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GwenStefaniFan
Posts:0


05/09/2008 1:10 PM  

I’m posting the first report because I’ve had more sleep than Andy, who was up until 4am before work with the excitement of his Mack Daddy moment.
 
I’ve been to 2 shows so far – Maidstone (Monday) and Bristol (last night).  Performances great; Tift lovely.  These are solo shows as everyone probably knows.  So far she’s been playing all the new album except for the Mark Ronson track (Tell Me Something True. Mark Ronson, producer, horns … no? oh well …), plus a few oldies but goodies.  Great to hear Plainest Thing in Maidstone – Tift said that’s one of her favourites at the moment.  For set list geeks (that includes me, since I’m writing down the set lists), so far she’s including Virginia, Good Hearted Man and Stray Paper.  Last night we also got a fantastic Trouble Over Me, plus Still Pretending - at which point Andy threw the bottle of Maker’s Mark at the stage, but it was ok, no one was injured ….   Highlights for me are Another Country, which sounds gorgeous stripped down, and I Know What I’m Looking For, which Tift is also playing on the piano (and harmonica!)  I’ve lucked out with this being a solo tour because I could listen to Tift play the piano forever - and the next venue has a proper grand piano (as opposed to the Yamaha keyboard she’s travelling with) so that will be special!  Another thing I’ve enjoyed is hearing her give the background/meaning to some of the songs.
 
The venues are about 150-200 capacity, seated.  Both I’ve been to looked full.  Because they are Americana clubs the audiences are predominately aged 50s+, but my friends and I like that because it makes us feel young.  Audiences are quiet but very appreciative.
 
The great thing about these venues is being able to sit close enough to hear all the vocals ‘live’, without amplification.  Tift’s voice sounds great.  Love the foot-stomping too!
 
Last night Tift was at her sassy best (ew, not sure I like the word sassy? but you know what I mean…)  Full of energy and amusing asides, and as the other ‘proper’ review that’s been posted mentioned, she actually walked off stage and went into the bar – with her guitar still strapped on - to ask the young lads working there to be quiet, which everyone loved!  One older guy in the audience suddenly went “concentrate!”, when Tift was joking around, which was really funny.  Tift, be told!!
 
As noted elsewhere, Andy and I caught up with Zeke and Tift after the show.  They both seemed in very good spirits (Guinness anyone…?) and they said they were enjoying the tour.  Andy nobly agreed to Tift’s suggestion that his Maker’s Mark be passed on to Chatham County Line, so I shall be delivering it to them at their London show on Sunday.  Tift also kindly donated some, ahem, natty T-shirts for us to wear to her show tomorrow …. 
 
I couldn’t make the Swansea show due to my pesky day-job, but apparently it went well - apart from a wanna-be paparazzo right at the front with a tripod and zoom lens (?)
 
An honourable mention to this weeks support act  jaymay, from NYC.  Excellent sets, and excellent Guinness drinking.  Check her out at  http://www.myspace.com/jaymay   
 
Many thanks to Diageo for sponsoring this first leg of the UK tour.
 
Oh, my campaign for a Gwen Stefani cover and a dance album is gaining momentum.  Tift seems more amenable than I had expected.  She said she was going in to the studio in London today, so maybe that’s what for ….
 
More next week ….
 
Vicky
 
PS.  For those of you on the other side of the pond needing a fix of great live music while Tift is away, check out Scotland’s finest, KT Tunstall, who is currently touring the US, and in very fine form.  http://www.kttunstall.com   Another one who just got engaged to her drummer – what is it with that???

ghman
Posts:547


05/09/2008 2:25 PM  

I can only agree 100% with this fab review... (well maybe the bit about me throwing the bottle on stage is a screamy teeny bit of an exaggeration!)

Before Tift went off stage to beat up the barmen, the highlight for me was seeing her play Good Hearted Man at the keyboard while sending dagger-looks  to the noisy neanderthals behind the bar! S
he totally nailed the song ,and she then totally shut them up with a bit of banter which I'd better not repeat to preserve her modesty!  Go Tift!  The adoring audience loved it!


M-D #18
admin
Posts:591


05/09/2008 2:37 PM  

Welcome back Vicky .

