Cadogan Hall, Chelsea, London
That was outstanding! I’ve seen Thea Gilmore, ooh, at least 15 times in the last decade and this may have been the best. Her new album is a strange beast which sprawls over 26 tracks, some new songs, some re-recordings of old favourites, including duets with fans ranging from Joan Baez to John Cooper Clarke. Happily this has given her license to dig deep into her back-catalogue for a thrilling set, from the brand new opening track Copper to the encore’s closer Inverigo, from 2001, whose hushed final notes were followed by a brief pause and then a thunderous standing ovation. This was the last gig of the tour and there was a jaunty, end-of-term air about the crew, in contrast with a polite and quiet Chelsea audience. Thea’s glorious voice somehow sat proud above a 7 piece band, and the rockier new songs, a bit muffled and over-produced on the CD if truth be told, were full and dynamic. That said, my favourites were the quieter moments where we could give Thea on the beautiful Cadogan stage the undivided attention she deserves.
Polite and appreciative, largely couples with a high proportion of bald scalps and grey beards among the blokes.
It made me think..
If Thea Gilmore hasn’t produced the best British catalogue of songs in the 21st century then I’d like to know who has.