Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Suzanne Vega at the Queen Elizabeth Hall

My first evening out since going into hospital (four weeks ago today) was to see Suzanne Vega at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, and what a treat that was! I've liked Suzanne since first hearing 'Marlene On The Wall' all those years ago and have seen her live a few times and she is always a pleasure to behold. She has a lovely warm personality and a nice dry wit, her voice is a soothing balm and she's a true wordsmith with some killer tunes.

This tour is to promote her first new album in six years, 'Beauty and Crime', and she arrived on stage wearing a trench coat and black leggings to reflect the New York-ness of the album (I kept expecting her to take the coat off to reveal a slinky cocktail dress or something, but she didn't). She played seven of the eleven songs on the album and all sounded great live with the full band behind her. The only song I'd hoped for that she didn't play was 'Unbound', a nice bouncy song that would fit in with her voice and bass section in the middle of the set, just her singing along to the bass player, singing 'Blood Makes Noise' and 'Left of Centre', very powerful versions of both songs.

Suzanne opened and closed the show with versions of 'Tom's Diner', opening with the acapella original version and closing with an extended version with the band giving it some welly. She then came back for two encores. She has such a huge songbook behind her she could have gone on for hours and still not played everyone's favourites. But she played a lot of mine, 'Zephyr & I', 'Frank & Ava', 'Ludlow Street' and 'New York Is A Woman' from the new album and 'Small Blue Thing', 'Caramel', 'Luka', 'The Queen And The Soldier', 'Gypsy' and 'In Liverpool' from her songbook.

I'm very pleased to have seen Suzanne again, especially as my first evening out in so long. She's always worth seeing and hearing and, once again, she's come up trumps. Here are some photos, all slightly out of focus since I wasn't using flash but they should give you an idea of what the show was like and will awaken fond memories for me when I look back at them.

Thank you, Suzanne, for a great evening out!

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