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Shannon Wright
Last Post 13 Oct 2009 01:37 PM by jan. 3 Replies.
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aidanUser is Offline
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Aidan Curran

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13 Oct 2009 03:18 AM
    Last night I was at a concert by a US singer-songer called Shannon Wright www.myspace.com/shannonwright. I reckon she has a low profile in Ireland but a sizeable cult following here in 'ooh-la-la'-land. I hadn't heard much from her: friends of mine rave about her so out of curiosity I went along.

    Her songs are dark folk-rock with a hint of blues, where the tunes are quite subtle and must be caught attentively. She sings loud and deep and clear, with lots of emotion but never showboating. She plays an electric guitar that's also loud and violent and cracking with distortion. She was like a mix of Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Neil Young. Yann Tiersen came on to add some very basic violin swoops to a couple of songs. (Before that, he had been standing in front of me most of the night: like most famous musicians, he's quite short.)

    I'm still not sure if I liked the concert or not, but it has affected me somehow: it was quite an intense experience. It felt like watching a couple arguing. I can't straighten my thoughts and impressions into review shape for the moment...

    However, the very last song, she got a bit self-indulgent with the wailing and emoting and guitar-thrashing: to say goodbye she made a kind of heart gesture with her hands that felt trite in a Dr Phil 'you complete me' way. She almost blew the whole concert with that one moment.

    Anyone else here know her or seen her in concert? Here she is live with a song called 'Portray':

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    Jan Ní Fhlanagáin

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    13 Oct 2009 06:48 AM
    I see what you mean about the whole 'couple arguing in a restaurant', thing! There's no sense of inviting you to share in the pain/joy/a.n. other emotion of the song....performances like that can be unwittingly isolating.
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    Aidan Curran

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    13 Oct 2009 12:30 PM
    Posted By jan on 13 Oct 2009 08:48 AM
    I see what you mean about the whole 'couple arguing in a restaurant', thing! There's no sense of inviting you to share in the pain/joy/a.n. other emotion of the song....performances like that can be unwittingly isolating.


    That sounds right to me - there was no engagement with the audience. It was all expression and no communication, no room for the listener to have any emotional response other than being overwhelmed/bludgeoned by her forceful delivery. I'm starting to feel a little cheated by her.

    By contrast, on the radio this evening I heard 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' for the first time in ages and I was struck by the contrast with Shannon Wright in how it drew me in emotionally. You buy into the optimism of the first verses - but suddenly it's completely undermined by the slightly-despairing middle section ("Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true/ Run-run-we-oooh") and then you realise that the world is a cruel and difficult place for sensitive and guileless people like Brian Wilson. (As if anyone needs me to tell them how complex and human this magnificent song is.)
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    Jan Ní Fhlanagáin

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    13 Oct 2009 01:37 PM
    Posted By aidan on 13 Oct 2009 02:30 PM

    and then you realise that the world is a cruel and difficult place for sensitive and guileless people like Brian Wilson.


    and the sensitive and guileless parts of ourselves...
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