24
Aug
09

Review: Chlöe/New Beautiful South (M-Club, 22-Aug-2009)

Having never been to a full-fat gig at the M Club, I can safely say the 1,000-capacity venue works a lot better when there’s more than a handful of people in attendance; the crowd was about 400 strong, and it was a whole different place!

Opening proceedings was Chlöe with a solo acoustic set, and while the lack of a backing band made the performance quieter than normal it was in no way less powerful, and despite being all on her own on the M’s somewhat voluminous stage she avoided looking lost and showed that she’s got the talent and presence to stand out from the crowd, so if you’ve somehow managed to miss any of her many local performances these past few months make sure you head to Live in the Park this Saturday.

I’ve never really considered myself much of a fan of the Beautiful South so was surprised to find I knew pretty much everything they played; the “New” lineup consists of three original members and six additional musicians but the loss of some familiar faces doesn’t seem to have affected their sound at all, so if you own one of the seven million or so records they’ve shifted in the past 20 years you would have been happy to hear the familiar sound. They did occasionally stray into bland easy-listening territory and gave a rather frightening light-jazz Kenny-G style interpretation of an ELO classic, but despite my misgivings I found myself unexpectedly singing along to the chorus on more than one occasion and had far more fun than I felt I had a right to!

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