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   Thursday, March 07, 2002  
"The album's superb opener stands out as the best song on the disc, and is emblematic of their sound; two parts Westerberg, one part Wilco." - Pitchfork on the latest from The Mendoza Line...

Up the M40 to Birmingham Wednesday for The Be Good Tanyas at the Ceol Castle. "It's a funny thing - we never planned to be a band or put out an album or anything like that. We're still adjusting to the idea of committing ourselves to a career in music. We're still very shy," Samantha Parton told the Birmingham Post in a long feature earlier this week. From reallyrather's vista, Ms Parton is nudging ahead in the race out their collective shell. The strange silence which fell on the packed venue as the applause subsided between numbers exposed the Tanyas' lack of "show"; Frazey and Trish still ooze self-conciousness. But as the night went on Samantha gradually got into her wacky stride with yarns about dog-shaped crepes and Manchester's bracing sea air. And any hesistancy was left firmly at the door when it came to the matter in hand, namely, ye singing of ye songs.
On disc these past months it's been Samantha's affecting huskiness which has always stood out yet the show was definitely led & lifted by Frazey's strong, pure vocal. And the combination, regularly augmented by Trish, is their strongest suit, the harmonies soaring on great originals like Only in the past, Dogsong and the nifty rocker Light enough to travel as well as a liberal sprinkling of country-gospel standards. Instrumentally they're less compelling, tho' Trish's tasteful slide guitar enhanced every tune it touched (more, please?!). Last night's sound was augmented by Ike the percussionist and, for half the set, by the accordian of Martin Green (which leant particularly the waltz-time numbers a cajun air). There was encouraging scrum round the cd-touting artists after the show tho' I'm sure not everyone was convinced. reallyrather, however, remains a true believer - on to the (sold out) Borderline we go...

A couple of 90-second soundclips from the upcoming Marah release have turned up on the web. Not much to go on, but the natives are restless...
   posted by SMc at 9:57 AM |