6/22/03 - Dublin, Ireland, Whelans

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6/22/03 - Dublin, Ireland, Whelans

Post  Cokelike on Sun 1 Jul - 7:34

6/22/03 - Dublin, Ireland, Whelans

Incomplete setlist:

Good Woman
Satisfaction
Try Me - These Arms Of Mine - I've Been Loving You Too Long - Fuck The Pain Away Medley


This was the 77th performance of the tour. This was a solo gig, though it seems the band was supposed to be at this show.
Entrance opened.

Concert Review

Sometimes a lover of independent music will wonder if their passions are worth the effort and this performance by Athens, Georgia native Chan Marshall (alias Cat Power) was a case in point. Her star has been rising thanks to 2000's 'The Covers Record' and critical acclaim for the recent release 'You Are Free'. Bolstered by a history of colourful live shows, Whelan's was stuffed to capacity by an expectant audience, hoping to witness a legendary show for themselves.

Things got under way promisingly enough, the entire audience being cajoled into sitting on the floor to view the spectacle. Complaining of a bump to the head suffered at an earlier London gig and looking decidedly dishevelled, Marshall subjected us to endless sound-checking, meandering anecdotes about her apartment and divulged that her phone is tapped by the CIA back home.

The music, when she got round to it, was a haphazard rendition of numbers like "Good Woman" from her current album and some completely new songs, all punctuated by stop/start guitar playing and further streams of consciousness. Some songs were improvised at the piano, while one could not help but speculate that others were being made up as she went along. A heckler was encouraged to leave the venue with a full refund, and I wondered if there would have been more takers had the offer been made unilaterally.

Thankfully the latter half of the show was a more controlled affair, with the biggest cheer of the night coming for a deconstruction of the Rolling Stones "Satisfaction". Support act Guy Blakesly was summoned to stage to relieve Marshall of her guitar duties, while she treated us to an impromptu walkabout on the dance floor before collapsing on her back whilst still in full tune. Eventually the microphone was grabbed from her hands by an official, who announced that the show was over. "I should have just bought the album" was a popular refrain from a startled but strangely entertained crowd.

Eigthy five minutes, seven songs, mumblings and ramblings galore. The live reputation remains intact then, and the Cat Power legend lives on.

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Concert Reviews

The night was special and memorable, definitely, but it was one of the most tedious, and in many places boring, concerts I've ever witnesssed. I too thought of Patti Smith and her flowing stream of consciousness, but whereas Patti's seemed to be more coherent and interesting, Ms Power's were just dull and meandering, and often inaubible... She is capable of giving a great show and performing her songs coherently, which, I think, is what most people came to see. Hence the huge disappointment / annoyance my much of the audience at the fact that she only manged about 6 songs, none of which were completed without some sort of messsing with the microphone, the guitar level, tuning, asking for more reverb, etc... Then again, in 20 years time people will probably be saying in awe, "wow, you saw Cat Power in Whelans in 03!

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It was a weird night alright. I don't think she shoulda done the gig if she has that head injury tho - hence telling us about the dried blood in her hair and not having bathed in 6 days! She seemed a bit fragile up there and a few dickheads in the audience seemed intent of pissing her off. I think she needs some time off. Having said that when she played songs she was totally there. I was up in the balcony so couldn't see much and I had to leave to catch a bus but that that stage she'd been on an hour and managed 5 songs...did she play/ramble for much longer? (she'd dead cute too!)

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Concert Review

For some time I have been encouraging everyone to go see Cat Power who ‘played’ last night at Whelans in Dublin. If you took my advice I’m sorry. I’m very, very sorry. Please accept my most grovelling abject apology for I was so wrong. What went wrong? Well it started well enough, she came out and told the audience a very long story about hitting her head and going to casuality in London, sang a song and then started into Good Woman from You Are Freeand it started. She kept stopping and starting, with endless back and forth with the sound desk. Eventually she finished the song – it has to be said that when she sang she sounded great, but…

That was the last song she sang. For the rest of the time she sat there telling increasingly incoherent stories about her New York friends, whining about touring, flying, people expecting her to sing after paying to see her in concert. At one point she started singing her story, which wasn’t bad. Quite early on she told people they’d one minute to get their money back and then fast counted that minute, in fact she banged on about money most of the evening. Several times she accused people in the audience of ‘saying mean things’ about her and then conducted mini witch-hunts about who said that and what did they say – she’d make a great evil schoolteacher. The audience was so patient, in planty of places around Dublin they’d have smashed the place up faced with that kind of carry on.

