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Camden Underworld, London, 12 September 2008

Alannah Myles, photo by Noel Buckley

Despite her 1990 hit Black Velvet gracing just about every Soft Rock Anthems or Women in Rock compilation, an alarmingly small crowd of 150 at most made it to the London leg of Alannah Myles' first UK appearances in ten years. It did though make for an intimate evening in which the rake-thin Canadian songstress steered a fine line between quirky humour and insanity.

Still suffering the effects of whiplash she moved gingerly on stage for the hard-rocking Comment Ca Va; oddly it was the only new song and indeed all but one other were culled from her first two albums.

Alannah Myles, photo by Noel Buckley

After Love Is, Alannah's band took the pace down with two acoustic guitars duelling folkily during Rockinghorse, the title track from her neglected 1992 classic. Things became even more gentle when the bassist switched to cello, the guitarist to keyboards and Alannah perched on a stool for the haunting Song Instead of a Kiss, but after Hurry Make Love and Sonny Say You Will in similar acoustic mood, it was a relief to hear the band rock out on These Are Our Times and Dark Side of Me, although they did stretch the songs out rather aimlessly.

Alannah Myles, photo by Noel Buckley

Alannah then teased that many 18 year olds must have been conceived to the next song and even called Alannah as she introduced Black Velvet as the song that gave her the opportunity to tour the world, and it was a pleasure to see her perform such a well known song at close quarters.

The Heart-esque should-have-been hit Lover of Mine was the sole encore, given a lengthy acoustic treatment, but by the end though I felt frustrated. No Still Got this Thing for you which led off her debut album in rocking style, only ten songs in a hour and a quarter and her wackiness was starting to grate on me. A night that perhaps did not do justice to her undoubted talent.

Alannah Myles, photo by Noel Buckley

Review by Andy Nathan

Photos by Noel Buckley

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