Beccy Owen – Old Cinema Launderette (Durham, UK – February 7, 2014)
Another excellent show at the Old Cinema Launderette – so predictable *yawn*.
The last time I saw Beccy Owen was in 2002 when she launched her first album ‘The Sweetest of Tales from the Bitterest Edge’ with a great show at the Northern Stage in Newcastle. I was looking forward to seeing her play again after so long.
Beccy played on her own and performed her latest album ‘IMAGO’ in its entirety. The album is the story of a relationship beginning, unfolding and ending, so playing the album whole makes a lot of sense. As the subject matter would suggest, the songs are incredibly personal and intimate.
The lyrics are revealing and detail the relationship blooming, waning and ending, though I did not find it at all depressing or grim. Beccy’s vocals and piano playing were beautiful and made me feel wrapped up in the arc of the story, which I found genuinely moving.
I particularly liked the title track – only song to include the word ombudsman? – and ‘Suitcases’, though listening to them as a suite makes a lot of sense to get the entire narrative. I especially loved the final lines from ‘Suitcases’:
“There’s only so many days without kisses to wait,
Before the heart starts to break apart like tectonic plates.”
Beccy also played ‘Little Me’ from her first album after a request from someone in the crowd and I had forgotten what an astounding song it was. One of the verses of the song was a great counter to the ‘IMAGO’ songs:
“No, I will not settle for the middle ground
And I will not stop until I’m found with you
‘Cos the only road I’m gonna walk along is the one that bring me a
Heart of hope
And a song of joy
A heart of hope
A song of joy”
Beccy’s interaction with the crowd was funny, open and engaging and it reminded me of seeing RM Hubbert in the same venue last year. Both Hubby and Beccy are so open and honest about their issues and how they deal with them, which is good to see.