Eventually I left after 90 minutes of this, life’s too short to put with that. Maybe she was brilliant after that but I doubt it as she was getting increasingly belligerent and self righteous. She has done this before and I’ve read various attempts to understand why she does it but after seeing it in person in hindsight it’s obvious that she never intended to play, she was the rockstar we were just the schmucks who paid to see her sing. Last night she kept saying ‘I don’t give a shit’ and she really didn’t.
Basically she was an arrogant spoilt brat intent on giving Dublin the finger last night. Whatever you do don’t go see her in concert, you will be dissappointed. If she doesn’t like touring she should stay at home, that would be the honest thing to do but I guess they don’t pay you to do that, do they?

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Matador Forum Member Review

I had dreamt of a physical sighting of Ms. Marshall for years, and was sure that I would be at the front of the stage salivating untidily at the beauty on view. Sadly, this would not be the case. The simple truth is that Cat was so out of her head that she could barely string together a coherent sentence, nevermind a song. What we got musically was a few new songs, some numbers off "you are Full" and selected tunes from "covers". Half of these songs , it seemed, could not be performed without Chan complaining about the reverb, lighting or vocal. The performance smacked of unprofessionalism, and many of the punters must have wondered if their 16.50 Euro was money well spent. Despite the shambolic feel to the evening, and some moronic heckling when Chan was in mid-anecdote, I rather enjoyed this oddity of a performance. The stage arrangement (piano, guitar only) dictated that the evening would be a bare and hushed affair, with the only percussion coming when Cat's alligator boots tapped on the stage floor. The music, when it did happen, was spellbinding, one song often rolling into another. Highlight for me was "Satisfaction", before support act Guy Blakesly was summonsed to stage allowing Cat to join her obedient fans sitting on thier arses (as was demanded of the whole audience) in front of stage for a messy last number. The performance came to an untimely end when some figure of authority grabbed the mic and announced the show was over. But there was still some energy left in Chan, getting the aftershow disco started herself to a booming Radiohead soundtrack. It was sad to see a large number of male admirers trying to grope a clearly incapacitated Cat on the dancefloor, although her admission half an hour earlier that "I'll fuck anything that moves" did little to discourage horny indie boys and girls. Troubled by the sights on view, I sought comfort in a final pint of over-priced beer, only for Chan to reappear at the bar, kissing anyone in her line of vision. I innocently asked her to autograph my ticket, but instead she bogged into my girlfriend three feet away. Foiled again! So a bloody shambles then, but one which will live long in the memory. Make no mistake - this was shit, but good shit. But not half as good as the shit that Chan was taking. Miss Marshall, I salute you. The legend continues.

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More Matador Forum Member Reviews

Ok, so I've been looking forward to this gig for what seems like a lifetime and from what I've been reading lately I feel like I am prepared for an unpredictable performance but anyway I get to the venue in time to catch the end of the support act and I am stuck somewhere between the middle and the back of the venue because I don't wanna force my way to the front. She comes onstage and the first thing she does is to ask everyone to sit down on the floor starting from the front row, the crowd does this until it gets to the row in front of me, so I now have a full unobstructed view - nice one. She then proceeds to talk for a while then plays a song then rambles on for a few minutes then starts the next song, it seems like she is making up the words as she is going, that song finishes then she starts to play good woman, stops, starts again, stops 30 seconds in, stops, starts again and plays it the whole way through. Then she rambles on some more for what seems like a half an hour, she starts the next jam, basically just messing around at the piano, she asks a heckler to repeat what he said then offers anyone who wants to leave now the chance to get a refund. She then plays another half a jam then shouts really loud for the support act guy Blakesley, he jumps onstage takes the guitar, then Chan takes the microphone into the crowd, sits down and sings another jam until someone comes over takes the microphone and says "thank you ladies and gentlemen the show is now over". The crowd then gives her a big cheer, she then dances to the cd being played which is Radiohead followed by the New York Dolls, some guys in the crowd decide to take advantage of the situation hugging her and kissing her on the lips, eventually one of her crew persuades her to leave. So for my money I got to hear 1 song off you are free, 2 unknown songs + 3 half hearted jams, in between 1 hour of random stories and rambling. It was like watching a car crash in slow motion.

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I was there last night it was awful. She was also really paranoid and kept accusing people of saying 'mean things' about her and conducting mini witch-hunts to find out who said that and what they said. It like being back in school!

