Saturday, 31 October 2009

Lily Allen @ SaSaZu, Prague

Where to start...

I was worried about this gig. Despite the whole copy-and-paste affair I love Lily Allen. But I wasn't looking forward going to the hottest club in Prague (= the hottest club in the whole country, most probably) and I wasn't looking forward to all the stuck-up Czechs who go to these gigs just because the singer is famous - more so if this was supposed to be combined ("posh" club + "posh" people).
I was worried about going home alone at 1 am - across half of Prague. That went fine in the end.
I was also worried about my passing in the middle of Lily's set (which almost happened at one point).

But...let's go back to the start.
I was only pleasantly suprised by SaSaZu. Despite reading negative stuff about it I was pleased by how nice the staff were. The main room is huge & all along the dancefloor there are a few steps leading to the "bar floor" - I stood there and got a pretty good view at the stage.

The supporting DJ Make Music's say eclectic. But I am very grateful to him for playing Blur, Bowie or The Beatles, so I could sing along and not just stand there (when I'm having the worst day of my period the last thing I wanna do is dance).

I read a lot of bad things about the sound in SaSaZu, in the end it wasn't that tragic. But DJ Make Music totally had a better sound then Lily's gig afterward. Dunno what the sound engeneer was doing but half the gig Lily sounded like a cross between Chipmunk and Donald the Duck - and sometimes she wasn't almost audible at all, tho the bass link was. :-/

Lily, oh Lily. What can I say...she's the only contemporary pop singer I really like - if I don't count Shakira (who's been around for quite some time now) and P!nk who's more of a rocker in my book).
Lily's smart, she's a really good singer (seriously, I'd take her over Leona Lewis or Beyoncé any day...I'm just not interested in howling & mostly unispired lyrics) and she can put on a show without putting on a show. 3 outfits, a few musicians, no special effects or dancers & elaborate choreography. My kinda pop show.
She was extremely charming, kept on communicating with the audience who mostly didn't know what the fuck she was saying most of the time because a) of her accent b) they couldn't hear her. But she carried on babbling nevertheless: about her bervous tick when she unnecessarily kept on pulling up her tight jeans ("There's no fucking way these jeans are going anywhere."), about the people in the front rows not having any drinks or that she's glad she's finally playing in Prague.
She also seemed genuinely concerned if we were having fun. I believe it wasn't just a phrase...because Czechs in general aren't of the warmest audiences, let alone posh Czechs who came to SaSaZu just to show off and see the famous Brit chick.

It was kinda sad because quite a lot of the people didn't even know her music: just the two songs that our radios seem to have been playing into oblivion: "Fuck You" and "Not Fair" - and those two also got the biggest response.

Sad indeed, because Lily is one talented lady: as a songwriter as well as a performer - and her lyrics deserve to be understood and sung along.
Well, at least I sang. lol

I loved her set... still there were some highlights in it for me: beautifully sang "Naive" (audience had no fucking idea what that song was, it seemed :o) ), "Oh My God" (ditto), "Littlest Things", "Who'd Have Known" and "I Could Say".
Yep! Lily sang MY song! :o)
Oh and when those middle fingers rose into the air during "Fuck You" it was a pretty good moment too. ;o)
One more highlight: "Kabul Shit" - I didn't know this one - this song's a b-side on The Fear. Lily commented that people wanted her to sing this one live & I think it was very brave for her to perform a song very few people in the audience would know.
I totally get why some demanded this one being played live: I fell in love with it right on the spot yesterday and one of the first things I did today was going to 7digital and buying it. The chorus's got a perfect, melancholic melody. Woo. Thanks a lot for playing it, Lil.

My note to the audience: so there were the show-off people, there were the VIP's; but there also were the giggling tiny teenage girls who attempted (unsuccesfully) at some kind of sexy dance. I guess paedophiles would rejoice... I was amused. I almost felt bad for laughing at them...almost. It really was funny. :o)
We also had the douches. Or at least one who kept on prancing right in front of me during the DJ set and insisted his girlfriend made as many pictures of him looking LIKE was enjoying himself. Sad.
And then there were people I totally don't get WHY they were there. If you DON'T like the singer, the club, dancing or even drinking, why the fuck have you spent 1100-2500 CZK on it? (cca 40-90£.)

I don't want to finish on a negative note. There were people in the audience who enjoyed themselves, danced and sang along. Tho the sound was slightly crappy at times, the band was rocking, Lily sang in tune the whole time, her songs are great, some of them beautiful, even; she was in a great shape & mood and most importantly spontaneous throughout the whole gig. I don't think I've ever seen anyone act as naturally on the stage.
And those three outfits were simple but very effective. ;o)

Screw the people and the sound, it was a great gig and it reminded me why I love this young artist.
I hope her break from the music industry won't take very long... if you're talented like this, you shouldn't waste it. x


Now, isn't this a piece of art? :o)

Profi pictures:

P.S. My first time I've ever seen a rapper live. He wasn't bad, btw. Still not sure what the song was called "Just Be Dub/Good To Me" my guess. :o)

P.P.S. Haven't seen the setlist yet - I sadly don't remember the order of the songs.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Words Don't Express My Meaning

As the Adam Lambert album cover was revealed today - and tho it made me laugh I'm not really a fan of it* **- I realized I'm pretty picky when it comes to cover artworks. I went through the artworks of my fave artists in my head and realized there aren't as many album covers I love.....but let me show you the few that I was able to think of - the cover artworks that impressed me the most over the last 10 years of my being a music maniac. :o)

(* I thought Adam would go the classy fabulous way and he decided to go the decidedly ridiculous way. Oh well. His choice...I don't mind it, I just don't really like it. I like Shakira's album cover for She Wolf even less but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the music. x
** Oh my, I think it's growing on me...a tiny wee little bit.)

