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Music: Pink Martini / Hammersmith Apollo

November 16, 2009


Pink Martini, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

I’m certain the leading lights in easy listening Pink Martini were late to the stage at the Hammersmith Apollo. I only say this because being a classical music fan, I’m used to concerts starting at the time stated on the ticket. This one was due to start 7.30pm. We were still waiting at 7.47pm.

No matter really. Pink Martini’s set list contained all our favourites – including Dosvedanya Mio Bombino, Hey Eugene and Hang On Little Tomato as well as a few tracks from their new album including Splendour in the Grass and the slightly more engaging and (apparently their most controversial song to date) Bippy Botty Betty – a song about a tranvestite.

The band, fronted by pianist Thomas Lauderdale with China Forbes on lead vocals, clearly felt at ease inside the Hammersmith Apollo and were quick to strike up a rapport with the near capacity audience.

But whilst their performance enthralled – members of the audience were literally dancing in the aisles during the encore Brasil – it did also prove that their reputation is established primarily on their studio production. Hang On Little Tomato lacked intimacy (in addition to its clarinet line). Sometimes the piano overpowered, so too the percussion section.

That said, the band got a standing ovation from some members of the terribly well-behaved audience. No-one leaves a Pink Martini gig saying they didn’t really enjoy it. If anyone does, you can be assured they’re just being curmudgeonly.

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