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Juliet Turner

Review of her gig in Vicar Street, April 2001

No sooner had Juliet Turner and her band strode on stage, nonchalantly and with little fanfare, she ventured to ask the crowd if there were any touts outside. The crowd confirmed her suspicions, which led her to proclaim that she had finally made it! Whether or not you have touts outside your gigs may be an indicator of how well you're doing but the true test is how you can win over the crowd.

Juliet TurnerJuliet Turner and her band immediately went right into the title track of her hit album 'Burn The Black Suit'. A lot of music these days blends different types of music together but Ms. Turner's blend of folk, country,jazz and rock, combined with her beautiful northern accented voice, is certainly unique. Curiously things seemed to go astray a little when the electric guitar was brought to the front. It made the 'mixture sound' like a lounge act crossed with an 80s rock band and Juliet's beautiful voice struggled to stay on top. However, this was probably the only time that the music lost the plot.

The annoying tendency of punters to chat during a gig was, alas, much in evidence around where I stood. However when it came to the final song of the main set - the moving ballad 'Belfast Central' - the entire crowd finally went silent and were amazed at the heartfelt story the lyrics told. She had certainly won the crowd over.

Juliet then came back on to play 'Sugar Town', introduced as her favorite song that she hasn't written. This included, at the end, a tongue-in-cheek substitution of 'Sugar Town' with 'Dublin Town' - a place where mobile phones don't exist and people don't smoke. I couldn't help but wonder why the encore finished with a second performance of 'Take The Money And Run' but when saxophonist Richie Buckley came in with a mesmerizing solo it certainly made a second playing worthwhile.

James Healy

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