Judie’s Woman Overboard tour has been ill-fated in a number of respects – firstly the album won’t now be available until the autumn, and secondly several dates had to be postponed as a result of her contracting a throat infection.
But every cloud has a silver lining and 2014 nevertheless looks to be a bumper year for fans with the tour and the release of two new pieces of work – Woman Overboard and Song Club – the latter a collection of 13 new songs previously available only on a monthly subscription download basis.
It’s ironic that while Kate Bush’s return to the stage has seen her badged a national treasure, Judie – who quietly continues to ply her trade – has yet to be fully appreciated for the ongoing quality of her work. Her vocal timbre may have weathered but that has added a poignant dimension to her delivery that was absent in her early years.
With support provided by local David Gray-style singer songwriter Jamie Lawson (‘Cold In Ohio’ was a highlight), and a short set by Bailey Tzuke supported by sister Tallula and Ben Mark on acoustic guitar (‘Bulletproof’ would give The Pierces a run for their money), a Judie Tzuke gig always has a warm ‘family outing’ feel to it.
The delay of the new album presumably influenced a set list which saw Judie cull material from no less than 13 albums while scratching only below the surface of her 1979 debut Welcome To The Cruise.
But there was nevertheless a subtle nautical theme running through the set which included the fragile acoustic ‘All At Sea’, a beautiful rendition of ‘Come Hell Or Waters High’, a broody ‘Woman Overboard’ which points the way for the forthcoming album, the excellent ‘Enjoy The Ride’ (from Morcheeba’s Dive Deep album and which will also feature on the new album), and the Steely Dan-ish ‘Living On The Coast’ – which it was nice to hear get an airing.
The latter would perhaps have benefited from a more stripped back delivery – one perhaps for the rumoured acoustic tour later in the year. And with just keyboards and supported on backing vocals by daughter Bailey it was the moving ‘If (When You Go)’ that was the highlight of show.
Such is the treasure trove of material she’s produced since forming her own Big Moon Records label in 2006 that no set list is going to satiate completely, but this was yet another very fine display by a woman who continues to shoot for the moon.
Set list: All At Sea (Songs), One Tree Less (One Tree Less), So Emotional (Song Club), Man And A Gun (Wonderland), Come Hell Or Waters High (I Am The Phoenix), The Other Side (One Tree Less), May You Never (The Beauty Of Hindsight), Woman Overboard (new), Enjoy The Ride (Morcheeba), Jerry Maguire (The End Of The Beginning), Tonight (Secret Agent), Living On The Coast (Sportscar), Bring The Rain (Welcome To The Cruise), Stay With Me Till Dawn (Welcome To The Cruise), If (When You Go) (Moon On A Mirrorball), For You (Welcome To The Cruise), Sukarita (Welcome To The Cruise).
Review by Pete Whalley
Photos by David Randall
Album review (Song Club)
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