Andy, you're free to post any tales of raunchy things Tift said to the audience. We'll probably find them funny.

Also, any pictures you guys have, please e-mail them to me if you get a chance. Phillip posted of few of Andy with Tift, but we'll happily accept more.


Chris McCandless
Admin
Phillip Reid
Posts:2155


05/10/2008 6:26 PM  
Report banter or die, Dudley. How's that? (See? I can be evil, too.)

Most excellent content on this thread all-round; glad we're getting the goods from the shows we're missing . . . .
GwenStefaniFan
Posts:0


05/10/2008 6:40 PM  
Just got back from the Buckingham show.  Have reached the tired and emotional stage of this run of shows, so excuse gushing ....
 
This was the perfect Tift show! (she felt the same)  It was in an old church, so fantastic acoustics, and a wonderful grand piano which Tift made great use of.  Highlights for me were a piano version of Tell Me Something True - "as it was written" - and a Tori Amos-esque rendition of Ain't Looking Closely.  Tift reached wild eyed intensity pounding away on the keys.  Not ashamed to say she made me cry tonight.
 
I will send you some photos of pre- and post-gig action Chris.  Andy has some of the show too.
 
Think Dudley will report in the morning.  He can't cope with these late nights....
 
Vicky
ghman
Posts:547


05/11/2008 4:20 AM  
Posted By Phillip Reid on 05/10/2008 6:26 PM
Report banter or die, Dudley. How's that? (See? I can be evil, too.)

Most excellent content on this thread all-round; glad we're getting the goods from the shows we're missing . . . .



OK, OK!

TM"Hey! You good-looking guys behind the bar!"
Barmen:  [no response, they just carry on being noisy]

TM (louder): "HEY! You guys behind the bar... who wants to come home with me tonight?!!"
Barmen: [Look of amazement on their faces, then bashful silence!]
Audience: [cheers, whistles, woo-hoo!]

And that is how you do it TM-style!


M-D #18
ghman
Posts:547


05/11/2008 4:23 AM  

Mildly serious Buckingham report to come later.... meanwhile here's a sneak preview of a couple of pics from the soon to be published TMSTFC merch catalogue

TMSTFC merch catalogue TMSTFC merch catalogue page 3


M-D #18
Phillip Reid
Posts:2155


05/11/2008 5:51 AM  
These pics are classic. Been smiling at the thought of seeing her in one of herown shirts for years. Kudos.

Glad to see empty threats work on you, AD--that's useful to know.
ghman
Posts:547


05/12/2008 4:55 PM  
Well I think my 6th Tift show has got to go down as the best so far! If she was a football (soccer) team I’d say she played an absolute blinder!
 
Pre-show, half of the Screaming Teen contingent (me & Vicky) decided that an ice-cold Guinness was needed in the 77o F heat (that’s hot for the UK!), so we sat outside and supped our drinks in a shady pub beer garden down by the river. We then met up with a couple of other Teens, Maria & Chris, and made our way to the venue where we scoffed on fish & chips and battered sausage, whilst sitting on the wall outside (naturally we were first in line!) Chas from London, one of the UK TEAMers, turned up nice and early too so it was great to finally meet him and have a good chat. By the time the doors opened at 6.45pm, the queue stretched way down the street, and the place quickly filled up to its 180 capacity. The Screaming Teens naturally grabbed front row seats!
 
Jaymay played support again, and I’m starting to enjoy her cool songs, and they way she impersonates a trumpet to accompany herself (it’s not as weird as it sounds, honest!)
 
Tift was introduced onto the stage by Mike the promoter – bit of a rarity these days, a nice touch though.  From the very start, Tift was in total command of the gig (no noisy bar-staff here!) just a respectful and attentive audience, as you’d expect in a venue which used to be a church. Like Vicky says above, the acoustics were just excellent, and Tift really warmed to this straight away encouraging her to play the Steinway grand piano at any opportunity.  Looking at the set list, she played at least half the 18 songs on piano. At one point after playing 3 songs in a row on the ivories she joked, “It feels like I’ve broken-up with my guitar!” (as in she dumped it for the piano!)
 
