Ode to Chan
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

9/6/03 - Sydney, Australia, The Metro Theatre

Go down

9/6/03 - Sydney, Australia, The Metro Theatre Empty 9/6/03 - Sydney, Australia, The Metro Theatre

Post  Cokelike Wed 4 Jul - 10:15

9/6/03 - Sydney, Australia, The Metro Theatre

Incomplete setlist:

Come On In My Kitchen
Lord Help The Poor And Needy
Good Woman
Sad, Sad Song
I Dont Blame You
Maybe Not
Empty Shell
Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
Try Me - These Arms Of Mine - I've Been Loving You Too Long - Fuck The Pain Away Medley

After playing a handful of concerts in the states during July and August, Chan traveled to Australia to play an eleven date tour. This is the 2nd performance of the Australian tour and again she has her band with her.

Sydney Morning Herald Review

I'm still trying to figure out what I saw. And I am sure I won't be the only one still perplexed. Not just by the show but also by our reaction to it, for there's so much that doesn't make sense in either.

Even when things are fine with Chan Marshall (who trades under the name Cat Power and on this trip had a guitarist, drummer and violinist accompanying her), there's a real sense that you're receiving messages from the edges of sanity, and it's only a step or three away from collapsing - both the show and Marshall's fragile stage confidence.

A stop-start early section blossomed into intense gothic folk, Marshall intoning "don't hurt her" over a creeping violin or moaning softly in wordless but crystal-clear emotion. She had us completely.

But then a compelling funeral blues version of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction petered out as she fumbled a chord change and then declared: "I can't do that."

It was the beginning of the crumbling. First, the crowd grew restless, then annoyed and finally angry as Marshall scratched at her guitar, mumbled explanations or just whispered to the band members. The boos and catcalls from the audience only added to Marshall's apparent disorientation and at one point, after she had crouched behind the guitarist as he played a long figure, she crawled across the stage and hid behind her piano.

But here's another odd thing: despite the boos and catcalls this was an audience that was with her, that was willing her to go on. No one left. We knew she was fragile but kept hoping something would happen. And something did. Of a sort.

While the band played a circular refrain, Marshall pulled herself together and took the microphone into the audience, a circle forming around her as she sang, moaned, wailed and, well, babbled.

Most of us couldn't tell what she was doing, but guessed from the angle of the heads we could see that she was lying on the ground. Most of us couldn't tear ourselves away either: it had to end but how would she do it?

That it ended without explanation, without any real sense that she had left or even stopped, even when the lights came up, seemed appropriate. It was a disaster, a mess, a train wreck. But yet we stayed and we're taken somewhere. Where? I'm not sure I'll ever know.



Cat Power at the Metro. We were late, bad traffic all the way down Oxford Street. She was already mumbling stuff about being "straight for 12 days" with a bottle in her hand.

When we walked in Chan Marshall's just-above-a-whisper singing seemed to be casting its spell, but the feeling of an unruly crowd and an unruly night soon made that more of a strange hex than a beautiful progression.

Marshall toyed with the opening notes of "Crossbone Style" again and again before abandoning them. A tease, then something messier, as it emerged she was pretty much incapable of playing anything at all.

Her hand was always at her hair, like some drunk 17-year-old girl trying to flirt with you but embarrassing herself, like someone not knowing how to meet us face to face.

Chan Marshall is waving at the audience. Hiding behind her keyboards in a crouch, while her mighty violinist does her best to ennoble the show with something special after 40 minutes of incoherence and fey weirdness. But how that violinist tries, with the rest of the band, to raise up something from it all, turning on an instrumental jam as Marshall walks out into the audience and lies down on the floor, encouraging a magical scene like The Beatles singing "All You Need Is Love" on that old black-and-white film clip by satellite from somewhere still special, oh my God, a sit-in for the new century as she moans and mumbles and sings and improvises, snatches of Peaches' "Fuck the Pain Away" rising out of a sweeter space lost somewhere still inside her. Though I find it hard to believe she can get to this feeling or any feeling at all when she is this trashed. As if each word might not have a relationship to the next one. As if it might be mimicry, not magic (read the reviews of other shows and you will see they are the same in almost every way, chaos as vaudeville, the whole fucking thing).

