Monday, 24 November 2008

Kristen at the borderline

Abingdon is just far enough from London that going to a gig there is possible but a bit of a pain logistically which means to be honest it's only going to happen when something special is going on. That said gigs by Kristen Hersh (or one of her other guises, Throwing Muses, 50 foot wave) are generally very special, she's one of the few artists that I would still drive up and down the country to see several times in a row if I didn't have family responsibilities.
So I left home at 5.30 yesterday and drove to the Metropolis that is Didcot, ( in truth Didcot seems like a bit of a hole to me, it sits beneath a large cloud created by one of the UK biggest power stations, and just seems quite run down, but it has a very well connected station, with frequent trains to London that take less then an hour, shame they arrive in Paddington, where there is mmmm nothing) So on arrival I find that tfl have closed the district and circle lines mmmm great start, luckily the bakerloo line is still running and is almost as conveninent anyway. The gig was at the Borderline, which is just a little down Charing Cross Road from the Astoria (Where Uriah Heep were playing last night, my god are they still going) I'd never been to this venue before but I was vey very impressed, probably enough to say it's now the best one I've been to in London, it's tiny with a very low stage and plenty of bar area, the toilets are a bit miniscule but hey you can't have everything. I got there by 7.30 and K was not due to start her first set until 8.00 the venue was still pretty much fillng up, so I got a very good place right down the front. As usual 8.00 turned into 8.20 but hey was worth waiting for (although hanging around at gigs on my own like Billy No Mates is not really my idea of fun). Kristen played two sets of about 40 minutes each, the first set was all Appalachian Folk music, this is traditional American folk music which I believe was taught to her by her grandparents, seems to be centred around murders a lot which she did make a joke about between songs. Kristen looked a little tired but I'm guessing she was jetlagged to hell having only flown from the west coast a few days earlier, but her voice and guitar skills were up to their normal selfs. There was a small break of about twenty minutes and then she came back and did a second set of her own songs some very old, some more recent but all instantly recognisable, I preffered the second set but the first half did have it's moments. I'm not sure if there was an encore as I ran out to catch my train at the end of the set (Kristens manager had set two sets of 40 mins to me in an e-mail earlier in the day so I have a feeling there wasn't going to be an encore anyway) I rushed back from central London to Paddington to catch my train and got on it with about 3 minutes to spare, there is one later but it would of meant hanging around Paddington for an hour which is not really what I want to be doing. Finally got home at about 5 to 12 and was pleasantly surprised to find Catherine still up and awake with amusing stories of Emma and eggs maybe I'l tell you a little more about that tommorow.

I didn't manage to take any pictures of last nights gig as my camera mysteriously stopped working but I've found some online already here:

and a video here:

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