- 20 Mar 17
Hot Press headed to vicar street for Cat Power's spell-binding performance
Chan Marshall’s reputation for eccentricity is hardly undeserved but it is unfortunate that it has come to overshadow one of the most fascinating and melodramatic careers in American alternative music.
She can, it is true, seem overwrought and a little unmoored on stage (veteran fans will shudder as they recall the Dublin concert where she spent the entire set demanding honey for her throat). But those car-crash years are long behind her and at Vicar Street the Atlanta singer otherwise known as Cat Power put in a beguiling shift, her voice at once polished yet burnished with pain, her songs blossoming in the stripped-down, semi-acoustic setting.
All of which was rich material on which to draw through this spell-binding 90 minutes. Marshall played alone, switching between guitar and piano. The set was obscure with a vengeance with only 'I Don’t Blame You' – her howl of empathy for Kurt Cobain from You Are Free – qualifying as a “crowd pleaser”. It didn’t matter as her singing pulsated with a dark magic, the effect heightened by her bare-boned musicianship.