Sunday, 23 April 2023
Monday, 10 April 2023
One blog post, three contrasting nights out in the fair city of Bristol.
And then it was headliner time. Weyes Blood came out onto the stage with Natalie Mering looking positively angelic in a long white dress. The first song was the aforementioned It's Not Just Me, It's Everybody which seems, like much of her And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow album, to be about the pandemic or more precisely the post-pandemic experience. When Natalie sings, in her beautiful voice, we can all relate to the mixed-up emotions in this song: "Living in the wake of overwhelming changes / We've all become strangers / Even to ourselves"
Alongside all this high-falutin' musical loveliness, Natalie Mering was also frank and funny in her repartee with the audience. Like most artists I've seen since the winding down of the pandemic, she talked about her happiness to be back out performing again and wittily acknowledged that she knows she talks in a goofy manner on stage and then plays melancholic, strange songs. Of course, that's fine with us. I've described her style as "Karen Carpenter singing a David Lynch movie" and I'll stand by that. After more fantastic songs massaged our ears - The Worst Is Done ( more pandemic comedown blues ), the almost-mainstream pop of Grapevine, and the crowd-pleasing Andromeda, Mering finished the set with the haunting Hearts Aglow... with her heart literally aglow:
From there on, the boys were off and running with a hugely welcome airing for the evergreen Juanita, which I'd been subjecting Sarah to on the drive down the M5. This was actually Juanita 2022, a slightly tweaked version of the original which had recently been released as two separate mixes, showing Underworld never rest on their laurels. In fact, nobody could rest that night as they pumped out one dancefloor banger after another. A monumental Mmm... Skyscraper, I Love You was followed by another new track, Denver Luna, a four-to-the-floor, ravetastic future classic, which had everyone bouncing.