Monday, May 12, 2008

12 May: Duffy Live@The Apollo, New York

Duffy did a gig at The Apollo Theatre in New York on 12th May... please let me know if you have pics/vids I can post. ;-)

SETLIST (These songs were there but I am not 100% on the order so please leave a message if you know any better!):
Breaking My Own Heart
Oh Boy
Warwick Avenue
Delayed Devotion
Hanging On Too Long
Stepping Stone
ENCORE: Distant Dreamer

There is a review here. Exert below:

Welsh singer Duffy, dressed in a simple retro fitting white miniskirt, stands alone at New York’s celebrated Apollo stage one night before her debut album is released in America. Cupping the mike, the tiny woman sings the first lines of “Syrup and Honey” and her powerful voice fills the famous Harlem theatre.

In just a few bars, it becomes clear that the Apollo truly is the theatre “Where Stars are Born and Legends are Made”. Duffy has arrived.

Moving directly into “Rockferry”, the title track from her debut album, Duffy wooed the packed crowed who braved a rainy and cold Monday night in New York to listen to the somber retro R&B style that has propelled Duffy to the top of the charts across Europe.

Performing at the Apollo, where legends of Jazz, R&B and Rock and Roll set brilliant careers in motion, seems the perfect springboard from which Duffy should launch her career in America.

Duffy’s music blends sultry tales filled with heartache, with sixties girl-group melodies and echoes of Billie Holiday and Gladys Knight, two greats who began their careers at the Apollo.

In the short performance, Duffy performed music from Rockferry including “Breaking My Own Heart”, “Scared” and “Oh Boy”, a B-side in the UK that has been added to the American version of her album. The new track, one rare occurrence where she didn’t write the material, focused on the gentler side of the singer. This soft ballad, accompanied by two competing acoustic guitars, lulled the crowd with its sweet melody and harmony performed by two male backup singers.

But it was her rambunctious presentation of new UK single “Warwick Avenue” that moved the crowd to their feet. This loud crowd pleaser moved quickly into “Delayed Devotion” with Duffy dancing on the stage like a cross between a Roger Moore-era Bond Girl and Nancy Sinatra.

Thanks to Chris La Putt who took the following photos:

The following two pics were taken by tstrong_06:

The following 7 photos are by Tod Emko:

There is a review in the NY Times. Pasted below:

Welsh Voice Crooning American Soul

Published: May 14, 2008

The debut album by the Welsh soul revivalist Duffy, “Rockferry” (Mercury), is an exercise in control. Her voice is subtle, pristine and evocative — there are shades of Motown, more Mary Wells than Diana Ross — and her songs, of which she is a co-writer, are neatly layered and womblike. At worst, her music is successful mimicry, but much more often Duffy strikes notes of blissful languor. She never tests herself, but she doesn’t have to; she teases, she confesses, and she says goodbye. “Rockferry” is, in every way, smooth.

But Duffy, whose full name is Aimee Ann Duffy, is not as polite as she sounds. Halfway into her set at the Apollo Theater on Monday night, after a brassy version of “Delayed Devotion” — “I’m no longer under your spell/ Hear it in a song/ You can go to hell!” — she said that some of her songs are about not taking any lip. Or something to that effect.

“I just swore at the Apollo,” she said, with mock shock. Then she transitioned into “Hanging On Too Long” and “Stepping Stone,” two more ferocious kiss-offs.

Duffy doesn’t flaunt soul bona fides as heavily as her fellow British retro-belter Amy Winehouse, probably because she doesn’t have them. Her first release was a Welsh-language pop-rock EP in 2004. She was introduced to classic soul just a few years ago, soaking it in at the urging of Bernard Butler, formerly a guitarist for the British rock band Suede, who is one of the producers of “Rockferry.”

And so, while she is now well schooled, she is not distractingly faithful. Booking Duffy at the Apollo was a gimmick, but not too much for her to pull off. Save for a few spots — the title track, in particular, was overly pensive — she sounded raspy and alive, a shift from the careful perfection of the album. “Serious,” a bittersweet flirtation, received ostentatious treatment from the band; “Breaking My Own Heart” was densely textured and closed with spectacular pomp.

In a short white dress redolent of the Mods and Mary Quant, the sylphlike Duffy was surrounded, but not infringed upon, by her impressive-sounding backing troupe. At one point she winkingly admonished a particularly vocal audience member: “Behave.”

But she didn’t mean it. Before the single “Mercy,” which closed her main set, she told the crowd — which had been surprisingly, and enthusiastically, unruly — to get up and dance.

“Mercy,” about resisting temptation, is the lone song on “Rockferry” that moves faster than a saunter. Its opening figure is a peppy variation on that of “Stand by Me,” and once it gave way to quivering synthesizers and assured strings, Duffy let loose, moving her microphone side to side across her mouth as she sang for a sort of Doppler effect, bringing notes in and out of focus.

But even here, at her most breathless, Duffy managed a note of restraint:

Now you think that I

Will be something on the side

But you got to understand

That I need a man

Who can take my hand

Yes, I do.


Fred said...

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