These days I am fairly picky about what gigs I go to. I am no longer interested in someone that simply plays their latest record making it note perfect. What’s the point in that? I could just sit in the comfort of my own lounge and listen without the pain of having to endure a painful support or difficult travel arrangements. I want someone with a bit of get up and go, some interesting conversation and some stage presence. Oh and I want to be seated!
So last night at South Street, Reading we got all of the above in abundance from both the headline act and the support in the form of Boo Hewerdine and Hafdis Huld respectively.
South street has two spaces one small and the other tiny. We were in Tiny. The gig was sold out and packed but there could have only been a hundred people there tops. Even with a good trade in CDs you do wonder just how artists make any money.
I’m not always overly bothered about support acts these days but we were there so it seemed rude not to and the elfin Huld was great. She had a really good sense of humour and some cracking tunes, one of which had been number one in her native Iceland. I know Iceland isn’t overly populous but I was impressed. I was also impressed by her partner on guitar and was quite the master of the loop pedal.
For those asking who the hell is Boo Hewerdine he originally came to fame in a band that you likely won’t have heard of either, The Bible. However, you are likely to have heard something he’s written as he’s been covered by quite a few. Possibly the best known might be “Patience of Angels” which he informed us had “paid for his shed”.
Having been around a while and having worked with a number of artists Hewerdine had decided that it would be a wheeze if we shouted out the name of an artist and he would relate a tale of when he met said person. This included the likes of Elvis Costello, Rod Stewart and KD Lang the latter who having recorded one of his songs asked Boo to join her for the launch of her record by “getting her people to call… me!”
In my mind this is exactly how a great gig should be – a good mix of music and chat and we got both in abundance last night.