Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Nanci Griffith at The Sage

Nanci Griffith
The Sage, Gateshead

Nanci Griffith

Nanci Griffith made a very welcome return to The Sage, just over two years since her last Gateshead appearance. 

The current tour is to promote her latest CD, Intersection. It's a very good album; The Queen of Folkabilly has lost none of her power or the desire to shout up against the wrongs of the world.

Support was supplied by The Kennedys (who form part of Nanci's recording and touring band). They are a fine act in their own right, with songs not half a million miles from Nanci's own style. They were joined at the end of their set by Nanci herself for the obligatory Davy Jones tribute song, Daydream Believer. In truth, Nanci didn't look entirely well. Although her voice was terrific all night, she turned out to be coming down with something and a number of subsequent shows in the UK were postponed (the new dates are on her website).

Following a short break, Pete and Maura Kennedy returned to the stage, together with Pat McInerny (who has been Nanci's drummer and percussionist for a quarter of a century) and then Nanci. The stage was set out a little like a large front room, complete with comfy chairs and lamps. Hall One of The Sage is big but the setting converted the atmosphere to intimate.

Eastenders Fan!
Cosy set
A very strong set list followed, combining classic tracks from older albums with the stand-out numbers from the new one, with plenty of informal chat and anecdotes in between. The final song was an acapella solo version of The Road To Aberdeen.


Set List

Speed of the Sound of Loneliness
Simple Life
Bethlehem Steel
I Ain’t Never Going Back
Just Another Morning
From A Distance
Trouble in the Fields
The Loving Kind
Across the Great Divide
Tequila After Midnight
Listen to the Radio


Hell No I’m Not Alright
The Road To Aberdeen

The first song of the encore is proving to be one of Nanci's most popular ever. Two 'new additions to the band' emerged to help out with that one - the Clap Brothers.
The Clap Brothers!
Standing stock-still for the verses, the enigmatic duo broke their statuesque poses for the chorus, to demonstrate to the audience when (and how) to clap along.
Clap - NOW!
It was a very enjoyable evening. Nanci has lost none of her edge and her performance has been enhanced with the fresh energy of The Kennedys. Here's hoping they will be back at The Sage before too long.


There's a very good interview here in which Nanci chats about Intersection and the inspiration behind some of the songs.

Nanci's official website is updated frequently and has details of all forthcoming tour dates.

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