Thursday, November 02, 2006

Songbird

It was a very peculiar Songbird last night; there was a last-minute venue change due to Hackney Council's fire regs, so we all went to the Vision Banqueting Suite under an Oxfam shop in Dalston- low ceilings, vinyl floor, hatch bar, balloons left over from 3 weeks ago, low lighting, and more bouncers than candles on a 90-year-old's birthday cake (exaggerate? moi?) There wasn't a very large audience but in some ways that added to the ambience. The DJ played lots of old-skool dub reggae, and then there was a fantastic bloke who played a massive shiny sheet of buckled steel with a cello bow- it really was incredible; I've seen sawblade players in Wylam Folk Club in the last century, a surprisingly haunting sound, and this was similar- a very beautiful and emotive experience! At the end he rattled and boomed the steel and it sounded like a loud explosion- one of the bouncers came dashing in with a '999' expression on his face READY TO SORT IT OUT. He looked a little sheepish and slipped out of the door again; good job only I noticed, so I'm the only person that knows (!). Then came Bilkis, which was essentially Sophie with her lovely voice and picked Spanish guitar riffs, and a violin player, Wei Wei. I was trying to think last night what Sophie's songs reminded me of. When I was a little girl I used to sometimes see those pale blue willow pattern plates at people's houses and wonder what was behind the droopy trees and little bridges- some sort of imaginary magical land that was hidden in the misty background: and that was it. It's as though she can peep through a hole in reality and see something different, that only she can find. I liked the sound of the amplified Spanish guitar too; you just don't hear that sound very often.
By the way, Punkdaddy's been in touch to say this CD is a solo one; the next one will be a collaboration with Damage.
Well, I'm sitting here waiting for the CDs to arrive......

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