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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