Sunday, 1 July 2012

Terri Clark @ Glee in Birmingham UK Gig Review

Terri Clark @ the Glee Club in Brum
Gig 32 - 26 June 2012

An interesting gig to choose here, I'd fancied coming along to see Terri Clark when I was browsing the listings of the Glee Club and saw her photo on her Roots & Wings album, which looked like Temperance Brennan from Bones in a white cowboy hat. This was followed by the slightest of elements of research (looking up a video, getting Dirty Girl and thinking this sounds pretty good and lodging the concert in the mind).

A few weeks later and England had just come through a thrilling match with Sweden, victoriously, I had come through with my mate numerous pints of San Miguel victoriously and we had debated the pluses and minuses of Woy's england team completely. We got onto music, I said that Terri was playing at the Glee club in a weeks time, then that evening the tickets were booked.

Around rolled tuesday, a full on day at work and I hadn't given much thought to the gig, met my mate and we descended to the Chinese quarter. A leisurely tea watching the world go by in the sunshine having a ploughmans. Lovely bar maid from Spain seemed very disappointed to receive the feedback that the Cheese wasn't the greatest (crumbly white) in a Ploughman's lunch, but both of us had to say the Cajun Chips were first class.

Into the Glee club, a venue I have waxed lyrical about in the past, and seated waiting for the gig. It was then, via smart phone that we did our research. We found out the support (Dan Whitehouse) that Terri had been out jogging the canals in Birmingham, had received a number of hit singles in Canada, had had quite a number of albums, and duh duh duh....was older than both of us (just in my mates case, comfortably for me). This would be interesting to reconcile.

At quarter to we had the gravelly voiced announcer running through the rules and reg's, he always brings to mind the jazz bloke from the fast show.....'NICE' and on came Dan Whitehouse. Interesting chap, incredibly softly spoken and played for the first few songs, and then got a bit more into the banter with the crowd, confidence grew he complemented us on being obviously good music followers as we had sought out Terri and warmed us up nicely by getting us to sing along to one of the tunes. A shameless plug or two about the bargain of album plus 3 ep's for £15 (to own his whole back catalogue). He also had cracking lyrics to listen to and had a few heckles from people who had followed him from Manchester. Overall a bit softly softly and breathy for my liking but good tunes and engaging with the audience.

A refill of drinks and we were waiting for the main event, the lights dimmed, then really dimmed, then really really dimmed, spot light on the stage, 2 guitars and a table and on walked Terri Clark. Dressed as above in the black and white photo above, definitely American, incredibly warm and decidedly one of the most pleasing on the eye singers I have seen for a while. First song rattled through, no pause before the next, straight into it and the only notice that it was a new song was the 'thank you' which cued applause from the audience. After the second tune, there was more banter between songs, we heard about the joys of getting around the UK by train (with only a tour manager for support), going for a jog around the Birmingham Canal's (I could see students so I thought I wouldn't get mugged), the ruining it all by having a Blue Cheese Burger (the lady enjoys her food and doesn't want to, or need to be a waif), the challenging issues and emotional types of relationship she has, and the poignant retelling of her Mom losing her life to cancer a couple of years ago inspiring a song or two.

She was clearly a little put off by the all seater audience at the Glee Club, I can imagine that her shows can get pretty raucous with a whooping and a hollering, which is difficult in an all seater comedy venue.

Then half way through and on came the white cowboy hat, sounds like its got a bit of a cult following, but in place looked the part. We also got a life story, the idolising of country music singers making her an outsider at school, in Canada and her Mom taking her to Nashville, the working in bars, the singers she emulated, the singing for tips all brilliant stuff, and mainly in the telling, you had to be there, each tale would have an instrumental backing track keeping it pacing along, lots of self deprecation in there, bursting into Adele's 'There's a fire' and the comment of what an export she is. All of this was done with a big beaming smile, we were all having fun.

We were treated to a great little medley of songs that inspired Terri, from the Grand Ole Opry - (well chuffed to have been there in Nashville myself, took me back), and the impression of Johnny Cash (blokes voice and all).

A nice heckle came in the tale of the song which she said she had written when she was 25 (last week shouts my mate!) and by the end of the gig I had fallen in love with country music again, not sure when I will see some more but I have to say that the show was, in the words of Terri herself 'Brilliant' her new favourite word to replace awesome. A couple of the standouts for me,

This was an amusing tune cracking lyrics that brought a smile to everyones faces and finishing on the following was brilliant, before I hadn't heard of Terri and wasn't a fan, now in my top 5 country artists of all time, who says you can't be swayed by a white cowboy hat.

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