Well, last Monday night Sonia and I tripped off to Glasgow to check out the wonderful Regina Spektor at the Queen Margaret Union. See the post that shows up below this one when you search for previous discussion re this fantastically original and quirky artist. After queueing and being frisked on entry (!), we safely stood in this rather good venue at our favoured 'just-in-front-of-the-mixing-desk' spot awaiting our heroin.
Support came from fellow New Yorker Only Son, a solo man-with-guitar effort, which didn't fill us with joy as he stepped out, but who in fact proved to be an extremely talented and likeable young chap, with a gift for melodies that shone through his less than original 'I'm sad and lonely, I miss my girlfriend' type lyrics!
But, after a refreshingly short wait, we were cheering to the appearance of Regina herself, clad amusingly in a bright red Borat T-shirt. The girl walked straight up to the central microphone and, with all attention fixed on her, started what to me was a brand new song, a bare voice and microphone-tapping ode to her lover in a far away place, sung in her trademark powerful wail. Hell of a way to kick things off. Next, she moved over to the grand piano and began 'Summer in the City'. It's hard to think of situations when the opening lyrics of 'Summer in the City, means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage...' would seem more inappropriate than a wet February night in Glasgow, but somehow Regina made it work.
The set continued with a fantastic 'Poor Little Rich Boy', played with a drumstick against a chair accompanying the piano. Excellent. After a good number of solo pieces, including another new song commenting that 'the non-believers will eat dirt and the believers get to spit in their graves', nice, her band joined her on stage for a heavier segment, including rousing versions of 'Better', 'Hotel Song', 'On The Radio' and 'Your Honor', sounding even better than they do on record, which really is saying something. By this time even the usual 'Twats-Still-Talking-At-The-Bar' were shocked into silence.
But time moved on and somehow an hour had passed and Regina and her cohorts were leaving the stage. Of course the crowd were not going to take that and put forward one of the most convincing 'they'd better be an encore' cheering demonstrations I'd seen in a good while. And so Regina alone came back to join us, playing for another half hour of piano, guitar, and just voice solos, clearly enjoying herself. The particular encore highlight was the expected wonderful 'Us' and also the closer, a new song in a Country style, showing that Regina remains as playful as ever.
Noted absentees were the favourites of Sonia and myself, 'Pavlov's Daughter' and 'The Consequence of Sound' respectively. But with a performance as enjoyable as this, there was no reason for complaining with respect to Regina herself. The gig was as good as we could have hoped for, with the crowd captivated throughout, and we look forward to all future actions from this girl. I did however, find myself wanting to grab the photo/video phones off about four or five individuals placed between us and the stage, and plunk them all into a pint of warm Tennent's lager. Is this a sign of me becoming officially old? I don't know, but why don't these people just enjoy the gig and experience it themselves. In this age of YouTube, I guess we'll just have to get used to it, but don't expect video posts of music at this url!!