Jesse Sykes

I was so tired yesterday and tempted to give this concert a miss in favour of an early night...except I never have early nights and would have stayed up until 1am anyway with nothing to show for my late night. I arrived in Kilburn about 7:30, the only bike rack near the venue had two sawn through U-Locks as evidence that leaving your bike unattended in Kilburn is probably unwise. I took a chance although I locked to a lamp-post as the bike rack was clearly bad luck!

Entered the lovely Luminaire, grabbed a bottle of water and waited for an hour in the too dingy to read light for Jesse Sykes to come on. Jesse performed with an electric guitarist, Phil, who I guess is "the Sweet Hereafter" for this tour. She proclaimed her shaky nervousness but managed to get through a short sweet set with neither her fingers nor her rich voice letting her down (I keep wanting to describe her voice as "smoky" but I think I'm being influenced by the album sleeve picture of her smoking)

Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler came on to the stage which was set up with her three microphone - one normal, one with a bit of echo and one with a stack of echo (she picked the wrong one for between song banter a couple of times). Sometimes it seemed as if she might just be a normal, sweet, folkie singer-songwriter but then she'd do something that made you realise that she was just a bit special, a lovely "Diamond Heart", or "Rachel" which despite her commenting on the missing "acid leads" of Greg Weeks still had enough going on with the one acoustic guitar that it really didn't matter.

The bike was still chained to the lamp-post when I got out - obviously the fact that it's knackered (looking) and grubby, and the saddle is taped up with masking tape to keep the insides inside meant that the theives took their saws and bolt-cutters elsewhere. The ride home was a joy, mostly downhill, wind at my back and not too many other road users getting in the way!