Archive for the ‘Cat Power’ Category

Cat Power announces intimate Fly By Night gig

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

DSC4255 Stefano Giovannini.jpegChan Marshall AKA CAT POWER returns to Australia- and more importantly, Perth- over the course of January and February. Her enigmatic, intimate coevals will be reverberating around the walls of Fly By Night on the 4th of February. Her set […]

Live Review: Cat Power at Perth Festival

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Cat Power LIVE2Tuesday 26th February, 2013 – Review by Kelly Wong. Photos by Jasmine Eales. Chan Marshall, otherwise known as CAT POWER, has the kind of depth in her music that can only come from many years of writing and with 18 […]

Live Review: Cat Power

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Feb 26th 2013 Festival Chevron Gardens.

Anxiety is a pretty awful thing. “My name is Chan,” Chan Marshall aka Cat Power said after introducing her band mates toward the close of her set last night at the Perth International Arts Festival. “I did a terrible show,” she continued before adding in a choked whisper, “but I hope you enjoyed yourself enough.”

It has been a long time since I attended a gig where I knew as much about the personal hardships of a performer as I did their music. You know her songs, you also know her history as a challenged, nervous performer who in the last twelve months has faced a breakup, hospitalization and bankruptcy. Walking out on to the stage at the Chevron Festival gardens, Marhsall looked tired, and unwell. At the same time she communicated in her walk and poise a confidence and air of professionalism that hinted a successful show might follow. We waited.

Joined on stage by two drummers, and two guitarists, Marshall began show opener The Greatest, and nailed it. It was a soft, dark and gentle drawing of the audience into her personal world. What followed was an excellent set, mostly of tunes from new record Sun: the upbeat singles “Cherokee” and “Silent Machine” came second and third lifting the energy with the hook-laden catchy pop vibe of the album. Throughout the show I watched her transform over ninety minutes of riveting and beautiful performing, her face altered from a worn-out forty-one-year-old to a youthful, vibrant rock queen.

Her band were tight, young, sexy-arty looking folks and Marshall shone, belting her tunes out like it was the last time she’d ever perform. It was captivating. Slower tune “Manhattan” came next, and yet the tension, the energy remained as Marshall moved around the stage, leaning out to serenade her audience and marvel at the full moon. A green hue lit the scene for “Human Being”, as Marshall took a place at the back of the stage in between the drummers, underneath projected images of displaced, disadvantaged people from the third world. Things stayed broody and contemplative for synth tune and album title track “Sun”, “here it comes, here it comes” Marshall warned in the song’s chorus. Once the tune ended, Marshall waved over her technician. Inaudibly she expressed her concerns to him, and for the next three or four songs she performed in near darkness, as if she had asked for all the lights to be turned off for a while. “This one’s for the dead and the dying” she dedicated the next song.

There is something to be said for a performer who can still hold you in the palm of her hand, when you can barely see her, just a dancing silhouette, back-lit at times by a single white spotlight shining low from the rear of the stage and playing a halo around her peroxided, Annie Lenox hair-do. Marshall was singing her heart out, expressing every word as if she was reliving in front of you whatever inspired her to write the song. Despite the darkness, and her clear emotional connection to what she was singing, there was no melt down. No drama. The songs were tight, entertaining, and beguiling.

Light began to return with pop tunes “3,6,9”, “Nothing but Time”, “I Don’t Blame You” and “Peace and Love”.

Then she introduced her band, and expressed her heartfelt chagrin in a concerning, desperate whisper before the musicians struck up the intro for show closer “Ruin”. I was moved because it was about the most real, honest moment I’ve witnessed from a performer, ever. The general response to her apology was confusion and surprise, as (aside from the lack of lights for a while) the show had been exceptional. The band looped Ruin’s joyful piano riff while Marshall looked into the sky, as if trying to remember the first line. She nodded to herself and began an incredible rendition of what is my favourite track from the record. The audience erupted, more than happy to hear the tune, we were responding to this woman suddenly so sad before us, who was still performing incredibly well. Thousands of people in front of Marshall danced and sang with her, “we love you” they said in words and in spirit. I was moved to see her eyes welling with tears that did not fall.

“Bitchin’, complaining, when some people ain’t got shit to eat, bitchin’ and moaning, so many people you know that they ain’t got… what are we doing? We’re sittin’ on a ruin.” I had until this moment assumed “Ruin” was a plea in song to people to have gratitude, and recognize that so many in this world don’t have very much. But I wondered if perhaps in this lyric Chan Marshall is singing to herself: desiring to escape an anxious cycle of worry, and cruel self-critique, when she is a rock star who gets to travel the world. Many people would dream of such a life. In this song I heard a moving attempt by Marshall to remind herself not to get so upset.

The song ended, the house lights went up and her fans applauded with gusto. They threw gifts onto the stage, including a pretty awesome tote bag that said “I GOT IMPORTANT CAT SHIT TO DO”, and Marshall seemed genuinely delighted. She appeared overwhelmed by the love flowing forwards, and extremely grateful. She walked alone up and down the stage waving, saluting, whistling, and left only to retrieve a bouquet which she separated into individual stems and threw to the crowd. Having exhausted the flowers, she carefully removed her set-list from the floor, scrunched it into a ball and launched it forwards. We were more than satisfied.