I’m a cheery sort of chap, quiet when I’m grumpy, but generally fairly easy going I think (WHAT????? Ed) so when I was grumpy for about 3 weeks last year, it was quite noticeable.
I had seen that Judie Tzuke was playing the Union Chapel in Islington at a midweek gig, bought some tickets as a surprise and was sitting at work, looking forward to it as I’d loved her records in my younger years.
The day arrived, work piled up and, it being work with deadlines, I slowly came to the realisation that I was going to have to miss the gig.
Cue three weeks of grumpiness (Didn’t really notice, you’re always like that: Ed) and one of those niggling feelings of resentment.
Then, earlier this month, an email pops up on my iPhone which I almost auto-deleted:
I’ve sent you this email because you attended Judie’s gig at the union chapel last year when her voice failed her. The gig is happening on Friday the 20th of February at Ravencourts Arts in Hammersmith. http://ravenscourtarts.com/ This will be an intimate acoustic show but as Judie put it, last time you had the band, this time you will have her.
Sorry for the late notice.
I’m not quite sure what I’ve done in a previous life to justify this set of lucky coincidences, but I replied within about 8 seconds and was lucky enough to get two tickets. Acoustic, small venue….bliss. Would it live up to my expectations? How is her voice, has it stood the test of time?
It was last night as you can probably work out.
Our esteemed Editor came along, unsure what she was walking into, being but a slip of a lass.
We were confronted by a pineapple-wielding MC (all hail!) and then had to sheepishly admit we hadn’t been at the Union Chapel gig. As we had bought tickets, I felt it was ok tho ;). After a brief round of applause for the ceiling, which was excellent, we got going.
Chaz Thorogood was the support and, as someone often referred to “as the next big thing”, was really rather good. A rendition of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower was particularly good. I like Hendrix’s version but somehow the acoustic version has a different sort of power. If you don’t know Dylan’s original, seek it out.
The main event saw a blooming Bailey and smiling Tallulah accompany Judie through a great assortment of her own songs, as well as an assortment of favourites written by others.
The “now you see him, now you don’t” Tim on keyboards was excellent I thought, as was Ben on guitar who obviously enjoyed playing Sukarita above all others 😉
I needn’t have worried about her voice; it was clear, strong and bang on the notes.
Bailey’s soft tones and Tallulah slightly crisper vocals made some great backing (and lead) sounds and together it was….just lovely.
She rather shyly introduced “my hit” and beamed when the audience echoed the backing vocals to her (as she’d asked). If we were quiet, it was just that we didn’t want to spoil it. Many people stood at the end, moved by the beauty of it all.
It was beautiful, quite low-key, haunted by the ghost, and definitely to be recommended.
The above picture has been very badly photoshopped to remove two microphone stands and move Bailey and Judie a bit closer together. I hope they don’t mind that I’ve mucked about with it. Mrs B loved that Judie had fairy lights and a glitter ball on the stand
If you get a chance to see Judie during her upcoming tour, I really do suggest you make the effort to go along. All info is here: Judie Tzuke