Concert review: Sinéad O’Connor- classics, with a hint of the new


The queues for Sinéad O’Connor’s first London show in four years curled around the outside of the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Inside and throughout her performance, voices in the crowd shouted their love for a singer whose voice is astounding, at a point in her career when her peers’ singing quality begins to betray age.

O’Connor walked onto the stage barefoot, all in black, a small figure supported by her band – an electric guitar and bass, acoustic guitar, drums, and keys. She began with three powerful songs, all marked by the humour and rage that characterise much of her output. The first, “Queen of Denmark”, began softly, with flashes of anger that were all the more effective because of their measured explosions. Her second, “Take Me To Church”, from her latest album I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss (2014), as with many of her songs, was undercut by wistfulness, a raw pain beneath euphoria. The culmination of this triptych, “4th and Vine”, was again inflected with humour, a reference to her pink dress and the hope of marriage. She skipped barefoot across the stage, whilst her guitarist played a solo.

Then came a tonal shift, a quieter beginning, and yet more sorrow offset by wry lyrics – “I sold your granny’s rosary for 50p” as a particularly memorable line in “Reason With You”. The guitar undercut O’Connor’s singing with a soft howl, a complement to the repeated lyric, “If I loved someone I might lose someone”.

The next two songs betrayed the only flaw in the whole performance, a slight tendency towards the mellow, ballady, overly smooth sound that such a classic instrumental set-up of practised musicians can produce. Then, in a brilliant switch, O’Connor was spotlit on stage, singing “I Am Stretched On Your Grave” with a clarity and grace that was deeply affecting. What was shown through the preceding songs was foregrounded here – the lasting brilliance of O’Connor’s voice. Then all instruments were stripped away, with just O’Connor singing “In This Heart”, then one of her band joining her in song, then another, in an affecting harmonisation.

With more than a nod to current politics, O’Connor introduced her next song with a soft “I think you’ll like this one”, launching into the resonant “Black Boys on Mopeds”. Reaching the climax of “please”, her voice became a keen, a frustrated plea.The songs moved forwards through O’Connor’s repertoire, to 2000’s “’Til I Whisper You Something”, then to 2014’s “Harbour”, before travelling backwards to 1994’s “Thank You For Loving Me”, then arriving at the popular shores of three songs from 1990’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. The culmination of these was her most popular, “Nothing Compares 2U”: again, she coped well with a technically difficult song, substituting some of the higher notes with breathy tones.One more song, then the encore, and into the powerful “Three Babies”, before she began her last, “Milestones’ (her newest, a teaser for her next album, No Mud No Lotus), without the microphone, then ended with just the keyboard for accompaniment. A haunting end to a brilliant show, whose only fault was the potential to sound, at times, just a little too rehearsed.

Source: Sinéad O’Connor, Shepherd’s Bush Empire review – classics, with a hint of the new

Concert Review: Olivia Chaney

Olivia Chaney begin this concert with a disclaimer. Most frequently described as a folk-singer – and with award nominations to prove it – she sweetly explained that she had no intention in her music of being limited by labels.

Folk music is certainly there in the repertoire, but as this wonderful performance vividly illustrated, there is much more to Chaney than that.

Brought up on her parents records of Fairport Convention, Dylan and Joni Mitchell, trained at the Royal Academy of Music, and with a background working in Shakespearean theatre and jazz, she is a singer, writer and multi-instrumentalist who has produced two exquisite solo albums, as well as collaborating with the Kronos Quartet [ … ]


Watch PJ Harvey in Concert (Full)

The Hobbledehoy’s fav Paula Jean from the French Festival Rock en Seine,

1-Chain of Keys
2-The Ministry of Defence
3-The Community of Hope
5-All and Everyone
6-Let England Shake
7-The Words That Maketh Murder
8-The Glorious Land
9-Dear Darkness
10-White Chalk
11-In the Dark Places
12-The Wheel
13-The Ministry of Social Affairs
14-50ft Queenie
15-Down by the Water
16-To Bring You My Love
17-River Anacostia

18-Highway 61 Revisited
19-The River


This Is The Kit: Tiny Desk Concert


Effortless storytelling is at the heart of This Is The Kit. And the stories the band’s only permanent member, Kate Stables, weaves are profound but sweet with a tone that quietly reels you in.

“Bullet Proof” is the opening song at the Tiny Desk – and the opening track on her fourth album, Moonshine Freeze – a song that sees the darkest challenges in life as a way to begin again. “Everything we broke today/Needing breaking, anyway,” Kate Stables sings as she’s picking on her banjo with tides of percussion and bass flowing in. It takes two minutes before the perfectly punctuated guitar hits but completely worth the wait.

That gradual unfolding is the strength of these songs and this band. “Moonshine Freeze,” the last one they perform at the Tiny Desk, is the title track to the new album produced by John Parish. It’s a song taken from a children’s clapping game: Say “moonshine” three times, then freeze. But the song takes these images deeper, looking at patterns in the repetitive words, specifically patterns of three, which in Kate’s mind forms a triangle or a delta and it just gets deeper.

Lovers of Sufjan Stevens will appreciate the gentle ways Kate Stables can touch a heart with a song. And the band she plays with here is tightly in touch with how best to support these tunes.

Set List

  • “Bullet Proof”
  • “Hotter Colder”
  • “Moonshine Freeze”


Katherine Stables, Rosalind Leyden, Jamie Whitby-Coles, Noil Smith, Adam Schatz, Jonah Parzen-Johnson


Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, Alyse Young; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

Source: This Is The Kit: Tiny Desk Concert