Top positive review
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A bit lost for words here - just listen to the music
on 17 September 2013
I'll keep this fairly short, as others have given it some fine plaudits, and those who are in doubt will now find the entire concert on YouTube and can make up their own minds.
I'd recorded the concert from TV but didn't watch it for ages. When I did, it was a revelation, right from the opening moments.
I can't imagine a project like this working in the hands of less talented musicians. As it is, it's magnificent. Different reviewers have identified favourites and one or two slightly weaker tracks, but there are no bad ones. I'm perhaps a little less keen on Robyn Hitchcock's contribution, but wouldn't want to carp. As for the rest, no reservations at all. Lisa Hannigan is on top form in "Black-eyed Dog" which sends chills through me every time, Luluc equally impressive on "Fly" (and doesn't try to mimic Nick by following his octave drop on alternate verses - as a poet said, "Something must be left to God"). Krystle Warren does some fascinating stuff in her own right as well as great backing vocals. So for my money, perhaps the ladies have the very best of it. Though that's hardly fair to Danny Thompson, whose incomparable bass underpins the whole thing, or to most of the guys in fact.
The only complaint is that this doesn't include all the songs from the concert. A stand-out one is Kirsty Almeida's "Cello Song" (again, on YT) which is spell-binding. Her voice is haunting and the cello playing is exquisite - how could that be left out? And there are other omissions worthy of inclusion: I'd gladly have forked out more to have got every song.
Someone said on YT that it's "nice, but not Nick". It couldn't be, but his genius survives to permeate these performances and produce moments which can transport the listener, and I agree with Danny Thompson (who knew Nick) that he'd most likely be pleased by them, and proud.