All over the Metro arguments are happening, fights brewing. A few loud lads scream "pull your head in" and jeer, while some drunken women try to sing along. It's an abusive evening where some still try to listen.

Marshall leaves and the lights go on and half the crowd boos while others laugh amazed, or shake their heads at what will likely be known as "The Great Cat Power Disaster of 2003." Rumor has it that Marshall has been on a bender all over town. That she was thrown out of the Courthouse Hotel the night before, no mean feat in Sydney's seedy-land if it's true. You know how people talk.

While the house lights burn she comes jigging back on stage, finally ready, it seems, to perform. Pounding away at the drums, your incompetent annoying kid sister. After a whole night of saying in every gesture "I'm not sure if I want to be here" and "I don't know if this is me," Chan Marshall, who hides her face in her hair and acts so mysterious and broken, suddenly sees a departing audience and starts saying look at me. Look at me. Please keep looking at me.


Fan review

Sydney The Basement (Sold Out). This was by far the most difficult venue to obtain tickets. It was by far the smallest and most personal venue. Around 200 capacity. Dinner was served to about 100 reserved tables. I was only able to gain entry by pure destiny, as the show was sold out for weeks in advance. I obtained tickets through a gentleman that listed them on EBay (so unbelievable!). It was a solo show.

Chan was spouting a flimsy white dress with jeans under. When she came out initially, she started interacting with us (audience) and had no predetermined list of material to perform (shocking a). After a few minutes I said "In my Kitchen" and to my suprise she not only performed it but did so completely "on" (if you have seen a show you probably know what I mean by on) untli the first chorus and then explained that the song got really loud after that and didn't want to do the rest (Cool). I had the waitress give her a double jack Daniels. She said 'I wasn't going to drink tonight... Anti Depresents and Alcohol...(good shit intended meaning). She seemed to like the jack though later I learned she prefers high grade Scotch. A bit later she asked "how do you like my new dress" (whistles). A man said "it would look better without the jeans" (I don't know this man but I saw him in the mirror yesterday) a woman said "he's a regular asshole" the man said "its a dress man". Chan smiled, as to suggest he's alright thanks for the compliment. (Sorry to do all this crowd interaction stuff but it really was the most poigniant aspect of many of the shows). It was as if these were pieces of montage art with the audience as medium.

There were a myriad of extended discussions about certain pieces of work. Chan was extremely interested in learning more about the people in the audience. Carrying on full scale "private" discussions with many of them. I was struck by the shear volume of Piano pieces, heretofor unbeknown to me (I had yet to here "you are free" with any focus). About half of the songs started were finished, but every single stitch of work was straight from the muse. When the muse left the work abruptly stopped. Chan did not appologize (I only mention this because she often does for no apparent reason).

Chan interjected on more than one occassion that the promoters did not like all the audience interaction stuff and called her unprofessional. She specifically said "fuck that shit" and pushed the concept of 'this is who we are we care about each other deal with it" ("" my interpretation). This audience was very receptive to this. As if they had come to "feel" Chan and were interested in the work only in so far as it presented a feeling of understanding and comprehension of who/what this is. Rather than being about a bunch of songs. This show was about a bunch of moments & interactions (that I truely treasure), some of which related to songs. It was truely one of the most unique and beautiful things I have witnessed.

The club was divided into 3 separate areas with unique offerings. One was a lounge which many of the musicians hung out after the show with the audience. We all drank A LOT. If there are any specific questions regarding this or the others shows I can answer them. This is what I took away and strikes me as significant.

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

Messages : 3481
Thanks : 17
Date d'inscription : 2012-02-14

Back to top Go down

Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum