Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Deacon Blue - Adele - Alicia Keys - Azadeh

Like most people my interface (oooh get me) with new music has changed.  Whilst I used to be able to rely on good old Radio One to play the current stuff with the odd "exclusive" preview of a forthcoming single; now there are so many sources to my musical world that frankly I feel very disconnected to what is going on.  It's odd as I seem to search out tracks my shopping experiences, form TV ads, the soundtracking to a baking competition on TV and even the odd X-Factor or Dave Arch/Strictly version.  Perhaps it's good that my musical taste is no longer the domain of some radio programmer somewhere.  My interests this month are of varied origin and datestamp.

Months ago I purchased tickets to see Deacon Blue.  I am a big fan of those first three albums, quality music which somehow always seemed a little out of time (perhaps timeless in hindsight).  Anyway with a forthcoming show to attend I've revisited the albums and even invested in the new one "The Hipsters" (hmm - irony).  With high hopes I really suspected to find the tracks that would make the bar attractive as Ricky says mid-set "and here's a new song" - hey it's billed as a 25th anniversary tour! I hear the crowd shout.  How pleasantly surprised am I to find a new album which, frankly, fits right in with the earlier string of sets which are dear to my heart.  Ross' voice remains engaging, the quality songwriting and arrangements, Lorraine McIntosh's harmonising, all are intact and what you used to expect from DC but with a progression that shows their obvious maturity.  It's like they've been frozen for the last 10 years.   And it fits right in with what is current.  I recommend you go to this whether a doubting existing fan or in a Deacon who? search for some quality.

Adele's 007 track "Skyfall" is predictable in it's structure but delicious in it's execution - the girl's phrasing brings it to life and shows a song stylist at her best.  Wonderful.

Alicia Keys is one artist that I will buy any new album without a preview - she has produced such a consistent body of work - again strength in songwriting  - that always hooks me and reels me in slowly. You know that feeling where you start with "not as good as.." and end up thinking "the best" let's hope I'm right about the new one "Girl on Fire" - the lead single of the same title (on YouTube currently) tells me I am.

Back to the Deacon Blue gig and my exciting find of the week.  Arriving early I thought the promo cards being handed out for Azadeh smacked of support act as (frankly) pretty girl with guitar - all very pleasant but a diversion from the main event.  WRONG!

Whilst I loved Deacon Blue, the evening was made by Azadeh's set (with band) .  Strong songs, a sort of Tori come Amy with Paula Cole voice but with a unique feel for her own sound.  The band arrangements built on her performance; she's clearly comfortable being out front and was gracious in the reception she got spending time signing demo's and chatting to audience members in the foyer later - her stage presence rang true, she's obviously passionate about performing her songs her way (and not some popster wannabe) only good came over in a what you see is what you get way - all to her credit.  The demo CD confirmed the show was no fluke and frankly the "demo's" need no work for a release. An internet hunt finds her unsigned - which is hard to believe.  Search her out - you're in for a treat.

Google - azadehmusic