Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Angie Hart at The Troubadour

On Saturday night, we headed into the Valley to catch Angie Hart playing at The Troubadour.

As was mentioned previously, seeing someone perform at The Troubadour is very much like having a band play in your living room. There are plenty of couches and soft cube seats available if you're there early enough. The decor inside is very retro - I think I even recognise one of the prints on the wall as a picture from my parents house. There are a lot of lamp shades and a cozy orange glow about the place!

First up tonight was Edward Guglielmino. (And here I am complaining about how often my surname gets mispronounced! For the record, and in case I forget, it's Goog-lee-el-Me-no with emphasis on the caps). He played acoustic guitar and was supported by one of the guys from behind the bar (Tim, I think his name was) on electric guitar, ukulele, and backing vocals. Edward's voice and delivery reminded me a bit of Jens Lekman, and Kate thought there was a bit of Jeff Buckley in there as well. He sang and played very sincerely, and as a result, we were captivated by his set. Unfortunately, the (somewhat appropriately named) "Very Tacky" EP he had on sale at the gig doesn't do him justice. Hopefully another recording will be forthcoming.

Next up was Emma Dean, who I understand is another local. For some reason, the name sounded very familiar but I still can't put my finger on why that is. She played piano (and violin for one song) and was supported by a guitarist (whose name escapes me now). For a long time at the start of her set, I couldn't get past the fact that her voice sounded very much like Missy Higgins. The style of music was more along the lines of Sarah Blasko, but I had trouble getting into it until the last two songs of the set. I can't exactly remember anymore now what made them stand out for me, but I do remember that I liked them the most.

Angie Hart was the third and final act for the evening. Back in the day, I never got past Frente's popular songs and into the rest of their material, so I'm not really sure how Angie Hart's solo work compares to it. I imagine the solo work is quite a bit darker, as was my impression of the album when I picked it up a couple of months ago. As a guide, I find at times that it's reminiscent of Sally Seltman (aka New Buffalo) or Tylea.

Tonight, she was backed by two other musicians; one on electric guitar (and who looked a lot like Nick Cave!) and the other who switched between guitars and keyboard. During the set, she came across very confidently, seemingly being sure of every word that came out of her mouth, both when singing and talking between songs. I thought she looked a little awkward not having an instrument to lean on as she sang, but that probably added to the confident appearance. Her set consisted of what I believe to be songs mostly from her recent album, Grounded Bird. Unfortunately I don't know the album well enough to list many memorable songs, however, one absolute standout was the beautifully sung Kiwi. She finished off the night with Bizarre Love Triangle, which I'm sure made the night for the Frente fans in the audience.

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