In this hour long interview/feature David Randall chats to Eleanor McEvoy about her career. Part of The GRTR! Archive series and recorded in June 2008. (57:23)
Eleanor McEvoy wowed an attentive audience on her continuing Naked Music tour – not just promoting her album, but this time around her collaborative song book featuring artwork by the recently deceased, and revered, British artist Chris Gollum.
His sudden and unexpected death last month put the tour in jeopardy, but Eleanor felt – in conversation with his family – that paying her respects by dedicating the tour is his memory was the right thing to do.
She may still be promoting Naked Music (2016), but in truth Eleanor McEvoy has been performing ‘naked’ – accompanied by just her guitars, keyboard, fiddle, bodhrán, box of matches, or simply acapella – since 2004.
And since parting company with Brian Connor following the Early Hours tour, Alexander’s has become a routine stopping off point on her frequent UK solo touring schedules.
With three of her four releases since the turn of the decade focusing mainly on older material – Alone (2011) and Naked Music’s excellent pared-to-the-bones reworkings, and Stuff’s (2014) eclectic collection of collaborations, single remixes and B-sides, her set list over recent years has seldom strayed far from those, and If You Leave’s (2013) track listings.
Tonight she held a packed audience spellbound – you could hear a pin drop, and she is developing into something of a skilled raconteur as well as a singer-songwriter, captivating her audience as much with her music as with her entertaining inter-song banter. Give her a slightly sharpened script and she could give a good number of stand-up comics a run for their money.
Her set list followed the usual pattern of upbeat fun – ‘I Wanna Look Like Me’, ‘Non Smoking Single Female’, the poignant – ‘Harbour’, ‘The Thought Of You’, the serious – ‘Deliver Me’, ‘Sophie’, the always stunning ‘Eve of Destruction’ (on this tour levelled squarely at Donald Trump), inspired covers – tonight including an unexpected and exceptional version of the Pointer Sisters 1981 hit ‘Slow Hand’, and of course her signature piece ‘Only A Woman’s Heart’ – 25 years old this year.
As ever, it was a warm and engaging set that simply flew by and drew rapturous applause at the conclusion. And, it goes almost without saying, an impeccable vocal performance. She never fails to please.
Set list: Look Like Me / The Thought Of You / Deliver Me / Gimme Some Wine / I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight / Harbour / Oft In The Stilly Night / The Way You Wear Your Troubles / Sophie / Slow Hand / Eve Of Destruction / Wrong So Wrong / violin-fiddle classical- traditional instrumental / A Woman’s Heart. Encores : The DJ / Cary
Review and photos by Pete Whalley
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