joanna newsom
joanna newsom
originally uploaded by mapsadaisical

Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola is a funny guy - he wandered on stage dressed like an undertaker and spent a couple of minutes trying to attach his set list to the mic stand, he eventually gave up and placed it on the floor and then reached into his pocket to get out his specs - I felt empathy given the state of my eyesight recently and it made me laugh - as did most of the set. The band was a Mayo, a drummer, a (British) singer who (mis-)read her lyrics from sheets of paper and a saxophonist who used his leg as a mute. Baffling and bizarrely brilliant.

Joanna came on stage in a(nother) silly billowing dress (I really wish she'd dress in jeans and a t-shirt because a dress like that would flatter no one). She played alone opening with Bridges & Balloons and then playing Emily, Sadie, Colleen at which point she moved from the harp to a piano where she played a few new songs (and an old one - Inflammatory Writ) before heading back to the harp for the finale Peach, Plum, Pear, Cosmia and a beautiful finish of Clab, Cram, Cockle Cowrie. No encore - probably too cold and maybe a bit too close to curfew but the crowd were yearning so it was a disappointment when the courtyard lights came up.

While the venue was interesting I'd have preferred to have been indoors, without the smokers, the bells, the seagulls and the cold. There was no Sawdust & Diamonds - which had been so astounding solo at the RAH - and that was a disappointment but all told it was a good show and will tide me over until she's hopefully over with a new album soon.