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January 13, 2003

Added January 16, 2003

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Many thanks to John Kilbride, who alerted me to a review of Tori's January 12, 2003 Glasgow, U.K. concert that he wrote for the web site Read the review below or at

Precious things

by John Kilbride

Tori Amos
Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow - January 12 2003

Every so often there comes a moment in a concert, so beyond expectation that it stands above the rest of the show, however good the rest of that performance might be.

That moment came about half way through Tori Amos's show at the Clyde Auditorium at the weekend when, sitting alone at the piano, she launched into a rendition of Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat, one of the most personal songs by possibly the world's most poetically autobiographical songwriters. It was a moving experience, the concrete armadillo momentarily transformed into an intimate piano bar, and a song so closely identified with one performer effortlessly becoming the personal expression of another.

From then on she could have played the selected works of Chas 'n Dave and it would still have been a superb show. But there was of course more to her show than just this.

Beginning with a brief rendition of Wampum Prayer while still off stage, then going into a muscular dub-reworking of her latest single A Sorta Fairytale, this was obviously going to be a night of surprises. She was accompanied for most of the set by drums and bass. It might be an unusual combination, but it was one as equally capable of providing a spectral backdrop for her vocal gymnastics on numbers like These Precious Things as it was at providing the perfect off-kilter backbone for Caught A Lite Sneeze and Cornflake girl.

A brief solo interlude (with a handy Roadside CafÈ sign descending with comedic effect to highlight the diversion from the rest of the set) reminded the audience of just how ferocious a performer she is in her own right. She is an absurdly talented musician, but one who tackles complex and passionate music with ease and humour. As the first European date of her On Scarlet's Walk tour, it was very much a showcase for that album - with indeed nothing from her last CD getting an airing at all. However, the new material is deserving of this attention, the likes of I Can't See New York being among her finest work yet. On the strength of her performance in Glasgow she appears to be an artist who is reaching a new peak.

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