Sunday, 11 May 2014

Anna Calvi - Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 23.03.2014 (Flac)

Another brilliant recording by ianmacd. A big thank you to him for sharing it on Dime.


Type: Audience master, recorded 3 metres from the left-hand side PA stack.

Source: Factory-matched pair of Schoeps CCM 41V microphones (DINa mounted) ->
    Marantz PMD661 recorder with Oade Concert Mod
    (-18 dB gain/44.1 kHz/24 bit WAV)

Lineage: Audacity 2.0.5
       * Amplified right channel by 1 dB.
       * Applied variable envelope amplification across recording for
         consistent listening experience.
       * Attenuated audience noise.
       * Added fades.
       * Split tracks.
       * Converted to 16 bit.
     -> FLAC (compression level 8) [libFLAC 1.3.0 20130526]

Taper: ianmacd


01. [05:03] Suzanne & I
02. [03:59] Eliza
03. [04:53] Sing To Me
04. [03:04] Cry
05. [03:25] Rider To The Sea
06. [03:59] First We Kiss
07. [04:30] I'll Be Your Man
08. [03:52] Love Of My Life
09. [03:42] Piece By Piece
10. [04:21] Suddenly
11. [10:07] Carry Me Over
12. [05:18] Bleed Into Me
13. [04:12] Fire
14. [04:20] Desire
15. [00:32] [band introduction]
16. [08:56] Love Won't Be Leaving
17. [01:25] [encore break]
18. [04:38] Kiss To Your Twin
19. [03:55] Blackout
20. [04:17] Jezebel

Total running time: 88:39


Has it really been three years since I last saw Anna Calvi?

Well, no, it's been a little less, but the last time I saw her was in October
2011 at the Melkweg, on which occasion I pulled off the mind-numbingly idiotic
feat of turning up at the venue, just before show time, without my recorder.
Anna was on fire that night and a tape of the event has yet to materialise
from any source.

The first time I saw and taped her was, indeed, more than three years ago:
upstairs in this very building, in the venerable Kleine Zaal, where she
impressed one and all with her huge voice, in your face guitar and confident
stage presence.

Tonight, she has graduated to the larger downstairs room, which is fairly
bustling, but not sold out by a long chalk.

First up is Canadian Chloe Charles, another lady in possession of a formidable
set of vocal cords. Her fine 30 minute set primes the audience for a seasoned
Calvi, now into the home straight of a tour that has taken her across the UK
and all over Europe.

The diminutive Anna walks out, awkwardly strutting in her high heels as she
steps down to the front of the stage.

The line-up has been expanded to four people with the addition of keyboardist
(and occasional guitarist) Glenn Callaghan. Mally Harpaz is a familiar sight
on harmonium and percussion, but gone is drummer Daniel Maiden-Wood, replaced
by Alex Reeves. The former apparently left the band with a week's notice
following the release of the new album, 'One Breath'.

The audience has grown younger and chattier, their smartphones out in force,
ensuring that the world's stock of blurry photos that no-one cares about never
starts to run low.

Calvi is a musical monster, positioned somewhere in the twilight zone between
Jimi Hendrix and Édith Piaf. Her diminutive stature belies the lion's roar
that lurks within her. Those dainty fingers betray not even the slightest
suggestion of the walls of howling guitar they are able to summon forth.

After opening with the familiar 'Suzanne & I', Calvi proceeds to play most of
her new album, mixing in the best of her eponymous debut and adding spice with
'Jezebel', a couple of B-sides, and an unlikely, but very successful cover of
Bruce Springsteen's 'Fire'.

A well-deserved three song encore sees her stop just shy of an hour and a
half on stage, a very respectable show length for an artist with just a couple
of albums to her name. The first time I saw Anna play, it was all over after
just 47 minutes, so this is a big difference and a very welcome development.

It was an amazing gig. In particular, 'Carry Me Over' and 'Love Won't Be
Leaving' were absolutely blistering versions, the latter in a class all of its

Having failed to get out of the starting blocks with my last attempt to record
the talented Ms. Calvi, I had something to make up for tonight. I was eager to
pull my very best work out of the hat and I'm pleased to say that I think I
have achieved that.

The recording has turned out better than I had hoped and is right up there
with the very best I have produced at the Paradiso. It captures Anna at her
bellowing, howling best and is one to play again and again.


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