Lindi Ortega – The Cluny 2 (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK – January 27, 2014)
My first Jumpin’ Hot Club gig of the year since the fantastic John Fullbright/Amy Speace show last October. Over the years I’ve been to lots of Jumpin’ Hot gigs and they have never disappointed. And this sold-out show continues their unblemished record.
Opening the show was Tom Hickox from North London. His voice is wonderfully deep and sonorous, like a cross between Stuart A Staples from Tindersticks and The National’s Matt Berninger.
Tom accompanied himself on piano and had a great lap steel and guitar player with him. Together the played a brilliant 30-minute set with songs from Tom’s forthcoming album ‘War, Peace And Diplomacy’ that is going to be released in March. I loved ‘White Roses Red’ and ‘Angel of the North’, but all of the tunes were good. I’ll be getting the album.
I had only heard a handful of Lindi Ortega songs and was looking forward to the mixture of uptempo, rockier cuts with slower tunes…and that’s what I got. Lindi and her band are great performers and they leave it all on the stage with a performance full of energy, vitality and a lot of talent and skill.
Every thing I have read about Lindi mentions her voice and it is capable of a lot…delicate, strong, sad, celebratory and soulful. I really enjoyed her guitar playing too, which complemented the different styles and tempos of songs. The guitar playing of Champagne James Robertson was especially fantastic…amazingly varied, giving different textures to the songs that were played, and some wonderful slide and blues.
The songs I remember being particularly good were ‘Tin Star’, ‘Don’t Want To Hear It’, ‘Blue Bird’, ‘Gypsy Child’ and a great cover of ‘So Lonesome I Could Cry’…the best version I’ve ever heard.
Lindi’s interaction with the crowd was great too. She talked a lot, giving background details to the songs and her life in Canada and America, and even dancing with two lucky gents in the front-row. I’d definitely go and see her again.