Buxton Opera House
A big of Natalie, this night couldn’t come around soon enough. On a sweltering night in Buxton she cam on stage at 8pm prompt accompanied by her long time sidekick on acoustic guitar Erik Della Penna. For just over 2 hours they entertained us with a marvellous set covering the whole of her solo output and a smattering of 10,000 Maniacs songs. I have been a fan off his since In My Tribe which on its release got played regularly for a number of years – possibly my most played album for a few years I enjoyed it that much. Last night for the first 5 or 6 numbers she played without any conversation with the audience – the highlight of this section being a delightful Motherland. Then she started chatting profusely and she was warm. funny and very slightly coquettish. The shot continued with a few missed lines for Life is Sweet which prompted a fit of giggles and repeat attempts to get it right. She playfully admonished herself and then later on Build a Levee Erik made a bomb note and she jokingly suggested ‘he should go now’. Aside from that neither put a foot wrong in a wonderful night that included highlights such as Verdi Cries, Ophelia and Carnival. However the real emotional high for me was King of May. This song has deep personal resonance for my wife and me due to a family loss. I wrote to Natalie when I bought the tickets asking if she could play it at this gig. Looking at Setlist.fm she had played once in last four years yet played it the night preceding this gig in Ilkeley. Lo and behold as the set neared its finale she played it – I like to think she played it in response to my request but I guess I will never know. Whatever an entirely enjoyable night that concluded with her handing out flowers to members of the audience.
Excellently behaved – no knob heads and loud applause. At the ned during the encore Natalie told us all the venues she played on this tour were places she had not been to before and regaled us with the story of asking her driver to stop at Stonehenge, Captain Cook’s birthplace etc. She thanked us for effectively paying for her holiday. On this performance Natalie you can come back every year.
It made me think..
She might have the appearance of a school mistress but she has some sassy dance moves.