Antony and the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now

Candy Darling on Her Deathbed is a photo Antony chose for the cover of an album which deals with girls being born boys - that makes a lot of sense. And it's sad and beautiful and black and white. And taken by Peter Hujar

Kate Bush - The Kick Inside

Kate Bush has a couple of good album covers. But my favourite is still the first one. It was the first Kate picture I ever saw about ten years back and I was totally captivated and intrigued. This album cover looks just as original and exotic as it did back in 1978.

Rufus Wainwright - Want One & Want Two

Rufus is first posing as a boy and then as a girl on the covers of these two albums. Art Noveau's all classy, fabulous, genius and funny at the same time. Just like Rufus himself.

The Beatles - Revolver

At least half of The Beatles' album covers are legends in their own right now. I LOVE the cover of Abbey Road BUT if I had to choose just ONE Beatles cover it would be the one for Revolver. It totally is a work of art. And in black and white... ;o)

David Bowie - Heroes

Man, I do like black and white combo, don't I! This for me is one of the most iconic Bowie images ever taken. Sure everyone knows the artwork for Ziggy Stardust (I LOVE that cover as well!) or Aladdin Sane (never liked that one but admit it's cool) but I don't think any other of Bowie's album covers is as minimalistic, out-there, introverted and extroverted at the same time. If that makes any sense.

Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer

I might not "get" Adam Lambert but I *think* I get Amanda Palmer. :o)

Coldplay - Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends

Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Nuff said.

The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

Now...I like the black-red-white combo TWS use, so it wasn't easy to choose one album cover but eventually I guess this one wins. Maybe it's the outfits...

Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters

Once you go through, there's no coming back...
Sexy, dreamy, colourful cover. I tend not to look at the details on it but rather take it in as one piece (of art?). :o)

The Killers - Sawdust

My fave of all the Killers album covers (with Day & Age following VERY close). A wooden limb in a forrest. And it's autumn....somehow, miraculously, it works. :o)

Baby Dee - Safe Inside the Day

It's a warm, comforting picture...and there's a black kitty on the table...oh wait there's also an axe on the piano. Good night, kids!

Now I know nothing will change your mind about me being kinda morbid - because that's what crossed my mind looking at these images. lol

One day I might do a Part Two... I certainly had fun making this little blog entry. Hope you had fun scrolling trought it.

P.S. I'm not very morbid, honest. ;o)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Patrick Wolf in Akropolis, 16-10-09

so I was listening to the radio on Wednesday morning...and Patrick Wolf's "Vulture" came on followed by a comment by the DJ - Patrick would play Akropolis in two days. I went: Wha?! usually I try to keep in touch with my fave artists' touring plans...

now, I love Akropolis as a venue. a) pretty close to where I live, b) great sound...always, c) not big & quite a good looking lady this venue is, d) has a gallery with great view of the stage.

the ticket was quite fave venue, one of my fave new artists...I bought the ticket right Wednesday afternoon. :)

jump to the gig itself: the supporting artist was a Czech band called Burian named after the frontman's surename. he was better than expected and not exctly ugly. people who have heard Burian's album say the songs sound 100% better live. I did consider checking out the album but now I think I've already heard the best from this band.

Patrick started quite early and played for about an hour and half. most of all I was surprised by his ability to control his voice. quite amazing singer, if you ask me. even tho his style of singing isn't 100% my cuppa.
the band rocked...esp. the violinist who also got probably the biggest "round of applause" when Patrick was introducing the band. I'm usually not a big fan of violins (I love cello but the small beasts are too squeeky for me), so I guess the girl was doing something right.

music was 100% great. I love people who can put on some noise but most of all I love people who can actually play and sing (if "unconventionally") and well, I'm a sucker for big melodies. I got all that last night. there might have been some theatrics in Patric's set (I think my sensor for over-the-topness has been numbed down by years of listening to Bowie, Marc Almond...The Dresden Dolls and the like, I have to warn ya :) ) but for me personally it was mostly about the music.
but then I can't speak for the guy with a black boa in the front row or for all the screaming teenage girls who tried to touch Patrick's crotch whenevr the I actually was one of the older folks in the audience (!), scary as it might sound...because as Lily Allen sings "I'm only 22".

tho pretty otherworldly while performing, Patrick appeared to be just a shy lovely boy between the songs and managed to totally win his audience by telling them about a former member of his band who was Czech, about his trip to Prague last summer; deciding he was spiritually half Czech and promising them it wouldn't take him another 7 years to come back.
great, because I wanna be there when he comes back...and that better happen soon. x

only today when I was reading stuff about this gig on the internet I realized Patrick didn't play the song that introduced me to him a couple of years back: "Accident and Emergency". the fact I didn't miss it last night indicates how exactly great the concert was.

so thank you, again, Patrick. xxx

setlist: Who Will?, Bluebells, Careless Talk, Damaris, Pigeon Song, The Bachelor, Tristan, Battle, The Stars, Theseus The Sun Is Often Out, Paris, Hard Times, The Magic Position, Kriegspiel, Vulture