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Review of Tori's Manchester concert from Independent On Sunday (London)
January 19, 2003

Updated Mon, Jan 27, 2003 - 5:30am ET

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Here is a rather humorous concert review of what seems to be Tori's January 13, 2003 concert in Manchester, U.K. from the January 19, 2003 edition of the Independent On Sunday. (I earlier thought this was a review of one of the London shows, but evidence now seems to indicate that it was of Manchester.) There are two rather large errors in that article. The first was calling Tori Jewish, and the other was naming her daughter Minnie. :) Thanks to Lucy for sending it to The Dent.

Here are some comments on this review from Anna:

I've just read the 'Independant on Sunday' concert review on the Dent. The review seems to be from the Manchester, UK concert (not London) going by the things he mentions†Tori saying. I have an idea where he - might - have got the idea for Tori having a daughter named Minnie. At one point in the show Tori talked about Tash being backstage so if the audience saw a 'mini'†on stage that would be her.†I don't know why he thinks Tori is Jewish†though!!!

Article Text


Two millennia ago, they'd have locked her up. When Tori Amos first came at us - too ginger, too sexual, too defiant to apologise for either - she seemed to actively revel in the sort of things for which primitive man used to banish women to houses on stilts. Rumour had it she would all-but masturbate onstage. (Tonight, she extends one hand southwards and makes an unearthly sustained groan, to wild applause.) It was, of course, hugely irritating: she was smugly "breaking" taboos which we didn't even have any more.

Not to mention the succour she gave to umpteen thousand henna-tattooed, aromatherapy-credulous young women who think they're more interesting than they actually are. These days, the image she chooses to project - literally, on the stage curtain - is that of a mysterious, capricious wood nymph. It's blatantly, shamelessly contrived, and I quite like her for this: it reminds me of that Stevie Nicks thing of being convinced you're a Celtic witch when you're actually a white trash waitress, or (in Tori's case) a Jewish-American Princess.

Wearing biker boots and a dress apparently made of camouflage netting, she sits down at the grand piano and launches into "A Sorta Fairytale". She doesn't stay there long. Backed only by one drummer and one bassist, Tori almost takes on too much, frequently swinging around on her stool for a quick plink on a Vox Continental and another very retro-looking keyboard behind her, or taking her right hand off the keys for dramatic acting-out gestures.

You half expect her to balance a beach ball on her nose for a finale.

Ten years ago, Tori was a second-rate Kate Bush, with the novel twist that, whereas Bush could dance, Amos could play piano. Nowadays, a more relevant pointer is Joni Mitchell. However, unlike Joni, who melts away into the quicksilver stream of her music, Tori is always there: her ego precludes anything else. Not that she's an un-engaging presence: she interacts well with her crowd, and shares a cute anecdote about her two-year-old daughter Minnie making her do "Ring-a-Roses" backstage before instructing Tori to "Now go rock!". I thought her album of cover versions sucked, and maybe Tori agrees, because as far as I can tell, she doesn't do any of them tonight. Unexpectedly, I'm impressed with what she does play, notably the inevitable "Cornflake Girl" and the excoriating "Precious Things". Don't get me wrong, if the real Kate Bush came back, Tori Amos could bugger off right away, but for now, she holds my attention. "I don't usually do this but I've just got this hair in my butt..." (aren't Americans delightful?) "...and I've gotta do it," she says before "Crucify", which is begging for that gag about not being able to get the last nail in, but I'll leave it.

Here's a weird thing, though: her latest album, Scarlet's Walk, carries a sticker boasting "over 74 minutes of music", as though it was one of those cans of Strongbow with "13 per cent extra free".

Tonight, as the show crawls on towards two hours, I realise that's actually spot on. At first captivated, I'm eventually captive. A qualified conversion from Tori-hater to Tori-rater? You bet your life it is.

Posted by: Mikewhy

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