British singer, songwriter and guitarist Anna Calvi makes a rare appearance on Tyneside in front of a packed out crowd at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.
Earlier this year Anna Calvi returned with her critically acclaimed new studio album Hunter. This being the Mercury Prize-nominated artist’s first album in almost five years. Subsequently, Calvi is currently out on an extensive UK tour in support of the record.
The scene for tonight’s concert is Robert Stephenson’s historic former workspace now events venue the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.
Anna Calvi takes to the stage shrouded in smoke and red light as she kicks off the proceedings with her atmospheric instrumental piece “Rider To The Sea”. With no railings separating the crowd from the stage, the concert has a very intimate, up close and personal feel throughout. Guitar aficionados peer over the edge of the stage just to get a look at Calvi’s pedal board and setup to see what she is working with.
Calvi wastes no time at all showcasing her latest offering, with five back to back tracks from Hunter featuring in the first half of the show. This includes the likes of the groove-heavy “As A Man”, the incredibly infectious “Don’t Beat The Girl Out of My Boy” along with the title track itself. Throughout the course of the show, Calvi performs the lion’s share of Hunter, with only two songs from the album not included in the set this evening.
Dressed in a red shirt, black trousers and white boots, Calvi prowls every inch of the stage. She sinks so much of herself into her passionate delivery; Anna Calvi is a true performer of the highest calibre.
During a spellbinding rendition of “Alpha”, she gets down on her knees, writhing around the floor whilst strumming her Fender Telecaster. Calvi says little between songs, but her music and expressive display of artistry most certainly speak volumes.
The audience is completely transfixed during a beautiful airing of “Swimming Pool” that is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up before Calvi ups the pace somewhat with “Wish”. This being a somewhat poignant and thought-provoking number, which ebbs and flows between ethereal melodies and heavy rhythms, through to all-out searing slide fuelled guitar licks. The latter being one of the many highlights of the evening.
Despite the onus on Hunter, there is still room for a few choice cuts from Calvi’s eponymous debut record, which mostly appear in the latter stages of the evening. This includes show-stopping performances of both “Desire” and “Suzanne and I”.
During a duly deserved encore, Calvi brings her performance to its explosive conclusion by putting her own distinctive stamp on Suicide’s “Ghost Rider”. With its pulsating tribal electro rhythm, heavy synth infusion and searing guitar licks it is the perfect ending to an incredible evening of live music.
Anna Calvi is the complete package, a genre-defying chanteuse with an astounding operatic vocal range and a guitar virtuoso to boot. It may have taken a long time for Anna Calvi to arrive on Tyneside, but it was most certainly worth the wait.
Event Date: 04-Oct-2018