Syd Straw's Heartwreck Show
St Ann's Warehouse - Brooklyn
Feb 14 2004
sponsored by
WWWhatsup Online Pinstand
with thanks to St Ann's Warehouse

'More Songs about Love and the Lack of It'

Syd Straw has made a tradition of these Valentine's Day concerts - The Heartwreck Shows - over the past few years, 2004 saw the biggest ever, at the same St Ann's Warehouse where we last saw Joe Strummer. She, along with an augmented version of her group Plankton - dubbed The Valentine Orchestraw - gave us a varied menu of her own tunes, obscure gems, and standards, with guest spots from such as Jody Miller and Mimi Goese. The show was given extra piquancy as it was revealed that Syd had left her mother's California deathbed to perform. As the subtitle above indicates, the songs were as much about yearning as the sweetness of romance and, as we all have done at moments of excess emotion, Syd bolstered, anaesthetized herself with alcohol - frequent shots of vodka & cranberry. This didn't seem to affect her singing but, as the night went on, the introductions became longer and funnier. In fact, even without the music, this would have been a fine piece of stand-up in it's own right. Given the sublime tunes, the whole thing was thoroughly touching and entertaining. Just before the intermission Syd performed an epic version of a new song 'Pink Velour', apparently the title track on a new record for which a label has yet to be established. Autobiograhical, and dedicated to her Ma, whose image was projected behind the stage as she sang, this one brought the house down. But the songs I give you here were from a little earlier. 'Love Is A Friend Of Mine' is a Straw family favorite, originally the b-side of the 60's Tony Christie hit 'Amarillo'. 'On Obsession' is by her friend Peter Blegvad. I have thrown in a bit of the banter too. Syd tells me that her mother was in the habit of bringing a flashlight to her Cali shows, which she would shine on her daughter when she got too risque, and it definitely would have been beaming broadly here. I can tell you that Syd was able to fly back west in time to share her mother's final 24 hours.

And yes i have knocked up a VCD, but only of the first half, since I am yet to procure audio for the second, so it's just the first 9 songs, plus the banter bit included here. As usual you can procure a copy from the pinstand for $4 inc. mail ($5 foreign) - if interested email orders@pinstand.com with the subject=VCD397, and I'll let you know the process.

capture captain: joly
date posted: 2/28/04
fixed: 5/2/06


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