Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Miss veirs

So, some more on Laura Veirs. I’ve been listening to one of her albums over the last couple of days and, while it is good, it has not captivated me like the live performance. It was the spareness, the simplicity, of the show that worked so well. Two performers, two voices, two guitars. Simple, but with so many possibilities for each component to come to the fore or create harmonies and resonance with each other. Particularly effective were Laura’s hummed passages where she often stepped back from the microphone to create fade-out effects, this created an almost instrumental sound that went straight through me. Similarly Karl Blau’s understated electric guitar provided a sparse framework within which the melodies had space to develop, but it also managed to be incredibly captivating in its own right.

The problem, for me, with the album I’ve been listening to – Troubled by Fire – is that most of it is recorded with a full band. Although there are some great tracks on it there is at times a drift into territory that I find a bit too ‘country’ for my tastes. The sparseness of the live show is only present occasionally and I think that a lot of the beauty of the individual components forming the songs is lost because of this.

But all is not lost. Mr Blau has a subscription CD project (found at and I notice that last months disc contains some of the live stuff. So I shall be getting that asap, or at least as soon as paypal will let me log on.

And speaking of Mr Blau, the other thing that made the evening so great was his opening set. He played some ballads, just a man with his guitar and an amazing voice, and it was indeed amazing. There was a refreshing lack of arrogance to his show, he was clearly nervous when he started and genuinely happy when the audience liked his songs, and this spirit permeated the Maze and held sway for the rest of the evening.


Blogger paulhd said...

I'm so gutted I missed this. Rebecca didn't want to go and as it was just after her week away I didn't feel like going on my own. I could have tried harder to convince her but I had a similar reaction to the Veirs album I'd heard (Carbon Glacier?), I thought it was really good but nothing out of the ordinary. From what you've said about the live show it was anything but ordinary. Think I might have you visit that site and buy some live stuff.

13/10/04 10:16 am  

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