Not Just A Lady & Her Piano
Vanessa Carlton stormed the intimate Lexington venue on Tuesday 3rd May and needed no introduction... it was her first UK show in thirteen years but the moment she played the opening riff from 'A Thousand Miles', we were immediately transported into the world of Ms. Carlton.
In thirteen years, Carlton has experimented with her sound tremendously. 'Liberman' boasts itself to be psychedelic cool with her live performance having multiple pre-recorded layers on it, whilst Carlton sings and plays the piano alongside a live violinist. Tracks like 'Operator', 'Nothing Where Something Used To Be', 'Unlock The Lock' transcribe especially well live considering the layered textures to their studio versions but as Vanessa said "we try and get the live versions to sound as similar to the studio versions".
The name 'Liberman' actually came from her Grandfather, and Carlton explained this tale of how her Grandfather had changed his surname and began a career in painting in his retirement. Some of his paintings hang in her lounge and she would often look at this one picture of half-naked women and it would transport her into what essentially became 'Liberman'. One of Carlton's strong points was her little tales about the track before the track, it really made the songs seem justified and grounded.
She performed every track from the record (bar 'Ascension') but in it's place she performed her favourites from 'Rabbits on the Run' - 'Hear The Bells', 'The Marching Line', 'Tall Tales For Spring' and personal favourite 'Carousel'. The tracks blended well with 'Liberman' and the only track that felt out of place was 'A Thousand Miles', but as she performed it first, it was over and done with in that moment.
The show was low key and intimate and it was a great setting for Carlton to come back to... having not performed in the country to a live audience for thirteen years (even though both 'Liberman' and 'Rabbits on the Run' were created in London), it was a welcome return for the singer-songwriter.