A minimalist concert, a string quartet accompanying Karen Ann and her guitar mainly electrified, sometimes acoustic. Sheer class and intense emotions. Sometimes the strings were trying to scream louder but soon the guitar would tell them who is boss. A tiny, figure dressed in black, a powerful smile, smooth melancholy melodies, lulling us safely towards our destination like a sailboat on a smooth, unsettling sea. Liquid music poured into our ears like honey poured from a smooth precious chalice. So many cultures connect in the creative mind of Keren Ann, she seems to make them universal through her art, smoothening diﬀerences, distilling them into what is a universal human experience. Her re-appropriation of her own Strange Weather, covered majestically by Anna Calvi together with an inspired David Byrne, brings goosebumps to my body.
Her twangy guitar courts and duels with the strings, it plays and dances an ironical battle, her voice dominates her emotions and commands our attention, sweetly but firmly. The experience is understated but magical, the perfect acoustic of the intimate Milton Court Hall enhances every breath Keren Ann takes, every words she says.
A touch of Bowie towards the end, mainly to show oﬀ the bravura of the Quatuor Debussy, Bowie’s range slightly too high for Keren’s range. She ends up a cappella, with the rendition of what appears an old fashioned love song, unidentified, she leaves us whispering:
“When I fall in love it is always with you…”
Keren Ann, Milton Court Hall, 14 October 2018