THOSE desiring an earnest antidote to the pan-continental silliness of seeing a bearded Austrian drag queen sweep to victory at Eurovision this night could have done worse than watch Tori Amos, as the goddess of angsty 90s alt-rock promoted her back-to-basics 14th album Unrepentant Geraldines in Glasgow.
Tori Amos - O2 Academy, Glasgow
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Though, to be fair, the camp, throwaway hilarity of Eurovision could likewise be considered a tonic to this North Carolinian’s bruised, baroque-ish piano singer-songwriter stylings, at a show of such straight-faced worthiness it verged on ridiculous itself at times.
Dressed in emerald green dress and leggings and trademark big spectacles, flanked by a vast grand piano and a smaller electronic keyboard – the two of which she would sometimes play simultaneously – the flame-haired mezzo-soprano virtuoso commanded her solo spotlight like she was born to do it.
Her fans are of a sort in so deep that somebody in the room was live tweeting the set list, and they hung silently on every syllable of songs largely playing to their anorak-y urges, with new material and rarities featuring prominently.
Your Cloud and Crucify were highlights of the first third. As the words “The Lizard Lounge” were illuminated on the stage backdrop, it seemed things might move into a new gear, but save for an adrenalised cover of Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), it was more of the same hushed, pensive intensity.
Take To The Sky yielded some extra drama as Amos thwacked her piano’s body for rhythmic effect. Etienne, Twinkle and Selkie closed to a wild standing ovation. But might it not all have been more fun if she wore a beard?
Seen on 10.05.14