Time out for tuning is wasteful
THEA Gilmore explained that as she didn't have a new album to promote she was using this tour to sing some of the songs she wanted to sing from her back catalogue.
Which was good news for her fans because it meant we could look forward to hearing some of the old songs that rarely make their way onto her set list.
Her support act on this tour, the Yorkshire based singer Fran Smith, did however have a new record to promote. A lot of her rather folky sounding songs seemed to be about love affairs, were full of very clever and rather acerbic lyrics, she accompanied herself well on keyboards, chatted easily with the audience and generally impressed.
Thea Gilmore, accompanied by a stellar band, opened with a song off one of her early albums, Contessa, and over the lengthy set we had old songs from right across her career.
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There was the angry God's Got Nothing On You, the relatively upbeat You're The Radio, the slow and simply delivered God Knows and a jaunty version of Teach Me To Be Bad that lacked the muscular arrangement of the original.
The big numbers of the night included Old Soul and Roll On and an exceptional reworking of Inverigo with some lovely harmony singing.
Two songs from her superb settings of lyrics by the late Sandy Denny were included in the set list, Don't Stop Singing and London, and, something of an oddity, a slowed down version of Elvis' Wooden Heart.
It wasn't all old songs however for actually she did have a new record on the merchandising table but it was an EP that's only available at gigs on this tour and contains just four songs of which Beautiful Hopeful was a real standout.
Her four-piece band, occasionally augmented by Gilmore's five year-old son Egan on violin, was remarkably restrained.
Thea Gilmore is undoubtedly one of Britain's best singer songwriters and a very fine performer but she did spend an inordinate amount of time between each song tuning her guitar, time that could have been devoted to including more songs.
Please Thea, get yourself a guitar tech in future.