Concert review in the Manchester Evening News/Manchester Metro News; Fans write letters in response
There was a review of Tori's Manchester concert in the Manchester Evening News that was so off the mark that fans wrote into the newspaper and they printed some of the letters a few days later. I have both the review and the Toriphile letters on The Dent.
Gray sent me this review of Tori's January 13th concert in Manchester, U.K. which first appeared in the Manchester Evening News on January 14, 2003 and later again in the January 17, 2003 edition of the Manchester Metro News in the U.K. (The metro is a free paper for commuters.) Sadly, the writer says Tori sang several songs that she did not!
Tori Amos - The Apollo
Manchester Metro News - Friday 17th January 2003 - By Simon Spence
Only music bores will remember Cornflake Girl, it being nigh on a decade since Tori Amos last troubled the charts.
Her latest CD, Scarlet's Walk, will be heralded by Jools Holland, then ignored by a public more interested in Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne or Pink, Tori's chick-lit rock successors.
Clad in shimmering green and purple silk, Tori billowed on to the stage, her self-confessed fascination with madness manifest in her bizarre get-up.
Apparently happier than she's ever been - married with a kid, settled in Cornwall - you wouldn't want to be around when she gets down.
She wasted no time unfurling a writhing rack of torment, howling through unfamiliar andundistinguished tracks from the new album.
Supported by the barest backing band, just bass and drums, she raised the tempo for her famed harrowing attacks on religion, Mrs Jesus and Crucify.
Tori uttered not a single word to her painfully devoted audience throughout the entire set, somehow resembling a mermaid as she pulled them in her wailing wake.
Her vocal style, familar to Kate Bush fans the world over, is both tortured and ethereal, and once she was alone, unaccompanied at the piano, quite painful.
A tightly wrapped ball of self-obsession, she has never bettered her 1992 opus, Little Earthquakes, which detailed her rape by a fan.
From that album, Leather and Take To The Sky were both rasping crescendos of miserablism, sexually charged by Tori's tic of clutching herself at their most intense moments.
Her set dragged across seven albums and almost two hours. At her best on the stripped-down Cloud On My Tongue and Winter, the voice soared and her stupendous piano skills shone.
But mostly her mystique and hobgoblin persona felt like a cold and calculated act. Still, from the palm of her diminutuve hand, the crowd ate up every minced morsel as she rounded off with Cornflake Girl - what everyone had been waiting for all along.
Letters to the Paper
Here are 3 letters about the above review published by the Manchester Evening News on January 17, 2003 . Thanks to Emma for sending these to me!
TORI'S PERFORMANCE WAS BREATHTAKING.
I am disgusted by the so-called "review" of the Tori Amos concert by Simon Spence (MEN, Jan 14th). I can't quite figure out whether this man had his eyes shut, lost the ability to hear throughout the performance, was not in fact actually present at the Apollo or simply has no idea what he is talking about. The fact that Tori Amos's latest CD has been "ignored by a public more interested in Nelly Furtado" i consider to be a tragedy and a sad reflection on how real songwriters and performers are doomed in an age of Pop Idol and Fame Academy. I was completely blown away by Tori's performance. It was breathtaking. Her "tortured" voice was flawless, passionate and dramatic, and her accompanying musicians were excellent. Karina Royles (via e-mail)
There are many obvious inaccuracies in Simon Spence's article. Tori did not play Cloud On My Tongue or Leather, both of which were reviewedin this piece. Cornflkae Girl, described by Spence as the song she "rounded off" with, and "what everyone had been waiting for", was in fact just the fifth song played - a good 18 tracks from the finale. We are also told that Tori "uttered not a single word to her painfully devoted audience", and yet i can recall her talking about her daughter, her band, and her husband's football team preference. Sara Tasker (via e-mail)
It is obvious from Mr Spence's review that he has no interest in Tori's music, as any Tori fan would know that Take To The Sky is not from her debut album. I thought the concert was her best performance in Manchester yet and everyone I spoke to on the way out agreed. Tori Fan.