Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: Chris Pickering at The Globe for Rave Magazine

Gig review, read the original here, or in the latest Rave, issue 970, pg 30.

The Globe - Fri Dec 3

Arriving at The Globe to news their doors are staying open, at least for now, I’m invited to ‘review the venue, not the bands’. It does feels right to stretch out on the worn carpet to take in the voyeuristically intimate shows of Nashville-returned alt-country artists Catherine Britt and Brisbane’s own Chris Pickering. But the crowd, which plateaus at around the 50 or 60 mark, are here for the music (barring the gentleman passed out in the middle of the room).

As candidly confessional in her song introductions as in her lyrics, Britt dedicates What I Did Last Night to the hangovers we’ll sport come morning, and bares the chip on her shoulder, launching into the arresting Call You Back Town. My current emotional state is akin to a floodgate, so it’s no surprise the raw emotion of Too Far Gone chokes me up. A lovelorn rendition of Sweet Emmylou is another highlight, as Britt proves her song’s point – good music can be medicinal.

Chris Pickering opens by performing a duet with Britt on Cool Southern Night. The pair work wonderfully together, especially later on Fisherman’s Daughter. He plays to his crowd – deadpan and slightly selfdeprecating, but ever grateful. From jokes following a spine-tingling Hasta Luego, to calling the beautiful I Just Want To Love a ballad for “you sensitive bunch”, he proves to have none of the ego of the musical heavyweights he is often compared to. The audience livens slightly during the up-beat Fit To Print and calls for an encore, amidst which is a stunning version of Love Hurts, making me concede this whole tour was designed as a comfort hug to the heartbroken. It’s an unfortunately small affair for the final leg of their national Fact Or Fiction tour, but that doesn’t stop them from demonstrating exactly why they deserve a much bigger hurrah.

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