Gig review: Throwing Muses

This latest return of beloved lone wolves Throwing Muses was a family affair, with Tanya Donelly, founding member and half-sister of frontwoman Kristin Hersh, joining the group for the second half of their set and playing an opening support slot with reworked songs from her breakaway band Belly and her solo career.

Thowing Muses lead singer Tanya Donnelly. Picture: Creative Commons
Thowing Muses lead singer Tanya Donnelly. Picture: Creative Commons

Throwing Muses


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Time has coated her arrangements in a rootsy, country twang, and her voice sounded cracked and fragile in its higher register, but there was a lot of goodwill in the room as she dispatched Dusted with more of a rockabilly rumble, preserved the angular chiming guitar of Slow Dog and turned briefly feral and dramatic on Low Red Moon.

Throwing Muses made a righteous racket from the off, throwing out a still exotic mix of rolling basslines, clamorous drums, serrated guitar and Kristin Hersh singing with a mix of fire and bile in her belly, her almost demonic delivery providing a stark contrast to her demure appearance.

After this flying, fierce start, Donelly reunited with Hersh, bassist Bernard Georges and drummer David Narcizo for a more moderate stretch of the set, characterised more by simmering blues than boiling rage.

The encore, including the relatively catchy, practically singalong Bright Yellow Gun, was looser – some might even have called it fun.

But, as a piece, this show reaffirmed that Throwing Muses have always ploughed their own furrow and that they continue to dig deep into their middle age.
Seen on 17.09.14