On Monday, me and the Southern crew went along to see Little Annie and Paul Wallfisch at the lovely Bush Hall, not quite as grand as Wilton’s Music Hall where I had seen them previously but still beautiful and well laid out like a proper cabaret club with tables and all. But it was the performance that really blew me away, I scooped my jaw up from the floor after their third encore, totally mesmerized by the electricity between the duo.
Wears The Trousers reviewed the show and managed to perfectly articulate my feelings, and probably the feelings of the entire audience. Here is an excerpt…
Annie’s love of saloon divas and cabaret crooners has twined this eclectic, leftfield body of work with a distinctly jazzy lilt, giving her a blues house chanteuse style that evokes the best of bygone eras and re-awakens sleeping muses and old gods – a Pandora’s box that was split wide open during this performance. Accompanied by the expert piano stylings of collaborator Paul Wallfisch (of rock outfit Botanica), Annie glittered and shimmied across the stage, gloriously flamboyant in a sequined jacket and five-inch leopard print stilettos. From her physicality alone, it was clear that Little Annie is a natural force, the kind of genuine artist that will create, almost by default, with every breath. There was a palpable, awe-infused atmosphere among the intimate audience as her grand, whiskey-flecked poetics shone out with a chipped-crystal aesthetic amid the venues opulent chandeliers and red velvet curtain (on which Annie unceremoniously wiped her beer-soaked hand at one point, to much applause).
Her numbers – part sung, part spoken and part growled – melted with all the unpredictability and joy of life’s own tumultuous rhythms. From the ugly, tragic and lost to the beautiful, inspirational and poetic, Annie evokes all the survivor glory of Piaf and the queer vivacity of Dietrich with a truly singular vocal prowess. Turning autobiography into art, she blends her own narratives in with more familiar, mainstream artists; Tina Turner’s ‘Private Dancer’, Nat King Cole’s ‘Smile’ and Nina Simone’s ‘If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)’ were all delivered in her rasping drawl, while her very own heartbreaker ‘Because You’re Gone’ was almost unbearably moving. Though her self-conscious workings are unafraid to lace tragedy with a wry, winking streak of comedy – her performance of ‘Strange Love’ was broken more than once for some sniggering banter with Wallfisch and the audience – her emotive moments are achingly real and resonated throughout the audience.
The full article can be viewed on this link: http://wearsthetrousers.com/2009/11/25/little-annie-paul-wallfisch-live-at-bush-hall-london-231109/
Having heard songs from the new album Genderful, I am even more excited about the album’s release which is planned for March 2010 on the awesome Southern Records. Find out more on the new and improved webshop.