Hello everyone and welcome to a new post. I hope you are all well and taking good care of yourself.
Just over one month ago, 19th February, I attended a concert by Laurence Fox, the man better known to all us fans of the Morse Universe as James Hathaway.
Accompanying me to the ‘gig’ was my daughter Charlotte. She is indifferent in regards to the Morse Universe, I don’t know where I went wrong, and she was not aware of Laurence Fox as a singer. But, she was happy to to keep her old man company especially as it wasn’t costing her a penny.
After meeting up with Charlotte we walked the 20 minutes from where she lives in Edinburgh to the Voodoo Rooms on 19a W. Register St. The cobbled streets of W. Register Street lie at the back of Princess Street, Edinburgh’s main, and famous, thoroughfare.
We arrived at the Voodoo Rooms around six thirty and were glad to get out of the damp night that hailed Laurence’s arrival in Edinburgh. I don’t know who the attractive guy is outside the venue but he insisted Charlotte took a photo of him.
This was my first visit to the Voodoo Rooms and hopefully will not be my last. The walk up the rather drab stairs doesn’t prepare you for the beautiful and stunning interior.
But first we had to climb those drab stairs and halfway up we were greeted by the man himself staring heaven wards possibly praying for better weather or inspiration for his next album. To the right of the poster and through a door, was where the gig would happen. However, a nice chap told us that the bar was further up the stairway and to the left. We followed those coordinates and on getting to the top of the stairs we found ourselves in what I would describe as a waiting room; of sorts.
This rather tired looking waiting room with its kitsch paintings thankfully leads into a lovely and ornately decorated bar.
Charlotte and I ordered a drink and a bar snack of potato wedges which were very nice.
Seven thirty came around swiftly and we made our way to the music venue part of the building. It isn’t a large venue being around only 50 square feet not including the stage. It was already full of Fox fans who mostly sat at the tables which were to the right and left of the stage. The small bar is on the opposite side of the room from the stage and was attended by a very nice chap.
There were around 60 people in the venue with some taking to sitting on the floor in front of the stage waiting to pay homage to the great man. Charlotte and I took to standing at the bar. But before that man appeared the support act in the shape of Orcadian (someone born on the Orkneys) Alannah Moar took to the stage.
Alannah’s music is a blend of folk and blues. She has a lovely, lilting voice that reminded me of Joni Mitchell. I didn’t catch the name of the first song but the rest of her set included the songs, Backbone, Warm Embrace, Lovesick, Better Left Unsaid and Hoy. Below is her track, Backbone.
Alannah’s set finished around 8pm and she received a very warm and well deserved loud round of applause from the Edinburgh crowd.
After Alannah left the stage Laurence Fox made his way into the room and then stopped, realised he had either forgotten something or had made a wrong turn and left as quickly as he entered. After that surreal event people began to ready their cameras and an excited air of anticipation filled the venue.
As the starting time of eight thirty cane around, Laurence and his band entered the venue. Laurence stopped to talk to a few people before moving toward the stage.
So, rather than me blethering on here are photos and a few videos I took at the gig. I will give my opinion at the end of the photos and videos. Enjoy.
Laurence Fox’s voice is a mix of Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman. I am a fan of Laurence of course from the Lewis series and some of his other acting roles. I would not count myself as a fan of him as a singer and I found his first album rather underwhelming but with some outstanding tracks. I didn’t buy his new album, A Grief Observed as part of me didn’t want to be as disappointed as I was with the first album. However, after hearing him live I did buy the new album. But strangely I found his live versions of the songs better than the versions on the CD. On stage his voice is strong and emphatic and he is doing he all he can to interpret and emote his song as best as he can for the audience. I wonder if he finds it more difficult to vocalise the emotions and strength of his songs in the sanitised room of a recording studio. I found the concert better than I thought it would be and so did Charlotte.
Laurence’s set list was; Die on My Feet, Mark of a King, Twilight, So be Damned, We are too Young, Gunfight, The Distance, Say Goodbye Properly, (I can’t read my own writing on what the next track was. I think it was a new track), Dead in the Eye, The Game, Grief Observed, Trainers, Rise Again, Mostly Water.
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Interesting report… Worth noting that Laurence’s new album (and track), A Grief Observed, takes its title from a famous book by C.S. Lewis. Do the lyrics suggest any other parallel?
Happy to hear you were able to see/hear Fox before we all had to start huddling at home self-isolating!