Tift moved back onto guitar and turned in the most gorgeous version of “Plainest Thing” which she sang without a mic, standing on the lip of the stage – her vocals sound so pure like this and there was the tiniest reverb/echo in the place, just like on the “Tambourine” version – as I said, gorgeous!
 
“My Heart Is Free” and “Hopes Too High” followed on guitar, and then Tift couldn’t help herself but get drawn back to the grand piano for a trio of songs – “Good Hearted Man” (great foot-stomping by Tift on the wooden stage during this one!) “Tender Branch”, and an amazing version of “Ain’t Looking Closely”. You really need to hear this! Tift put so much into it that I didn’t even miss the extended guitar/organ battle that usually happens mid-song!
 
The encore totally knocked me out.  A slower version of “Tell Me Something True” on piano which was how Tift originally wrote it to be. Next up she tentatively asked for any requests….the shout-out for “Laid A Highway” was picked by Tift, and the song for Bynum was a real tender treat. Bramble Rose opener, “Trouble Over Me” was the perfect closer for this amazing show.
 
Set list – (courtesy Vicky – thanks!)
 
1.      Something to Me
Guitar (stepped away from mic)
2.      Broken
G
3.      Keep You Happy
G
4.      I Know What I’m Looking For Now
Piano
5.      Another Country
P
6.      Still Pretending
P
7.      Plainest Thing
G (no mic)
8.      My Heart is Free
G
9.      Hopes Too High
G & Harmonica
10. Good Hearted Man
P
11. Tender Branch
P
12. Ain’t Looking Closely
P
13. Virginia
G (no mic)
14. Morning is My Destination
P & H
15. Mille Tendresses
P
Encore
 
16. Tell Me Something True
P
17. Laid A Highway
G
18. Trouble Over Me
G
 
Post-show there was a big line of folks who all wanted to buy a cd or a piece of merch and say hi to Tift… as usual she was a sweetheart to everyone. As Teens do, we hung about and it was great to catch up with Tift & Zeke again, even Jaymay (the support act) is starting to recognise a couple of us which is kind of worrying! But when I suggested a pic of Tift with the 2 pink t-shirted girls Vicky & Maria, Tift insisted on wearing a pink tee as well, and the evening descended into a bizarre fashion shoot as you’ll have seen in the photos!

M-D #18
Shug
Posts:261


05/13/2008 9:53 AM  
Great reports, photos, and funny stories from these shows in England, thanks to Vicky (nice to see you around again!) and Andy. Sounds like it was a really great show in Buckingham. I looked it up and it seems like a quaint small town in the English countryside. I also found out it is home to Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, which is quite timely, because I've been on a bit of a hair metal binge lately, can't get certain songs out of my head ("...take me down slow and easy..."!), but I digress.

I didn't think Guiness was ever served ice cold, Andy, even most Americans know better than that! But it does sound quite nice to be sitting in the shade by the river on a lovely spring evening in England, sipping beer and eating fish and chips (what is a battered sausage?). 77 degrees is quite cool and nice relative to May in Arizona! And then a great Tift show on top of all that, I'm envious! Hearing Tift on the Steinway must've been great. Nice to get the ballads from Tambourine and that version of Ain't Looking Closely sounds like something to hear for sure. Thanks for your descriptions, made me feel like I was there. Tift is lucky to have such great fans all over the world, but its no surprise, given her talents and sweet personality. Its neat to hear that she's picking up more and more all the time.

PS Nice beard, Andy!

Mack Daddy #7
"Some like their water shallow, I like mine deep"
-Chris Robinson
ghman
Posts:547


05/13/2008 10:21 AM  

 

You should try it sometime Shug! 
 
http://www.guinness.com/gb_en/beer/extraCold/
Its very very good!

Wish I could get to more Tift shows this May - been experiencing severe Tift withdrawal symptoms since Saturday night.  Hopefully we'll get a report from Vicky when she's finished her next 3-show run starting tonight in London and finishing up in Newcastle. (How does she keep going?  Caffeine, nicotine, and the odd Guinness or two )

Battered sausage = pork sausage deep fried in batter  best served with chips, salt & vinegar, with a lage dollop of tomato ketchup.  Right, I'm off for me dinner!


