Monday, November 13, 2006

I died and went to Heaven.......

and was serenaded by an angel called Green Gartside.
When I was a teenager and was listening to music more influenced by pretty boys and glamorous videos, I was handed a copy of 'Songs to Remember' and told this was the music to adore. I learnt and became a person with a wider music landscape.
When I heard that Green had been nominated for the 2006 Mercury prize I was surprised and intrigued. I delved around and found a copy of "White Bread Black Beer". It wasn't until I spotted the gig at the Paradise being advertised that I started to seriously listen to this album. Sounding deceptively simple the songs weave their tendrils into your brain until you are seriously hooked.
Last night just seemed to be the gig I have been waiting half my life to see. Jeffrey Lewis opened up, interesting as we had seen him open for Sons and Daughters last year but hadn't caught who he was. He plays interesting little tracks with his angle being for many songs he creates little cartoon videos for them. Music isn't wonderful and the voice can be atonal but the concept is sweet and his songs amuse.
Setlist for Scritti
Snow in Sun
Robin Hood
After 6
E 11Th Nuts
Come Clean
The Word Girl
Dr Abernnathy
The Boom Boom Bap
The Sweetest Girl
Hands Up
Road To No Regret
Skank Bloc Bologna
Die Alone
Mrs Hughes

Green seemed not totally at ease on stage but was open and talked to the audience throughout the show. He had to have lyrics for many songs because as he told us once he has recorded songs he doesn't like to listen to them again. Many times he was very self denigrating but his voice was everything it is on record. Green isn't rough but at over 6 foot, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt he is certainly not effete in any manner you might imagine. For this man to open his mouth and pure honeyed vocals to stream out was a pleasure to behold. A side note he felt his voice was rough! The audience was in the palm of his hand warmly applauding and gently moving to his music. I do not tend to gentle sweet songs but several times I just stopped in my tracks and took in the wonder of this man singing.
To be honest I probably would have paid twice the ticket price just to see him sing The Sweetest Girl but to have the opportunity to see him sing through 19 tracks was astounding. A funny moment happened during the start of a song shortly after he had
taken a drink, he stopped and had to burp.The crowd just laughed. I can start to pull out highlights but when the songs you loved start to get over 1/3 of the set you start to realize you just loved the whole experience.
You missed this? Shame on you!
The murmurings after the show suggested it was worthwhile sticking around, so we did. As we waited we tagged our way into the edge of a conversation with the keyboard player (keyboard plus 2 apple macs). He was telling the story of practising WoodBeez for the first time and how Green had stopped and said no it wanst quite right. At which point he turned round to the musicians and asked if they Had a copy of the original- they didn't. They ended up downloading the track from itunes so they could make sure they got the details right. There had been an article in The Boston Phoenix saying WoodBeez was impossible to play live and I mentioned this comment. The keyboard guy said it was pretty impossible and he had been managing about 4 different parts with all the computers etc and how Green refuses to have anything recorded before hand. The sound guy did a sweet job.
Then Green came out and stood talking to folks, hugging women and posing for photos and just being as sweet as can be. Yes I got my hug and to tell him just how amazing both the new album is and his concert voice is in general.
I just seem to be on a roll of talking to people in bands who are just as nice as can be. But then I am going to see the Bravery tonight so I am sure that will stop.

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