, single according to CM. The bass
was doing the bass thing on a nice old black bass with some weird pickups. The guitarist had a wonderful Telecaster and Fender amp (playing mostly clean, but with bits of tremelo and slide). The drummer sat on the kit and played with a shocking degree of skill - very light, wavy, perfectly steady and with a light snare. The band were truly a great band. Dirty Delta Blues*.
There was no encore. Cat Power ended the gig by playfully throwing the setlists into the crowd and waving goodbye. The house-lights went up, everyone was satisfied. It was a good way to end. The setlist throwing gave closure. House-lights confirmed. There was a lot of singing and dancing before this happened. A wireless microphone tried to mess up a few songs but was ignored. I had difficulty recognising a lot of songs. Maybe I don't know my Cat Power too well. Maybe I was surprised by the material. There were covers. "Crazy", a brilliant "Satisfaction". Probably lots more.
Emma split home early. She went for a smoke and never came back. I thought she was at the back. Tripod was hot, but possibly because they were keeping the noisy air-conditioning off. I'd rather hot than noisy. Hot adds atmosphere. No pun...
I walked out to Beechwood and got a train. It's a walk I hadn't done in a while. Some things had been torn apart, some were the same.
Chan Marshall has recruited Dirty Three's Jim White, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Judah Bauer, the Delta 72's Gregg Foreman, and Lizard Music's Erik Paparozzi to accompany her on the rest of her tour dates this year, under the appropriate band name of "Dirty Delta Blues. "
Here's Myspace in a Time Capsule.