Cadogan Hall, London
Patty Griffin brought the Under The Apple Tree roots festival to a fitting conclusion with her final UK date of the year.
It was a whistle-stop trip for Patty, who flew in just for the show before returning almost directly to Texas.
It was a year to the day since I last saw Patty in London (at Kings Place, where, coincidentally, I was for Songs of Separation the previous evening) and having seen her at The Sage (Gateshead) earlier this year I thought that would have been it for 2016, but this unexpected extra chance arose. As there is nowhere I'd rather be than at a Patty Griffin concert, it took me no time at all to snap up a ticket for the festival.
Incidentally, Ward Thomas, who played an excellent penultimate festival set, credited Patty Griffin as one of the major influences on their own music. It was nice to hear, as Patty still somehow seems to be severely underrated in some circles. It may be due to the fact her songs are so deep, so powerful that they are not easily appreciated by people listening to them just once. They require time to unfold, but once experienced sufficiently to reveal their inner power they simply cannot be forgotten.
Patty's hour-long solo set included some surprises, such as a rare outing for Moon Song (which she gave to Emmylou Harris), the comedic anti-love song Our Love is a Dud ('about an old boyfriend; nobody you'd know' she said, to take way any suspicion it could have been about Robert Plant) and a fabulous encore of Where or When (the Rodgers and Hart classic). Another surprise - for Patty - was a broken guitar strap during Making Pies, which required improvisation involving a raised knee to keep the song going.
Elsewhere, the more obvious choices from last year's Servant of Love album (the title track, Rider of Days and Shine a Different Way) were rested in favour of Gunpowder, Good and Gone and Made of the Sun and Patty took time to praise the return of the Dixie Chicks in her introduction to Truth No.2 (Patty's song, recorded by the Chicks also).
Love Throw a Line
Good and Gone
Made of the Sun
Our Love is a Dud
Long Ride Home
Where or When
We conclude with a gallery from the evening.
Thank you, Whispering Bob and the Under the Apple Tree festival crew!