M-D #18
Shug
Posts:261


05/13/2008 11:16 AM  

I had no idea about Guiness Extra Cold, thanks for enlightening another ignorant American, Andy!  I'l give that a try, I wonder if you can get it on draught here in the States?

I've been sampling some more English brews and found a couple I like, Whitbread Pale Ale and Theakston Old Peculier

Not sure where I can find battered sausage, but I'd give it a go if I could!  Maybe on my eventual trip to England you can dine me on all this good stuff

Wow, Vicky, you are hitting 6 Tift shows with a Chatham County Line one in the middle?  Go, girl!  Keep the show reports coming!


Mack Daddy #7
"Some like their water shallow, I like mine deep"
-Chris Robinson
ghman
Posts:547


05/13/2008 4:16 PM  

Wait until you try pea fritters and deep fried Mars Bars too... more chip shop delicacies - yum!

Thanks for those links Matthew - hours of good beer reading/drinking there.


M-D #18
Phillip Reid
Posts:2155


05/13/2008 4:56 PM  
DUDE! Y'ALL AIN'T RIGHT! I THOUGHT THE SOUTHERN U.S. WAS THE KING OF WRONG FOOD! NOT SO!

I want a battered sausage (oh there are SO many excellent puns available there), some pea fritters, and a deep-fried Mars bar--washed down with Guiness Extra Cold . . .
GwenStefaniFan
Posts:0


05/14/2008 3:45 AM  
Great review Andy!
 
This is where following bands round on tour gets interesting.  Buckingham on Saturday was sublime.  London last night was awful.
 
Not Tift - to use another football analogy, she's a real grafter and played very well, but the pitch was just too poor to get a good game.  The venue was the main problem; (in my humble opinion) the layout just doesn't suit gigs.  And it was way too small.  Add to that a quiet audience, a support act that went down like a lead balloon, and the fact that Tift didn't even get an introduction, she just had to walk on unannounced - and you get the jist.  And not even any Guinness on tap to dull the pain ....   Tift clearly has far more balls than I do and is stoic about these things, but I did feel for her last night.
 
"Next ... !"  
 
York is another church, so looking good!
 
V
supertomate
Posts:51


05/14/2008 3:03 PM  

Hi ! my name is Haruo and I live near Paris. Yesterday i was at my first Tift Merritt show ever at the Green Note in London. Needless to say that she won a new fan for life hehe. I knew her music for about 2 years but never got the chance to see her at a show but now that's done and I'm so happy to have taken the train to London because she just blew me away and things got really weird (in a good way ) after the show when i could meet her.

The Green note is a tiny venue in Camden and as we entered, I thought it was really great to have that kind of intimate venue, with tables and chairs, which was good because I was a bit exhausted from walking all around London since the morning. So it was a really nice way to end the day but I could never expect how things would turn out later....

Tif played a show with many of the songs from the new album and also standouts like good hearted man, Virgnia, stray paper... She cruised all night long with a nice flow while she tried also to make us laugh cos' she found we were too quiet (which means very very focused on the music). She joked about us being "non harmonica players" as she told us how hard it is to find a D sharp harmonica in London and then she followed by "oh my, i treated you of "non harmonica players".....hehehe

She tried as well to make the people way in the back to go and sit upfront as she was afraid they couldn't hear her properly and at some point, she went in the middle of the room, in the middle of the audience for 3 songs. i think one guy said before she started one of the songs "it better be good" to which everyone laughed very hard hehe. Tift managed to not hit anyone with her guitar, she would have stood on a table if not for the glasses.....

Tifts told us she had a hard time figuring out the tube in London (I like the piccadilly line only, if anyone cares hehe) but she just loves london,  not much the British pound though....

So she played the following songs, as far as i can remember (darn i should have writen the setlist down) : stray paper, keep you happy, virginia, my heart is free, supposed to mak you happy (in the middle of the audience), something to me, broken, another country, hopes too high, morning is my destination.

she came back for the encore with still pretending and finished on "mille tendresses" which made me feel so good as a Frenchman. I really loved the whole show, her demeanor, her smile and of course her voice, which might be the sweetest voice i've ever heard.

