08 March 2007

Kristin Hersh Live

We went to see Kristin Hersh at the Koko Club in Camden (a lovely compact venue).

Kristin is a founder of the Throwing Muses group (Indy/Alternative genre). I particularly like her solo work however which is in various flavours from rock to almost country, heavy to acoustic. Her most recent album - Learn to Sing Like a Star - is just out and is a return to the heavier side, and has some cracking songs, including Ice, Vertigo, The Thin Man and In Shock.

You can get some (free) downloads of her material from the Throwingmusic.com site linked to above. Interestingly, 4AD - the UK record label is offering many of her albums in un-DRM'd AAC 192kbps for £7.90.

Anyhow, Kristin showed how good a musician she is, even if the mixing seemed to lose some of the subtleties (and a terrible resonance in the theatre for some bass frequencies!).

As an added bonus the support band were the McCarricks - Martin and Kimberlee. A cellist and violinist respectively I didn't know what to expect (this also expsoses my lack of knowledge too). But with the aid of a projection screen showing specially made short films accompanying each track, and with the underpinnings of the track on tape, the performance was different than anything else I've seen, and we both really enjoyed it. A sort of hybrid of Kraftwerk, Laurie Anderson, Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance etc. though way different than any of the above. The two (husband and wife, rather than brother and sister incidentally), also played throughout the whole Kristin Hersh set.

A quick search for Martin McCarrick gave very little at first - just a Wikipedia entry. But that was enough for me to realise that I SHOULD have liked their work anyway. Martin has a great history working with bands I also love - including a long period at Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Can Dance, Marc Almon and also with both Throwing Muses and Kristin Hersh throughout the 90's. He was also a key member of Therapy, though I have to confess not being familiar with them. I later found a myspace site for mccarrickmusic and this has some of the tracks which give a good indication of their music. But I would say that I found their performance live (with added video) even more compelling and I would welcome a DVD of their films set to their music.

Anyhow, Kristin only has a few UK dates left, but if you get a chance in Sheffield, Manchester or Glasgow, and you're an Indy music fan, do make an effort - I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Europeans have an opportunity too before she heads home to the US.

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