A Valentines night in London...
Venue: The Shepherd’s Bush Empire. A beautiful theatre in West London
Artist: Macy Gray. Kooky as hell but addictive viewing
Crowd: Not what I expected. Of the people around me most seemed to consist of ageing couples in matching suits...most of whom looked like they were there because it was something to do on Valentines night
Gray's smoky voice sounds like no other and she has a unique stage persona and way with the crowd. She has a good line in gig chatter as well, "I hear the women have good vaginas over in London". Not the normal banter let's face it.
Why Didn't You Call Me, Do Something and Caligula opened the show and although good the sound was a little on the quiet side at the start...it didn't help that the couple behind us were talking all the way through...why do I always get stuck next to them...
I hadn't heard much of Gray's output since her first few albums but I came across the new LP, The Way, earlier this year. The first of the songs played from it tonight is Bang Bang and, like the album it is from, is rather splendid. The set list is a balanced mix of old and new played with the excellent backing band that barely looked as though they should be in the same group. The guitarist and bassist look like bank managers, the keyboard player has the cool but it is the drummer who takes the eye. There is a five minute drum solo whilst Macy went for the first of a few costume changes. Drum solos can be the work of the devil, but being a classic rock fan I have seen my fair share and this was one of the best by miles.
The cover of Creep, the glorious Stoned (if you hear one song from her new album make it that one) and Sexual Revolution (mixed with Do Ya Think I’m Sexy) are stand out moments and when at the end of the gig Gray finishes the encore with the song that started it all, I Try, it sums up the whole show; eccentric, chilled and marvellous.
Ticket: February 14th 2015
Ticket Price: £32.50