Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Rufus Wainwright comparisons don't quite nail it--he's too British, not to mention heterosexual--but they're as good a place as any to start with Ed Harcourt. The Sussex musician hit Maxwell's last night as one of the last stops on his current U.S. tour, which apparently featured a show in Woodstock the previous night where there were "about 10 people," according to the artist's own on-stage account. There were maybe 60 people in the back room for this 100-or-so-minute performance on a Monday night, most of whom seemed to thoroughly enjoy his sometimes Tom Waitsian tales of hope and woe.
After a few rough spots early on, Harcourt hit his stride about a third of the way into the show. From there on out, his voice soared, his band (guitar, bass, drums, and trumpet joining him on keyboard for most songs) congealed, and the "God, if only Coldplay were this good" tunes just killed. His bitter British humo(u)r may have been largely lost on the room, but the songs were most definitely found.
A quick post-show chat with the man revealed him to be a chatty, good-natured, but no-b.s. type of bloke with a penchant for drink and Dennis Wilson. Truly a class act.
[I snapped a couple pics during the show, but I need to set up a new online photo sharing account. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post a pic soon. In the meantime, enjoy this video from a 2006 show.]