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Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:40 am
by Adam Blake
Off the cuff notes on Patti Smith at The Roundhouse:

Honestly there is no-one else I can think of left alive who puts so much intensity into a performance. I know Iggy Pop delivers the goods but I haven't seen him in a long time. I daresay there are theatrical performers who do - Imelda Staunton in 'Gypsy' has been hailed - but amongst old rock'n'rollers Patti is pretty much unique. At nearly 69 years old she moves like a woman less than half her age. She sings as well, if not better, than she ever did, and the best of her material has proven timeless through its simplicity and directness. She celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of her 1st and best album, the epochal "Horses", by performing it in totality. It sounded as fresh and as vital as it ever was. "Kimberley" in particular struck me this evening. "Break It Up" was just breathtaking. "Elegie" contained a long list of dead friends and family that could have been mawkish - if Patti Smith were capable of mawkishness. But she isn't.

The second half consisted of a few old favourites - "Dancing Barefoot", "Privilege", a riotous "My Generation" - honestly you'd think she was 21, the energy and commitment she put into it, "Because The Night" of course, a rabble rousing "People Have The Power". A rather perfunctory Velvet Underground medley gave Patti a breather. Lenny Kaye looks almost like a male version of Patti these days. She came back on to deliver a hypnotic "Southern Cross" before pounding seven shades of shite out of a hapless Stratocaster. She didn't seem to want to leave, wandering through the front of the crowd, smiling and shaking adoring hands. She's very small up close. Bless her, she's enough to restore your faith. The audience were 99.9% white, a very wide age range, slightly more women than men, lots of lesbian couples holding hands and singing along. Touching. Patti has touched a lot of peoples lives. She remains a true heroine and an inspiration.

"You are a very beautiful human being" shouted one fan, at exactly the right moment to catch her attention (no, it wasn't me). Patti looked up, smiled. "We Smiths", she said, "we get better with age".

Re: Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:18 am
by AndyM
Great review, Adam. I've never seen her live, I've always been scared I might catch her on an off night and I couldn't bear that. But maybe she doesn't have off nights any more!

Re: Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:17 pm
by Adam Blake
Go and see her if you get the chance, Andy. You surely owe it to her and to yourself, and neither of you are getting any younger. She's been off the drugs for a long time so I don't think she has off nights, but looking at her touring schedule I was amazed at how hard she works.

Re: Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:44 pm
by AndyM
I once heard her rehearsing, when I walked past a venue she was playing in later that same day. Exquisitely so-near-and-yet-so-far.........

Re: Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:40 pm
by Adam Blake
Oh, that's lovely!

Here you go - the miracles of modern technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG0SBbLUr74#t=25

Re: Patti Smith at The Roundhouse

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:02 pm
by NormanD
and thirty-six years ago is just a click away
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjry0lxj8KE