So in between sets I looked behind me and there is standing Anna Murphy kind of unassumingly checking out the room and opening act. Other people noticed of course, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass but definitely wanted to tell her (in some suave manner) how much I love her art (it is art after all). So after some trepidation and a flux of nervous energy I saw the opportunity and jumped in to say a few things… and boy I am glad none of my friends were around, I turned into a 13 year old fan girl faster than you can say my little pony… I had all these lofty things in my head that I thought I might say but… whew, I swerved past that in a nervous rout of sheer geeky fandom, to her credit I am sure she has witnessed plenty of men turn into jelly trying to get out all the feelings/emotions/thoughts as she has been touring for years and been on huge stages in front of massive adulating crowds, I said something in the neighborhood of loving her solo album (which I absolutely do) and how I didn’t need a selfie (gee.. cause I am just too cool for the room but I was probably drooling on myself by this point), I haven’t had that sort of nervous energy in some time… so I made a semi fool of myself, and that’s fine, it certainly was not the first time, and certainly will not be the last, she was absolutely gracious to me and everyone who wanted anything (autographs, photos etc etc)… she took it all in stride and was genuinely appreciative of the fans (this was a tuesday night after all… and 9/11 no doubt). So anyway I was literally vibrating after that for some time anxiously awaiting their set. Side note… In my mind’s eye I didn’t think Anna was that short, I don’t look up people’s vitals when viewing videos but man.. they are all a lot shorter than I pictured in my mind (like from the videos). Not that it matters but it is that much more impressive that someone of Anna’s stature has a 10 story voice, and Merlin? damn, he is a slamming force of nature (no fret Ivo, you rule too, and damn I forgot to google the bass player but I am not going to pretend for this piece that I did, but his bass reminded me of seeing Geddy Lee ages ago as I never saw a bass like that previously). Like I said in my previous post this club has such a strange (but awesome) setup where the band literally has to wade through the audience to get up to the stage. A quick word on the audience, for such a small crowd my fellow cellar darlings (see what I did there..) were a really good crowd, no assholes, really polite, and definitely into it.
So the band finally takes the stage… (they did a quick last minute sound check previously which I am so used to when I was following King’s X all over the east coast back in the late 90’s early 2000’s). I purposely (which is not usually like me) did not check the internet to see what the set list was (well.. I mean, they only have ONE album so… it was just a matter of song order I suppose)… but point being I wanted a total surprise, a total new experience, I really haven’t had the chance to go out to many shows the past few years as none of my friends listen to what I do and I am quite single (applications… ladies? … kidding, having some fun there), so… they opened with Black Moon which is a good choice as it is a pretty simple one to play and gives the sound engineer some leeway to adjust the levels, sure, it is one of their “singles” (is that even a thing anymore?) but it surely is a kick ass song to get the crowd going. A word on their sound engineer, she did a fantastic job (and “she” is important, my years of seeing literally thousands of shows I almost expect some dude working the soundboard, just one of those things, you usually do not see females at that job.. why ? I have no idea nor can I speak to that, but she absolutely crushed it, unfortunately I did not get a chance to tell her so – sound people rarely get the credit they deserve – so kudos to her wherever she is at this moment – after about halfway through song 2 the sound was close to perfect, sometimes the guitar popped up in the mix but overall, especially the hurdy gurdy was spot on). I won’t go through the whole set, I used to be one of those people who wrote down all these things… but I was there singing along to all the words (OK, except the song not in english “Hedonia” – before which Anna quipped “you won’t understand shit” lol, but then amended that because there were some people in the audience that apparently spoke Swiss), so I was banging my head old school, just enjoying the show. The band was fantastic, there was only a couple of mistakes in the entire show and I think I was the only one that noticed being the music nerd I am. Totally tight and in control, Anna.. man, her voice live ? wow… watch the clips, no tricks, no auto tune she just brings it… and as I said previously Merlin just SLAMS on the drums, what a thunder, Ivo and the bass player are friggin robots (in a good way, just exact and damn on time), they basically played the entire album, I liked the song mix (order) they picked, great ebb and flow, they decided not to do the usual “encore” bullshit and Anna just basically said they were going to just play the encore tunes… and they did.
I absolutely loved it all and was pleasantly surprised by “Six Days” which was much better live than on the album (heavier), they did the Queen cover “Prophet” as well but I would have preferred Twin Flames… but I am just a lowly fanboy, still on cloud 9, feeling like I am in my 20’s discovering some new thing that no one knows about. If anyone reads this, and cares about the future of music, go check out Cellar Darling… I don’t understand how people are not beating down the doors for them, they are not some crazy death metal act (ahem, which I love, crazy death metal that is…) but really accessible folk metal/rock with both amazing vocals and great playing overall (without being too prog imo).
Thank you Cellar Darling, for a great experience I will not forget.
Check out the vids on my youtube account…