kristin hersh in nottingham

From [email protected] (J Preen).

hi everyone, last night i finally got to see Kristin solo! - several times i'd meant to travel to London to see her but i never got sufficiently organised. but when she plays down the road from me i couldn't mess up. strangely enough the concert wasn't sold out (so if you haven't got a ticket for later dates, go ahead and try to get one!). the concert was at the (nottingham) Albert Hall, which is usually reserved for classical stuff, and so the acoustics were great. anyway, on to my review: (warning, reading this may spoil your enjoyment if you see her soon as i'll describe her stories) i love it when they talk to the crowd, dont you ?

supporting was Vic Chestnut, who was good, although a bit depressing for my liking - although he did a bit of whistling at one point! don't know much about him apart from a link between him and michael stipe. Kristin came on (dead on time; the intermission music was Van Morrisson) and played for an hour at least, accompanied by her cellist Martin McCarrick (who i thought added a lot and the cello sound was even more impressive live than recorded). mainly songs from h&m, missing beestung (even though i thought i spotted a keyboard on the stage at one point) and a couple off the second side (sorry for my memory lapse; i've lent both my tape, and my dub of it to different people at the moment!). added were one i didn't recognise (perhaps from one of the firepile#s), red shoes, amazing grace (a version i much preferred than the band one on _counting backwards_) and cottonmouth for the first encore, together with _uncle june..._ from the _your ghost_ e.p. .

kristin seemed happy and relaxed all through and any tension was nicely broken by a knowledgeable heckler who called out "how's threebumps ?" (or something like that; anyone know what that might be from ?), referring to Ryder and she told us how, in Paris a couple of days ago watching the new video (which is just Ryder moving around in slow-motion) she got a bit teary-eyed and called home. explaining to Ryder why she was sad he burst out and told her his favourite joke - bit fat dog poo! (i think it was poo, something like that - but i wouldn't shout it out next time you see her, just in case...). she laughed then Ryder wonders why she can be sad, happy, sad, happy ? so now Kristin thinks he's a Zen-baby ! then she told the story she meant to tell, about him dropping picks into her guitar (sibling rivalry, with weapons) so she has to write a finger-picking tune, _teeth_. a couple of songs later, while re-retuning ('cos she has to use only her special guitar with K on the headstock) she advises us to never move to the Catskills.. {their neighbours there were acid casualties who named all their kids Errol Flynn - one came round and goes _i'm one of the errol flynn's; can your 6 year old come out to play?_ - the answer was no.}. oh, while playing _sparky_ she explains that instrumentals make her nose run.. finally (i couldn't believe she was this chatty, having seen throwing muses several times previously), _have you ever been to LA ? <pause> as a group i mean ? i was just there and the first thing i see is two dead people - i mean; that's just so LA, the real LA experience. then we're driving along and see a fender-bender (you know what that is ? what do you call it over here ? oh, a crash ? - that's the mother tongue for you) between this old lady who looks like my mother and this enormous hispanic guy, they get out angry and then she hits him, knocks his glasses off, and when he bends over to pick them off and she kicks his bottom! and he's just standing there thinking - i'm being beaten up by my mother!_

anyway, hope i didn't bore y'all - its certainly helped me relive it again which was neat. once again, i encourage all of you to go along if you possibly can - she's a fantastic songwriter and a really neat person, plus she weaves her head from side to side while she sings!

cheers, j

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