04 October 2012 (gig)
08 October 2012
It’s been a while since Lisa Marie Presley released any music at all and previous efforts gave the impression that she was all at sea and floundering for a direction. Well, now she’s returned with a collection of songs composed with the likes of Richard Hawley and Ed Harcourt. Add the production of T Bone Burnett and we have a record of southern, country and folky songs that Ms Presley is clearly comfortable with.
A short set from Ed Harcourt sort of warms up the audience, before Ms Presley takes the stage for her first ever UK appearance. Though she keeps us on tender hooks with an ominous intro while the band, dressed in black with top hats and feathers looking like New Orleans Voodoo shamen, make their way on. She appears and the band goes into So Long, that’s followed by the skeletal bounce of Over Me. It’s an assured opening and though not at 100% due to a cold, some banter with the audience quickly puts everyone at ease.
Ed Harcourt gets pulled from the sides to duet on Soften the Blows. Ms Presley has a rich, smokey voice, and though not the most original, her performance of the beautiful Weary indicates that she has some versatility. It helps that she’s gathered a band that complement her perfectly.
It’s short set and not meant to be anything more than a showcase for her Storm and Grace album so the set proper is soon over closing with the country sounds of the title track. She’s back with two encores ending with Tom Petty’s Need to Know which is solid, if a bit out of place.
It’s tempting not to say anything but there are some very long shadows cast over Ms Presley’s life and will probably always be there. How much these have affected her career so far is actually not easy to tell. However, with this album and performance it’s time to start looking at an artist who looks to be in a good place and ready to realise her potential.