Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins – Glasgow Uni Union 19/04/06

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 7:06 pm


Shuffling out timidly onto the stage, Jonathan Rice cuts a nervous figure hiding behind his guitar. His decision to jump straight into a beautiful acoustic number rather than deal with any introduction formalities seems to confirm this, yet at his (sort of) homecoming continues, his dry wit and interesting tales shine through between his exquisite tunes.

Playing at the union where his parents met, his interesting ScottishAmerican accent jokes of how he was conceived where someone’s currently sat. His parents crop up again amidst the country twangs of his acoustic guitar, with a story of how one of their first dates involved booing Neil Young offstage in Glasgow. This Glasgow audience is thankfully a tad more pleasant, even joining in on the jokes as a request for ‘Hotel California’ is shouted out after Rice declares his disdain for their meandering ploddings.

A genuinely delightful find as a support act – his voice is cracked yet beautiful; his lyrics are cynical yet humorous and his stage presence is modest yet demanding. All this makes his return to play guitar for the headliners even more welcome.

Normally seen as the face and voice of the fine purveyors of Americana alt rock that are Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has recently decided to go solo. Well, not entirely. Her latest album features the heady harmonies of the Shiningesque Watson Twins, and they both appear here tonight, clad in flattering black dresses and dwarfing the minuscule frontwoman.

You can easily see why Miss Lewis chose these twins, as opening a capella number ‘Run Devil Run’ sends chills down the spine with its simple melody sung so beautifully by the three of them. ‘Big Guns’ follows directly afterwards, initiating a faster pace to proceedings and seeing a rapturous applause lasting far longer than most second songs of a set merit.

Lewis looks every inch the gorgeous indie chick she is in a sweeping hippy like number, as she swaps effortlessly between a good old country hoe down in the likes of ‘You Are What You Love’ and more subtle moments to show of the vocals of her and the twins such as ‘Melt Your Heart’.

Though most of the set is comprised of tracks from ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ several new songs get an airing, including one where audience participation was required in the shape of clacking two coins together (a surprisingly loud sound if an entire audience participates). It’s the title track of the album that is the highlight however, Jenny’s vocals sounding so precious with just her acoustic guitar for accompaniment.

Jenny has shown she doesn’t need the talents of the rest of Rilo Kiley to make an excellent album, and she showed here that she doesn’t need them to entertain an enthralled crowd. Lovely stuff.


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