For the past two days and nights I've been cooped up inside my little home, working on all sorts of things, closing myself off from society and gradually feeling the walls close in. Yup, that's what they call cabin fever. So, I was excited to receive a text message that some mates were heading down to The Bowery to check out Jordan Reyne. I've owned her album 'Children of a Factory Nation' for a little under a month now and am addicted to her folk-like yet sweet-sad-growling voice and the luring call-of-the-sea instrumental machinist sounds... And only seconds later I was kissing the closing-in-walls good-bye and heading for the streets to see one of my favorite artists of late.
Having played as well as visited almost every London venue to date, The Bowery, or what was once known as The Fly, was one little place I yet still had to discover. Its quaint size seems pleasant enough, and for a Sunday night, with people moping around with late-Saturday-night hangovers, the event made for a nice Sunday get-together.
Once the angry lady at the door slapped a stamp onto my hand, I headed downstairs with my pint of creamy Guinness, taking in the opening act, Das Fluff.
For a moment there I thought I was listening to a sleazy kraut rock band from Germany, but maybe that's just me being ignorant since they have a German word in their title... Dawn Fluff, female front singer, gives a good performance, swaying back and forth, moving around the stage just enough from making her appear contrived; her vocals ranging from bitter/sweet, to a raging loon storming out of the shadows, I found her at times rather compelling. Overall, I dig their electro sleaze noise and they seem to be a well rehearsed band. At times however I felt the sound engineer could have turned up the guitars in the mix and I did have moments where I felt their sound and look seemed a little dated... However, I did think their second to last song owned just the right kind of pop qualities for Radio 1.
Topping up with another half pint of Guinness I eagerly waited for Reyne to hit the stage.
And finally there she was. Her red hair in flames under the stage light, her black long dress, lightly floating to every movement she makes and just before she's about to hit the first chord on her guitar, silence ripples across the room, as everyone awaits for this lone warrior princess to share her tales of song.
There's no doubt, Reyne would fit in well with a famous Irish folk band, touring the plains of Ireland and spreading the stories of bitter sweet myths, creating that kind of heavy sadness but never losing hope.
And already lost within the second song, 'Proximity of Death' (personally my favorite), my eyes are welling up with thick tears that I try with every inch to hold back.
Reyne's stage set up consists of a pedal board where she loops vocals, guitar riffs and where she stores a host of machinist sounds in order to encapsulate that industrial era of our history. She also switches between two acoustic guitars and her vocal range and style is made up of something that makes you think you've heard it before, but actually you haven't because it's so darn unique you just can't keep your ears off it.
One of the songs that really showed off her talents was the acapella 'A Woman Scorned'. Here she begins with a simple stripped down industrial rhythm sound coming from her pedal board and then looping two different sets of vocals, which harmonize, she then sings over this one-man-choir.
Jordan Reyne is charming on stage, everything you see is real, nothing's a show-off competition and you know that her work contains a thorough quality because everything stems from the heart and that's her language.
I can only urge you to see this woman play live and I promise you, you'll be taken on a journey that will be part of your life forever.