Wednesday, 16 September 2009

LIVE REVIEW: Andrew Bird @ Edinburgh Picture House, 23 August 2009

An expert in both violin and verbosity, Andrew Bird is cut from a peculiar musical cloth. His idiosyncratic stylings make him the perfect accompaniment to Edinburgh’s artistic melee and the densely populated Picture House suggests a five-star showing is about to unravel. Atop a stage quilted with a double-ended gramophone and an immaculately attired stuffed toy, the Chicago-born crooner saunters through his back catalogue with the application of an eagle-eyed beaver; meticulously looping whistle, strum and pluck into a blushing conflate that’s accentuated by Bird’s broadened tones. Despite such attentiveness, cuts like Oh No and A Nervous Tick Motion... sound queerly foreign as the ever-progressive Illinoisan carves out fresh pathways for their familiar chords. And god does it work: Anonanimal and Fitz and Dizzyspells shiver with new-found vigour, while an impromptu 'Dr Stringz' proves the evening’s unconventional apex. An oddity for sure, tonight Andrew Bird is freakishly good.