Firstly let’s deal with the support act Butterfly Wheel.
We missed the very start of their performance as we were waiting around for signs of the gig properly beginning in the room off to the side and remarkably very little sound was escaping from it. Either that or the rather incongruous modern RnB djing in the bar room was just too loud. Anyway we’d no idea what to expect from said support band but at first glimpse of two women dressed up a bit more than every day life made us at least hopeful. To the right of the stage we had the main singer with crescent moon on forehead and then a more Alison Goldfrapp looking individual seemingly taking keyboard duties with a Casio of some variety (there’s a name you don’t normally see on stage). It quickly became apparent this was some new age hippie inspired act which might be enough to send many people running for the hills (and us much of the time to be fair) but we stuck around to give them a fair crack of the whip (Crack the whip! – Peter Murphy). So to speak.
There was something there that was intriguing with the blend of a more 60s hippie folk sound with some modern instrumentation such as the keyboard sounds. Traditional native drums were brought out on occasion and hand chimes for certain songs and you know what it did actually create an atmosphere. Whether or not you want to believe it’s a good thing to go to ‘moon circles’ (as the main singer announced she had met one of the stage guests at one such event) and believe in energies you can’t knock them for really following through with their principles.
One thing we’d like to see more of is the Alison Goldfrapp clone doing a bit more performance as when she was doing her thing we’d argue she was that bit more spectacular and vibrant in her actions on stage.
Now here’s a couple of videos:
Right then Lene Lovich herself. Typically for Lene it’s never conventional as though she was doing the entire Stateless album she announced that it wouldn’t necessarily be in the right order and would only be after starting with a couple of non Stateless tracks. We’d refreshed the tracks in our mind on the train down to London from our more notherly domicile and you know what Lene’s voice is almost indistinguishable from the recordings even nearly 40 years on. Still that astounding vocal range from almost male to sounds only dogs and cats can hear.
With any artist that’s been around for around 40 years there’s always the worry that they can have lost what it was that made them special in the first place but we’re happy to say that Lene really didn’t disappoint – the same weird quirky bizarre artist was there that always has been, still dressing outlandishly and living the weirdo life. We should all be lucky to grow old so delightfully disgracefully.
A brilliant crowd of freaks and weirdos young and old (ourselves included of course) filled Cargo to capacity by the looks of things and were hugely receptive to everything being performed. Just nostalgia for that first classic album? Who knows but judging by the entusiastic energetic performance from a veteran artist we can say it’s as engaging as any new artist and perhaps even more so due to her experience.
Some newer songs such as the incredible Wicked Witch (from 2005’s Shadows and Dust) were performed after Stateless and her brilliant cover of I Think We’re Alone Now, done partly in Japanese but it would be nice to hear something even newer considering it’s been 11 years since the last new material came out. We’re quite sure Lene’s still capable as a songwriter like her is hardly ever likely to run out of ideas (or at least we’d hope so).
So if you’ve even the passing interest in Lene, don’t hesitate to catch her live as you’ll be in for a treat.
Here’s a video. We only did one to try to respect Lene’s wishes for the audience ‘not to watch through a mobile phone screen’. It was even said that if she can reach you and sees you recording too much and not just experiencing the gig she’ll take your phone off you and apparently she has a ‘very strong grip’. So be warned if you’re planning on going that you should just try to experience the gig rather than record the whole thing.