Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Last night I think we witnessed something rather special! No, not a first win of the season for Bristol City (though maybe it could happen this Saturday) nor was it a gold medal for a member of the British Olympic team (may never happen), it was an absolutely amazing performance by Joanna Newsome at St Bonaventures.

I must admit that on first hearing her album had most of us in the shop confused and not a little scared. However over recent weeks most of us have come to love her wonderfully individual and idiosyncratic approach to both singing and song writing, when these talents are aligned to her beautiful harp playing you start to realise that something wonderful is brewing.

Although she was nominally the support act last night, it was pretty clear that a hefty chunk of the audience had come to see her. If they were anything like me, they probably approached the gig with high levels of anticipation, mingled with the apprehension that she would not be able to produce the atmospheric beauty of her recorded work. Well we need not have worried! Her performance started with an exuberant acappella song, accompanied by only her wild, swinging handclaps and joyful grin. The next 40 minutes provided us with a real treat as she worked her way through her album. Undoubtedly her unusual vocal style will draw comparisons with Bjork, can she achieve the same level of success as the Icelandic visionary? I’m not sure, but I’m delighted to have had the chance to see her at such close quarters. One to watch, although I do warn you that on first hearing you well be somewhat perplexed.

Tomorrow night we are off to see one of the many bands, which feature our favourite drummer, the marvellous Steve Dew. He will be in action with Wilma at The Prom. Reports on the band are good, although we are yet to see or hear them, luckily that will be rectified within the next 24 hours.


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