Monday, 16 January 2012

Bridie Jackson and The Arbour: Live at The Sage

Bridie Jackson and The Arbour
The Sage
12 January 2012

Bridie Jackson and The Arbour launched their extraordinary CD, Bitter Lullabies, in fine style at The Sage. The CD was reviewed earlier; consider this a pictorial celebration of a very memorable evening.

To sell out The Sage 2 is a remarkable achievement, but it was, without doubt, a fitting reward for the efforts Bridie and her group have put into their own unique brand of music over the years.

Two support acts added to the celebratory feel of the evening. First there was Nathalie Stern who played a very interesting set, complete with some live record and loop technique.

Nathalie Stern
The came Matt Stalker and The Fables, whom I have seen before, albeit in a smaller incarnation.

Matt Stalker and The Fables
There was a drummer to the right but I couldn't see him from where I was sitting. For the first couple of songs I thought the cymbal crashes were due to something very clever on the glockenspiel.

Then, at 9.30 p.m., Bridie Jackson emerged, resplendent in a new green dress. The audience responded brightly. There was, without doubt, a strong sense of love and support in the hall.

Bridie, experiencing a warm reception

The opening song was very well chosen. It was the slow-burning, delicate and moving We Talked Again, which I'd already picked out as one of the main highlights of Bitter Lullabies.

There followed a powerful and involving 60 minutes of Bridie Jackson and The Arbour on top form, with excellent performances all round. The set list included Aliens, Promises are Broken, and My Sister (full set list to follow).

There was the (very) occasional piece of sales talk, although it was presented with humour:

'We've done an album! It's about time, but it's here at last! And I hope you're going to buy it, because this dress did not come cheap!'

The sales looked to be going well at the merchandise stall, post-show, where a radiant Bridie happily chatted and signed for some time.
The dress!

Bridie Jackson and The Arbour in full flow
Everything is going well

Found the camera!
Sans instruments; exquisite harmonies
An Arbour trademark
Keyboards have been added to the repertoire
Flowers at the end of the main set
Petals rained down from above too

The evening represented the culmination of a sustained period of very hard work. As a focal point, it clearly revealed how powerful and unique Bridie's music is and how accomplished her performance.

What does the future hold? Great things, for sure.

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