well, there's no doubt about it: time had stood still as far as Hope Sandoval is concerned. or maybe it was the lighting..'she likes it dark' apparently....her honey-coloured limbs and tumbling dark curls bathed only in the random liquid light shouts from the projector..flattering...mesmerising.. She's 43! No Way! She looks amazing! All cute and tiny, cat eye/s and kinky boots, surrounded by her all-male band, the air heavy with the weight of the male gaze. OK! glad we got that out of the way! she's hot and don't we know it! now onto the show..(sure, i'm jealous!)
!t was something that struck me quite strongly at the show, something that made it difficult for me to fully get inside the music. i don't really get to go out much these days, but i am now more convinced than ever that bands such as hope sandoval et. al don't really belong in these kinds of venues. crowded, small bars stuffed to the gills with people who stand still and look toward the stage (or in this case directly at Hope Sandoval whose discomfort in the limelight makes the awkward transaction seem almost shameful). although some of the music i heard tonight was in some ways generic enough sounding reverb-laden rock (sorry i don't know the songs well enough to list), the more experimental, ethereal, psychedelic songs really need to be absorbed in a completely different setting. these songs are begging for audience participation beyond the odd sway of hips or nodding head - they need ROOM TO BREATH! People dancing, finding answers in their own rhythmns...ressonating with the waves of sound,, resonating with each other. But no, alas. THis is too much to ask here. People here would rather crack jokes, and chat over a few pints. i realize i could be accused of being snobby, but i don't care.i came away from this show with un urge to get this band to play at a warehouse party. there doesn't need to be a stage. whats the point of looking at people who don't want you to look at them? Who shun the limelight? by the way, i don;t blame her one bit. i was up the front and most of the people around me were drooling guys, transfixed by Hope - that's a lot of intense energy coming her way i did find myself doing some actual shoe-gazing in the absence of something other than the band to look at ( the projections looked interesting behind the band but the screen was very small in this venue and so it was difficult to make out any narrative or connection between images). they complained a few times about the monitors not working which must have been very irritating for them, but they were cool enough about it. although at one point the mike gave some feedback and Hope flashed a look befitting an ice queen at the sound guys and she shusshed the audience at one point which was a bit rude. Her voice is beautiful, and it needs to be as she has little in the way of an engaging stage presence. She often turned her back and on some soungs would turn sideways to bang out pretty melodies on the glockenspiel. that's fine but for me i would need something else to satisfy my visual needs in that case!
in short i think it was a bit of a disappointment, but mostly, for me at least, it was due to an ill-fitting venue. i just think that the music deserved more. I did not wait around to see if they would perform an encore, but i'm guessing that the technical difficulties that they had alluded to earlier in the evening might have forced their hand. one thing that was really lacking was a support performance of some kind. anything! please! because hours of muddy piped music is not fun to listen to..