Sunday, November 27, 2005

Eliza Carthy and the Ratcatchers at The Phoenix

Another excellent gig at The Phoenix last night. I hadn't seen Eliza Carthy for seven years (it was the Wadebridge Folk Festival, with her dad) and she's really relaxed into her role as a performer. Incredibly entertaining. She and her band reminded me of The Muppet Show in a funny sort of way. Four awkward-looking, lovable blokes, and Eliza with her surreal sense of humour (rather akin to Eddie Izzard's) comically shuffling around the stage, playing virtuosic fiddle whilst simultaneoulsy laughing her head off - not what one might expect from the sultry promotional photos... The music, of course, was top-ranking - wild Yorkshire fiddle tunes, eerie ballads, a Billy Bragg song (one I didn't recognised) and lots more. Great use of a tuba, too.

Eliza Carthy and the Ratcatchers

Support came from a multi-talented Swedish individual named Rosa Rebecka who sang a remarkable song in praise of the colour purple. She also sang some unaccompanied Swedish folk songs, played the flute, and sang a (Sephardic?) Jewish song accompanied by a Tibetan prayer bowl. Her singing reminded me of Melanie - lyrically she was perhaps adjacent to Patti Smith or Jane Siberry (but very much herself, despite any such feeble comparisons).


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