Mark Lanegan – Academy – 26-04-16 – Live Review
This gig was listed as ‘An Evening with Mark Lanegan’ which always causes concern. Is he going to do a spoken word set with slippers and pipe, while sipping a brandy? Thankfully the only break from the norm for this concert was that he’s touring without a drummer and the set was a little more chilled out than normal. The audience were seated and there was a focus on some of the slower songs in his repertoire. They arrived on stage at about 9pm looking suitably sinister. There were four musicians with lead and rhythm guitar, bass and Mark himself. Duke Garwood was one of the guitar players, which was nice in itself.
The set opened with a number of early tracks such as ‘When Your Number Isn’t Up’ from 2004’s Bubblegum and One Way Street from 2001’s Field Songs. It was immediately apparent that this was no album tour and we were getting a whistle stop trip through his career with no strong emphasis on one area. There were a number of cover versions, which should come as no surprise considering his Imitations album from 2013. Lanegan has a very distinctive voice and can do justice to any number of styles. His version of Mack the Knife was one of the highlights of the night.
While the four musicians were on stage for the duration, they introduced a good deal of variation into the set. Some songs were just Mark with guitar, some went for bigger sounds, with all four musicians. This changed the flow of the night, and altered the mood between songs.
The band left the stage at 10 pm and returned for a decent length encore but still ended at a surprisingly early time of half ten. This set was quite relaxed by his standards, but only served to emphasise the quality of his gravel filled voice. In many ways Lanegan is the quintessential Rock Star, and you feel he has lived a very full life. He managed to survive the Grunge era, where many fell by the wayside. As we’ve learned in the last week, you have to see rock stars while they’re here, as they won’t be around forever!
Set List –
When Your Number Isn’t Up
One Way Street
Creeping Coastline of Lights (Leaving Trains cover)
The Gravedigger’s Song
The River Rise
Holy Ground (Napalm Beach cover)
I’ll Take Care of You (Brook Benton cover)
Where the Twain Shall Meet (Screaming Trees song)
Torn Red Heart
Mack the Knife (Kurt Weill cover)
One Hundred Days
On Jesus’ Program (O.V. Wright cover)
Mescalito (Mark Lanegan & Duke Garwood cover)
I Am the Wolf
Pretty Colors (Frank Sinatra cover)
Halo of Ashes – (Screaming Trees song)
Support – Duke Garwood played support on the night at a surprisingly early time, catching a lot of the crowd (and one reviewer) out! Those that are going tonight, I’d recommend to get there not much after 8pm if you want to see the full set. The tracks I did hear were simple guitar and vocals songs, mostly taken from his 2015 album Heavy Love. He was perfectly in line with what was to come from Mark later in the evening.