Archive | June, 2013

Cat Power, Volkhaus, Zurich

28 Jun
Cat Power Zurich, Volkshaus

Cat Power 


The stage was sparsely set between new band members – drummer Alianna Kalaba, second guitarist Adeline Fargier (Troy von Balthazar et al.), Nico Turner (bass, percussion and former member of Voices Voices) and veteran Cat Power guitar and keyboard player Gregg Foreman, leaving a lot of stage for Chan Marshall to be the centre of. My only gripe was that I missed a little of that old-fashioned smiling and – we’re really enjoying being here and with each other’ kind of thing from a band, but perhaps that’s just me being – well … old, foolish and sentimental. The coolness could also have been out of concern for their band leader Chan Marshall aka Cat Power, who has recently contracted the life theatening allergy; Angioedema – a swelling of the face, throat and tongue.

Chan Marshall seemed a little nervous as she started her set with The Greatest, but carried on to deliver a brilliant repertoire of songs, all perfectly sung – mainly from Sun, her latest album of Autumn 2012 (for which she nearly literally died). The haunting Angelitos Negros (Pedro Infante cover, also on Jukebox, eighth album 2008) with back light which threw her shadow against the back of the venue leaving her face in darkness all did fit nicely with the mood of the song.

She rarely spoke between songs, had a few leaps off  to back stage and a couple of coughing bouts but every life line she was thrown from the audience she snatched up with warmth and returned her gratitude with an endearing warm smile, really wanting to connect with her audience.

Ending the set with Ruin, If she seemed relieved to get through to the end without anything bad happening or  if it was just that she was starting to warm to her surroundings towards the end – I can’t tell. Although the artist is known for being vociferous, she remains a mysterious feline. But watching her dally away from the stage, it did leave me with the impression that she’s actually a happy Cat Power for now and I wish her all the best and success for her future.


Summing It Up

Cat Power and writer/director Alex Fernie shared this wonderfully self-deprecating skit today, in which Chan Marshall satirizes her own past live temperament by performing children’s tunes before the educational set spirals into sensitive self-pity. In addition to just being a funny clip for anyone familiar with those notorious (pre-sobriety) meltdowns, it’s a welcome surprise to watch Marshall’s comedic side. She did, after all, once aspire to audition for the cast of Saturday Night Live. This might be an even better fit. (

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Here Comes The Sun – Cat Power!

27 Jun
Cat Power, Go See Her!

Cat Power, Go See Her!

In Native American cultures, such as the Iroquois and Plains peoples, the sun was recognized as a life-giving force. And after being a long time fan of hers, Cat Power – for me has reinforced this sentiment with her 2012 album ‘Sun‘. Reportedly she’s had set-backs, health and financial problems, sadness, gone to deep dark bad places and back and all the rest of the shit that is part of the human condition. But what is absolutely brilliant about her is, she doesn’t give up despite the kicks and the knocks – she doesn’t fain to make it public but is honest and remains true to herself and I truly admire her for that.

Sun is a life giver and middle finger to whatever gets you down, despite where she gets her inspiration from when it’s out there, it’s out there and I very much hope there’ll be more on its way.

Thus this prelude to the review of her concert tonight at Volkhaus, Zürich on tomorrows reverb. Go see her! Tickets:



South by South East

26 Jun
The Chapel, Broadstairs

The Chapel, Broadstairs


After a long hiatus, reverb is back on track with news from London and Broadstairs – that sleepy seaside town in the south-east of England has got a few tricks up its sleeve.

London as ever is a great place to get your teeth into all that is musical, but my travels took me further afield to Kent. The Chapel – formerly the Albion bookshop, is now a micropub. The venue remains a bookshop with amazing volumes to peruse through at your leisure while supping local ale and wine. Evenings at The Chapel transform this lovely booky haven into a small venue for local musicians to take part in Jazz open stage nights and open mic nights for budding songwriters and performers alike. It ‘s here where I met Nyle Holihan, a half Californian, half Kenyan 20-year-old studying in East London – more to the point he’s an amazing banjo player. He plays old-time folk banjo in the frailing style, along with harmonica, guitar and some fiddle. The songs he played were all traditional, mostly Appalachian, American folk songs, Shady Grove, Country Blues, Roustabout and Cindy. He says he started playing banjo as he knew a family that played in a bluegrass band together, he loved the sound of the banjo but bluegrass was too abrasive for him. And as was already a big fan of Dylan it wasn’t a stretch to reach back a bit past Woody Guthrie and listen through The Anthology of American Folk Music to pick up some tunes.

Unfortunately the recording I have of Nyle doesn’t do him justice to load up on reverb but I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from him in the future and I hope he’ll send me some footage of his talent so more news on him I hope very soon.

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