Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Birmingham Symphony Hall - 7th September 2009

Tori Amos

I must state, from the outset, that the Brum Symphony Hall is a magnificent venue.

The acoustics are such that Mark E. Smith raping a heron would sound good here. So for One Eskimo, given the unenviable task of supporting the Queen of Kook herself, it couldn’t be a better stage. An excellent job they made of it, too, bringing an Eels-like vibe to the luxurious hall and making it their own. If Turkey or Israel wants a cooler Eurovision entry next year, this band should be called. Damning them with faint praise? This is pop music. They’re lucky to get ANY praise.

Praise. A religious term, somehow appropriate to the rapture which greeted every shape thrown by the pristine ginger elf who was tonight’s main attraction. La Amos treated us to a show which was equal parts Las Vegas indulge-o-rama, classical jazz wig-out and quite eerie Kate Bush tribute. I wouldn’t say this out loud at the gig, obviously - I’d be quietly lynched. If one could get over the fact that each song appeared to be more like four, whipped into an aural fondue and not feel pained or frightened by the duration of each smile/grimace which beset the Amos visage, then the gig was like catching a ride with a particularly psychotic fairy. In a good way.

Segues into Leaving On A Jet Plane and I Feel The Earth Move were uplifting, as the backdrop subtly sparkled. Yes, there seemed to be bizarre lyrics about family members being other family members (‘I am my son / I am my mother’) but you must remember that Terry does live in Cornwall. She went from elegant to vulnerable to demonic - often within the same song. The high point of the evening came from a cock-up, when her inner-ear monitor failed and she improvised a call for help in the style of the song she was singing, bringing everything to a suitable close when the little box had been replaced. True artistry, performance and perspective. In fact, as a great man once said - too much.

Listen: www.myspace.com/toriamos