After the show, i waited for Tift hoping that i could meet her and get something signed. But first, Zeke greeted me while I was still sitting at the table. I told him it was my first ever TM show and I was so happy to be at the right place at the rght time. I showed him a couple of pics i took during the show and told him if they're any good I'll give them to Tift next week in Paris ! i congratulated him for getting engaged too.

So then i gathered my Cds and pics and everything and I waited for Tift. The beginning was weird because she saw me standing like 3 feet away from her and she had that big smile on her face. I didn't understand why at first because well, we never met before, why would she be so excited? and then she said "look, how lovely it is !" pointing at my t-shirt hehe  Then I just started talking to her that she got interrupted by people from her record company to whom she had to say goodbye, so i waited patiently. And then when we restarted, i was surprised by her glowing eyes when i told her that i was French because all of a sudden, something lit up in her eyes and she was the most excited person, and she was the one who was asking questions hehehe. She asked where I liive, what my job is and she seemed really really excited and all of that in a very good French too. On my behalf, I was speaking half in English, half in French, which was kind of bizarre too. I did feel a little more special during the meet and greet by that aspect. i then gave her some Cds and big pîctures to sign for me and a friend of mine for her birthday. i had one last thing to give her and it was a box of chocolate. So I began like that "do you like chocolate?" and she sort of put her hands on her eyes and then she saw the chocolate and she said "these are my favourite, how do you know that?"....in fact, I had of course no idea, i just wanted to please her with a good treat of chocolate from France, that's all... To finish, I asked for a picture, that Zeke took after Tift asked him to. Zeke thought the first one wasn't good and he took another one but well, both turn out to be pretty fine to me. So then i thanked her for being so awesome, so talented and also said she'd better work on her French because i'm going to bring some friends of mine for the Paris show. she warmly thanked me for the support and gave me a hug, which is the third one she gave me during our meeting. She is really the sweetest person ever and i won't ever forget that night anytime soon. It really is a day to remember. Thank you, thank you Tift, you're so awesome and generous !!!

some pics from yesterday

 

http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/ee11/supertomate/Tift%20Merritt%20London%20080513/

 


http://lamusiquedenosvies.over-blog.com/
GwenStefaniFan
Posts:0


05/14/2008 3:17 PM  
Hey Haruo,
 
Love your post, and the photos!  And love the fact you came over from France for the show even more!
 
So glad you had such a good first Tift show!   It was great when she came right into the middle of the audience wasn't it.
Wow, different perspectives on the venue!!!  
 
I have a set list, which I will post when I get home next week.
 
Vicky
Don't think I dare post any more reports now - I'm obviously way off the mark!
admin
Posts:591


05/14/2008 4:26 PM  

Hi Haruo,

Thank you very much for the story and for the links to your pictures! If you don't mind, I'd like to put them up here on the website in our Photos section. If that's ok with you, please e-mail them to me. If you can zip them up into one file, that would be great, but if not, that's ok too.

Click here to e-mail


Chris McCandless
Admin
Phillip Reid
Posts:2155


05/14/2008 4:34 PM  
Haruo--welcome welcome. Now you know what a Francophile she is! When I was reading your post I knew when she figured that out she would be all stoked to talk to you. You are going to see her at La Java, yes?
supertomate
Posts:51


05/15/2008 2:25 AM  

Thanks everyone for appreciating the photos...even though i don't do that much of a job cos' Tift is just beautiful and I only keep pressing the button with the burst mode of my camera ...

this is the link to download the pictures all at once (be careful, big file there, 233 Mb):

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=KQS944LX

I've met some other singers (like Brandi Carlile and Alison Sudol from A Fine Frenzy) in the past so obviously i kind of know how things happens the first time but even then i just feel like I've been slaughtered by pure tenderness after meeting up with sweety Tift. I was so struck by her sweet voice and tiny silhouetto while she's got tremendous will and determination, so I tried not to stumble in front of her by babbling my words or something and because she just pours her heart into each song, I then just try to show some appreciation by giving her something nice or be funny. And it doesn't hurt that she takes the time to listen to you and make you so comfortable.

Yes, I'll be at the Java in Paris for part 2 of the Tift Merritt trilogy as I'll be back in London on July 1st. This is so freaking exciting !


http://lamusiquedenosvies.over-blog.com/
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