The Weather Station – Union Chapel, 5 September 2022

Where does a band end and an artist begin?
A few months ago, we went to see St Vincent. She had a great band including Jason Falkner but really, it was all about Annie Clark, who for most fans is St Vincent.
Last month, we saw the Weather Station at the beautiful Union Chapel in North London. Tamara Lindeman fronts up the band. She writes the songs, sings, plays guitar and piano and bangs the occasional cymbal too. The Weather Station seems less of a construct than St Vincent. Annie Clark is clearly playing a character on the latest tour, inspired by plastic soul era Bowie. The influence of the Diamond Dogs tour was evident across the backdrop of the Hammersmith Odeon (I’m damned if I’m calling it the O2 or whatever it is these days).

Tamara was dressed immaculately in a blue trouser suit, beautifully cut and tailored. The attire didn’t seem accidental when viewed in light of her current musical direction. We’ve moved away from the earlier folk singer years into something more sophisticated. She has released two LPs in as many years. Ignorance offered a rounded, band-led approach, drawing upon early 80s grown-up rock. I’ve seen many comparisons to Tango In The Night Fleetwood Mac, mainly due to Linderman’s crystalline voice, which sits between Stevie and Christine. For me, though, this is where we return to the Weather Station as a band. In particular, the rhythm section drives much Ignorance along with a momentum that McVie and Fleetwood have made their own. Yes – it is four-square and solid, not straying too much in tempo, time signature or rhythm. Instead, it pushes everything along constructing the space for the music.

This year’s How It That I Should Look at the Stars is a different kettle of fish. It is spare, often just voice, piano and some textural accompaniment from the other instruments. This brings Lindeman’s vocals to the fore. It is intensely inward looking whilst the previous album looks at the world through despondent eyes. The Stars album articulates her fears for the climate crisis, which she expanded on in London. As is said in Loss, “At some point you’d have to live as if the truth was true.”

This year’s How It That I Should Look at the Stars is a different kettle of fish. It is spare, often just voice, piano and some textural accompaniment from the other instruments. This brings Lindeman’s vocals to the fore. It is intensely inward-looking, whilst the previous album looks at the world through despondent eyes. The Stars album articulates her fears about the climate crisis, which she expanded on in London. As is said in Loss, “At some point, you’d have to live as if the truth was true.”

As a Bowie fan, I find artists that make dramatic stylistic turns or thematically link music inherently interesting. The Weather Station clearly do this and I’m now bought into the next step along whichever path they/Lindeman chose.

A couple of asides, before I sign off.

Firstly, at the end of the main set, I turned to my other half and asked if she’d enjoyed the gig. She did and I was about to say “in which case, you’d enjoy Cassandra Jenkins” when guess who walked on stage for the final encore, Subdivisions. I really enjoyed Jenkins’ LPs from last year and hearing her vocals combine with Lindeman was fantastic.

And then finally a shout out to opening act, Lutalo. I’ll be writing more about him separately but he’s worth checking out in the meantime if you are fan of Fleet Foxes or Big Thief. More to follow.

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LondonJazzCollector

Adventures in collecting "modern jazz": the classical music of America from the Fifties and Sixties, and a little Seventies, on original vinyl, on a budget, from England. And writing about it, since 2011. Travelling a little more widely nowadays, and at lower cost

PETALENGRO

Printmaker and Artist

the Heat Warps

Live Miles 69-75

The Fall in Fives

All the Fall songs, five at a time.

#KeepingItPeel

Commemorating the life of John Peel

The Bobsphere

Ramblings on Books, Music and Films

Headphone Commute

honest words on honest music

Wolves Molinews

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The Old Noise

"This old noise?" she demurred.

The Sunday Dinner Diaries

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Pushing Ahead of the Dame

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Punk Rock Reviews

Reviewing Music

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

WORDS AND MUSIC

News, views and reviews on hi-fi and beyond, by Andrew Everard

downatthecrossroads

Where the blues and faith meet

LondonJazzCollector

Adventures in collecting "modern jazz": the classical music of America from the Fifties and Sixties, and a little Seventies, on original vinyl, on a budget, from England. And writing about it, since 2011. Travelling a little more widely nowadays, and at lower cost

PETALENGRO

Printmaker and Artist

the Heat Warps

Live Miles 69-75

The Fall in Fives

All the Fall songs, five at a time.

#KeepingItPeel

Commemorating the life of John Peel

The Bobsphere

Ramblings on Books, Music and Films

Headphone Commute

honest words on honest music

Wolves Molinews

Your place for everything Wolves

The Old Noise

"This old noise?" she demurred.

The Sunday Dinner Diaries

On the Gravy Trail

Pushing Ahead of the Dame

David Bowie, song by song

Punk Rock Reviews

Reviewing Music

Every record tells a story

A Blog About Music, Vinyl, More Music and (Sometimes) Music...

WORDS AND MUSIC

News, views and reviews on hi-fi and beyond, by Andrew Everard

downatthecrossroads

Where the blues and faith meet

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