It was obvious though that she never intended to play from the start she just couldnt of been arsed. The overall impression I got wasnt of a sensitive soul who was struggling but rather of a spoilt brat who always gets her own way and couldn't give a shit about her audience. Me big rockstar, you the little people.

I've been a huge fan for years, I was really looking forward to the concert and it was so disappointing. My advice if you like Cat Power, whatever you do, don't go see her live!

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Yep. Pretty shoddy all around... I was expecting a lot (especially after the interminable sound check), but she was too shambolic and only sang consistently for half a song. The crowd was willing her on, even after she was trying to unmask the hecklers. It was interesting, but not from a musical perspective...

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I was also there last night and pretty disappointed. We left after she threw a tantrum because the audience wouldn't raise their hands to show support for a singalong. (and judging by the original post, I didn't miss anything.)

I thought she was quite sweet and obviously having a nervous breakdown of sorts fuelled by painkillers (i assumed because she said she had cut her head open badly a couple nights earlier) and alcohol. We decided not to leave and get the refund she offered because we hoped we'd get something more (her song snippets were lovely). We really should have.

My sympathy was obviously misguided - I've read a couple other reviews of gigs and it seems this sort of performance pretty regular. What a pity.

Don't waste your money on the gig and rather buy the CD is all I can say...

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I too was there last night sitting on the sticky wet ground. Having seen her before in Sydney (December 99- playing along to an old b/w joan of arc movie), where she didnt mutter a word to the crowd and was absolutely brilliant, it was devastating to see the performance in whelans last night. I didnt even stay to the end. I have read the other posts of other concerts around Europe and what i cannot understand is people saying stuff like 'she can play what she likes, she doesnt have to act in any particular way'. She didnt try at all! not even once. She should have been heckled more, I think her mate the soundlady had alot to answer for as well. Bad live performances are acceptable but not in this case when I know damn well (and have seen) that she can certainly do it. A shocker.

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*long sigh* Yeah, it was pretty damn strange. I was right at the front and for a while I thought "Damn, these people heckling her are so fucking rude!" but as the night went on my sympathies for her decreased more and more. I appreciate that she was tired or concussed or whatever (drunk?! never!) but she shouldn't have stayed on for so long just rambling by herself - I thought the last song she did with Entrance was really good, but it was too little too late really.

I disagree that she acted like a spoilt brat though - watching her on her knees as they pulled the plug she just struck me as an unhappy, insecure character who finds playing live alot harder than any of us might think. For the record, I was one of the guys "taking advantage" of her dancing routines - I couldn't just stand there with everyone looking at her like a deranged circus animal, plus I love the New York Dolls. I should point out now that it was her that kissed me - she's a pretty woman but I'm one of the "honest fags" she started muttering about at one stage, so I guess the effect was lost on me... All in all, a very interesting night. I hold no animosity towards her lack of performance, I just hope she's in better shape for the audience in Cork tonight.

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I thought she was amazing. I think she made the night feel like a real event, with asking people to sit down and lowering the lights, rather then just bashing through the hits in another shitty venue.

It really pisses me off that people go to shows and if the artist dares deviates from playing "the hits" everyone is suddenly being a smart ass and a demanding their money back.... nobody thinks for a minute "wow I'm seeing someone, who's music I like enough that I paid to come here to see her, talk us through her life, tell us why certain songs were written and actually act like a human being!" Would you rather see Six? I hear they do the exact same dance routine everytime so no one ever feels cheated.

Seriously kids you want to see the hits, go see David Gray, I hear he only has a orange juice before he goes on stage and always makes sure to get to bed early so he can be all cheery and fresh faced for the next crowd. And he *always* plays Babylon.

Hurrah for Cat Power!! She rocked.

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After a long and very difficult bus journey (as I was very hungover) we got to Whelans, and we ended up in the pub part waiting for them to open the double doors not realising that you had to go round the side. It was my first time in whelans! And the first time for me to see Chan/Cat Power. I missed a lot of guy Blakesly's set. He sounded good from what I heard. Very interesting style with subtlety and intensity at varying times and peaks. Emotional too! I like. What I didnt like was the bad mouthing. I know everyone has there own opinion an were all individual etc. she was smashed, and its not easy to play live! I thought it was a very interesting set, telling stories of experiences and of people she knew, breaking the ice with a whole group of people at once. I admit I was dissappointed that she didnt play any of her "hits" but I thought what she did was amazing and took a lot of guts (and drinks!) to pull off. what pissed me of was when she talked about going to London seeing an "upperclass" sign and hating seeing it more or less, then she asked "any of you guys here upperclass?" one of my friends screamed "HELL NO" but then I heard about 6 people replying "yes" "yea im upperclass". sad sad sad gits. Oh yea one of my friends snogged her at the bar!

