Monday nights are always a peculiar night to be seeing a gig. More so when it’s your maiden voyage to The Factory Theatre in Enmore (or Marrickville, you decide) where the ticket booth resembles that of a carnival fortune teller, mismatching chairs are scattered over a narrow courtyard and the tin roof is elegantly lined with coloured lights; and you can’t help feeling you have gatecrashed a 21st. However, the homely atmosphere and the RSL-inspired carpet makes a very relaxing and friendly venue.
But we weren’t here to admire the interior decorating; it’s a school night and I’ve got a date with St. Vincent.
Arriving on stage early, St. Vincent and her 3-piece band wasted no time opening with Surgeon. Small in numbers but big on sound, St. Vincent’s band accurately recreated the dramatic artistic sound of Strange Mercy, and supported by simple but beautifully executed stage lighting, the idea of an RSL and the expectation of Keno rapidly melted away. Captivated by Annie Clark’s (what her Mum calls her) illuminating natural talent, her music effortlessly ducked and weaved between elements of blues and classical music to create an intricate web that perfectly balanced her sweet and spicy sides.
St. Vincent’s electrifying shimmies and rigid shakes bubbled with her overwhelming passion for performance until she let loose and valiantly jumped into her dedicated crowd, howling a punk-inspired new tune called Crocodile. All affected nerdy fan-boys were left blushing, some were close to fainting…OK only partially true, but Clark left a permanent impression and continued to sizzle by covering a classic Mark Stewart track.
After a small break, St. Vincent returned for an encore to a thunderous applause. Clark reluctantly rejected audience requests but rewarded the crowd with an intimate performance of The Party, the pinnacle of Clark’s entire performance. Her velvety voice & romantic tales hypnotised us into heaven and illustrated a clear creative and fundamental distinction to her contemporaries.
St. Vincent’s superior talents of performing and producing a purely unique combination of musical influences will always crown her a class act. You can keep your Del Reys, I prefer the artists who are here to stay.