EDWARDS - NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB - 14 FEBRUARY 2006
Day - yeah, but for most of the crowd at Northcote Social Club to see
Canadian singer Kathleen Edwards, it was the last thing on our minds.
We were all there to see Kathleen strut her stuff in her first concert
in Australia. We were not disappointed
Horse Stories, performed a 45-minute set, warming up the audience
with songs from, I assume, their latest CD Everyone's A Photographer.
Horse Stories is a three-piece band, though only Toby Burke (guitar,
vocals) and Beth Balmer (keyboard, backing vocals) were present
on the night. Their set was pleasant, with a selection of enigmatic
Horse Stories - live at Northcote Social Club 14/2/06
Edwards accompanied by her husband, guitarist Colin Cripps, came on stage
at around 10.45, launching directly into the subtle, beautifully written
song, "Pink Emerson Radio" from her latest CD Back To Me,
closely followed by the first track on that CD, "In State".
Kathleen remarked that she was still suffering from jet lag having only
arrived in the country a few days before, and was negating the effect
by drinking coke.
introduced "One More Song The Radio Won't Like" with the
wry observation that it is the song most played on the radio. Though
lacking her band, with just Colin Cripps playing a variety of guitars,
Kathleen's performance was anything but subdued. I was wondering
before the show, how the familiar rock 'n roll songs would sound
without a band, but with both Kathleen & Colin playing guitars,
the sound was perfectly adequate for the material and Kathleen was
in very fine voice.
evident that she was taken aback by a full house, Kathleen was delighted
by the friendly and enthusiastic reaction of the audience. At one
point she apologised for her numerous expletives, stating that it
was caused by nervousness. The audience didn't mind. Towards the
end of the main show, Kathleen said she was intrigued by the rating
on a sticker on one of Horse Stories CDs which was designated as
having "moderate impact" A lively discussion ensued, where
members of the audience speculated on how many uses of the word
"fuck" constituted a high impact rating if a moderate
impact rating equated to one expletive in the lyrics.
Kathleen Edwards - NSC - 14/02/06
As the show
progressed, Kathleen became more relaxed and performed a range of songs
from her two CD (Failer 2003 and Back to Me 2005) repertoire
as well as several unreleased songs. Kathleen sang (a request from the
audience) a cover of AC/DC's "Money Talks" which she described
as being "corny". Another cover was of Gram Parson's "Juanita".
This song was recorded - along with several other Parson's songs - for
the 2004 tribute DVD "Return to Sin City", but was unused in
the tribute. Her take on "Juanita" was marvellous with Colin
Cripps providing harmony vocals as he did with most of her songs.
archetypes were explored in various songs, "Hockey Skates" for
one which encouraged the Canadians in the audience to become exuberant.
Edwards' lyrics are in general cynical and worldly wise, with the
exception of "Summerlong" a love song of sorts to her husband
Colin Cripps. He provided excellent backup to Edwards, playing an
astounding number of different guitars (someone said it was five),
but remained in the background for the most part letting Kathleen
do the talking. They both appreciated the Melbourne weather, coolish
to us locals, but warm compared to their home country that has been
experiencing sub zero temperatures.
finished at about 12.30pm and lasted for close to two hours. It was very
well received by all present and was constantly engaging. The current
Australian tour is limited to four shows, including the Northcote show,
but Kathleen promises to return next year at about the same time.
All up it
was a very enjoyable evening's entertainment and Kathleen Edwards, who
has been variously described as a sort of female Ryan Adams or soul sister
to Lucinda Williams, proved herself to be a very individual and accomplished
performer. Her songs may deal with bitter situations but they are quirky,
well written and come with catchy tunes.
(as near as can be remembered)
1. PINK EMERSON
2. IN STATE
3. ONE MORE SONG THE RADIO WON'T LIKE
5. HOCKEY SKATES
7. NEW SONG (UNRELEASED)
8. SONG ABOUT HOCKEY
9. JUANITA (GRAM PARSONS COVER)
10. SIX O'CLOCK NEWS
11. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR
12. OLD TIME SAKE
13. MONEY TALKS (AC/DC COVER)
14. BACK TO ME
1. NATIONAL STEEL
3. COPIED KEYS
and photos by Anne Sydenham 2006
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