All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 135 – The Anchoress, Saturday, December 17, 2016, King’s Place

Rounding off my 2016 of gigs with a majestic set from the Anchoress.

We were coming to the end of 2016 – a monumental year for me in terms of my gigging life. I had resurrected my love for live music so completely that I went to more gigs in 2016 than I had done over the course of 2010 to 2015 combined. And my last gig ended the year in a more reflective style, at a stately concert hall rather than a seething mosh pit, to witness the Anchoress once again. From my diary:

‘So King’s Place is like a mini-Barbican tucked at the back of King’s Cross. I got there about ten to eight and sat down in the concert hall just in time for the support dude Martin Greich, who warbled and wailed across about twelve octaves but somehow completely avoided any tunes whatsoever. Some interesting piano shapes but very resolutely Not My Thing. Fantastic acoustics in the hall though.’

I was not feeling in the best of health this wintry Saturday, and in fact would end up seeing out the rest of the year in bed with a rotten cold. So my report is somewhat brief, but I do remember feeling relief at this show taking place in much more comfortable surroundings than one often finds oneself in at a gig.

‘I wandered out between bands to have a look at the art dotted round the centre. It was all very civilised.’

And having previously seen the Anchoress in a rather drab venue plagued with audio issues back in June, it was wonderful to hear her songs in crystal clear sound.

‘Back to my seat for Catherine, her string trio and ‘token male’ on guitar. It all sounded much better than last June’s dodgy acoustics, and Catherine was in fine voice and excellent snarky style.’

Once again we were deprived of an appearance from Paul Draper to duet on “You And Only You”, and Catherine had some commentary to make on that fact.

‘Her digs at Paul ED were a bit catty (apparently she didn’t invite him to duet on “You And Only You” as the hall wasn’t big enough for both the Steinway and his ego).’

All in all, I left the show feeling that the two venues I’d seen her perform in during 2016 were not quite sufficient for a full experience of her considerable talent.

‘Most of all I felt that it’s high time she had a proper hit so that she can get a full band together and strut her proper popstar stuff from the Roundhouse stage or similar.’

Well, maybe not the Roundhouse, but I did get to see her supporting the Manics in 2018 at the Royal Festival Hall, where she did indeed strut her popstar stuff with style. And, given that this autumn we’ll have the chance to see her supporting the Manics once again on their upcoming tour, and next spring will see her returning to the Southbank Centre for her own headlining show, it’s clear that the Anchoress is finally achieving the success she deserves.

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