Juliet Turner and Pierce Pettis, Bush Hall, 17/2/06

As y’all know, I do make a habit of going to gigs by people I know. Well, I know lots of lovely talented marvellous people, and I like to support live music as much as I can anyway, so being able to combine supporting live music, and seeing lovely friends makes for a doubly marvellous night out.

Thus it was last night. ‘Twas also rather nice to do something special with the lovely Gareth and Jane, and we all toddled off to Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush, a rather lovely venue that was clearly at one point a ball-room, and and is now a rather lovely gig venue for about a 2-300 peoples.

Pierce Pettis was already on when we got there, and sounding marvellous. I hadn’t seen Pierce since the Cheat and I went to stay with him in Alabama, Oct 2004, so it was lovely to see him again, and hear him. The couple of new songs he played were gorgeous – a Narnia one and one where he was joined by Juliet and Brian on BVs called ‘Vera Cruz’ – gorgeous stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad song by Pierce, even on the three CDRs of unreleased stuff that he gave the Cheat and I when we visited (BTW, I think it’s my turn with the CDs, The Cheat!)

The half time break was almost as much fun as the gig – catching up with many friends that I hadn’t seen for ages. It’s nice with gigs like this, that I can pretty much guarantee that I’m going to know about 20% of the audience.

Then Juliet Turner – most years, I see Juliet play more than just about any other artist that I’m not actually touring with. 4 or 5 times, I guess. And never ever get bored of her songs. She’s a fantastic songwriter, with a unique turn of phrase and way with rhythm. In Ireland she’s a big star, having gone platinum and won reader’s polls in Hot Press (the Irish answer to Q, NME and Mojo all rolled into one) – and she’ll get there over here too, for sure. Cos she’s fab. Apparently she’s got all self-concious about the amount she talks on stage, which is a shame, because her between-song banter was pretty stripped back tonight, and she’s a great story teller. As is Pierce, who was equally subdued. It might just have been one of those venues. I’ve played in those before now, they just don’t lend themselves to getting the kind of feedback from the audience that you need to sustain rambling stories.

Anyway, both Juliet and Pierce, and Juliet’s guitarist Brian Grace, were on top form, a fab night was had by all, and I’m already looking forward to seeing them all again!

As a side note, we got into a discussion last night about the lack of availability of Pierce’s early albums – the ‘big hair’ years. When Pierce was on Windham Hill, he had a hair cut that I also flirted with in the late 80s, the ‘mushroom cloud’, where all your photos look like holiday snaps taken on Bikini Atoll during the h-bomb tests. here’s the best one I could find of Pierce online –

anyone got any others? :o)

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