June 21st, 2008

Queen of Swords

Thea Gilmore

Once again, Thea proved that no matter how awesome her albums are, there is absolutely no substitute for the presence she gives off when in front of a live audience. Even one as subdued and polite as she seems to get at the Zodiac ("Fuck Carling", as one audience member succinctly put it) in Oxford. Fortunately she's good at working a crowd and getting it to relax and let its collective hair down.

The gig seemed to be about half and half new material and classics, which struck a good balance, with a couple of cover tracks really standing out. First, a beautiful reworking of the goth classic "You spin me right round" that it took until the chorus for me to notice what it actually was, and had my face plastered with an enormous grin thereafter, and secondly, a beautiful, yet faithful, cover of Leonard Cohen's "Sisters of Mercy", which has always been a favourite of mine. Leonard Cohen is of course, brilliant, but having a gifted singer pay homage really brought out the emotional tone of the piece.

Support band, as usual, was utterly forgettable.