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Even More Matador Forum Member Reviews

I just want to say that I didn't really come away from the gig disappointed so much as I did just worried for her. She was clearly wasted/stoned or whatever and from the tales of the other gigs I've heard this is common enough. She was struggling to keep herself interested I felt, and was rambling more than playing, which I didn't expect at all having heard that she was painfully shy on stage usually.

However, I just wondered where the band were? There was a band with her on this tour. I know she missed her flight and was late so were the band unable to get a flight or did she have a bust-up with them?

In a strange way though I did enjoy this gig. When she sang, good God, she sounded even better than I could have hoped for and when Guy Blakesely got up and played the last song with her allowing her to concentrate on using that magnificent voice of hers I felt privileged to be in her presence.

Basically what I'm saying is that you can't expect an artist who writes such harrowing songs as she does to show up and put on a fake smile and pretend everythings ok when it's not. Bob Dylan did plenty of shows where he completely murdered his songs but nobody minds that because he's Bob Dylan.

I just hope that Chan doesn't become one of those alcoholic/drug addicted burnouts littered along rocks highways, she's far too good for that.

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Dont know why the band didn't go to Ireland but it was definately planned as they said it was the last gig with the band in London.

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"Ready to get depressed?" - Chan, 11/16/13

Cokelike

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Comment From Chan

Post  Cokelike on Sat 18 Aug - 4:39


Comment From Chan from Independent Interview:

She was still in the depths of grief when she came to Dublin for what would become an infamous concert at Whelan's in 2003. Slurring, glassy eyed and confrontational, she wobbled on a stool and traded jibes with the room, occasionally meandering her way through a tune. She was clearly rancidly drunk -- but also, you suspected, dreadfully messed up.

Nobody jeered or demanded their money back. They were too creeped out by what they had witnessed.

"That show, I was just wasted," she says. "It was my mistake. I'm so lucky someone was there helping me.

"Whoever they were. I was pretty much exhausted and in a lot of pain. On that tour, I was broken. I wanted to die. I drank a lot. I thought if I could stay fucked up enough I wouldn't think about how much in pain I was in."

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"Ready to get depressed?" - Chan, 11/16/13

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Re: 6/22/03 - Dublin, Ireland, Whelans

Post  Cokelike on Fri 9 Aug - 18:31

Comments:
http://itchybollix.blogspot.com/2013/08/cat-power-whelans-dublin-sometime.html

My friend Mozart asked me did I want to go to a gig in town with him. We work well off each other. We like good stuff. "Who is it it?" "Cat Power; she's great"

The other good thing about Mozart is that he doesn't like to be rushed. I fucking hate that. So when Cat Power came on stage at about 10 we were both very comfortable.

She looked trolleyed. Good start.

She plucked her guitar, tried a few notes and stopped. And sat down. Then she told everyone in the audience to sit down on the floor too. So everyone standing in front of her sat down and then she said "you're all a pack of fucking cunts" and staggered off the stage. And that was it.

I bought all her records.

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Re: 6/22/03 - Dublin, Ireland, Whelans

Post  Cokelike on Sat 19 Oct - 6:03

Review:
http://www.thedoublenegative.co.uk/2012/09/playlist-22-cat-power-and-me/

In recent years much has been made of Chan Marshall’s fragile mind. Past alcohol and substance dependencies seem to form the back bone of any interview or article penned about Ms Marshall. There’s no escaping it. On 22 June 2003, in a small, sweaty Dublin venue named Whelans, I witnessed why these traits would become such a dominating factor in years to come. Matador Records own message board still contains a post from a gig-goer that night which pretty much sums up my own experience of what was a painful yet mesmerising experience to be part of.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit perplexed by what I’d just seen. Never the less, hidden amongst the chaos and heartbreak on show was that spine-chilling beauty that flowed through the albums I so loved. In short sharp bursts we got the Cat Power experience, with tears flowing in happiness and sorrow. To this day it is the most memorable gig I’ve ever been privy to. Whether that’s a good thing I still don’t know.

Despite the small venue, Cat Power wasn’t quite the underground secret I’d been following for years. 6th album You Are Free had been released earlier that year to massive critical acclaim. Once more Cat Power had used her voice as a stunning centre piece, but at the same time her music had become more accessible with everybody from hipsters to rock kids being taken in by its purity.

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