Damien Rice

Latitude 2007

published: Wed 18th Jul 2007

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2007
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£112 for the w/e, or £45 per day
last updated: Mon 2nd Jul 2007

The following statement risks destroying every ounce of indie cool that I possess, and also risks upsetting the purists and the snobs and the scenesters, but I couldn't care less. Damien Rice was awesome tonight, and anyone who argues has no clue about live music. A broad, sweeping generalisation, but sometimes, just sometimes, broad, sweeping generalisations are true. Forget the snobbery, he was superb.

Opening with 'Volcano' featuring Rice on piano, accompanied by a solo cellist, the listener would be forgiven for thinking that meandering, yet heartfelt ballads are all that he could offer, but we would soon be proven wrong. It was a beautifully delivered piece, and one in which Rice grabbed the crowd and made sure they were held tight. '9 Crimes' followed in a similar vein, before Rice was joined by a full band, which he led through twisted, distorted versions of the best of his output to date.

Damien Rice

'Woman Like A Man' and 'Grey Room' stood out tonight, but really, highlights mean little. This was a set with intent. Rice knew he had to win this crowd over, and he came out all guns blazing. The result was a wonderfully anarchic attack on the presumptions of the crowd. Of course, all headline shows need the big singalong moment, and tonight that came with 'The Blower's Daughter', which was beautifully delivered, and one of the few oases of calm in this volatile, vitriolic set which offered so, so much.

Closing with 'Cheers Darlin', Rice introduced it with a rambling tale of love almost won, with the song providing the desperate, heartbreaking conclusion to the story. If there was still a dry eye in the field, that soon changed. We've all been there - that moment when we realise that a prospective lover is out of reach, yet we still cannot let go. The emotion which Rice poured into the delivery was phenomenal, and on that one number, the set was elevated from excellent, to simply outstanding.

Damien Rice

Anyone who dismisses Damien Rice on the basis of his more chart oriented output really needs to delve into his material a little more deeply. The fact that he left out his biggest hit, 'Cannonball', from the set tonight, shows that there is more to him than populism. Gleaming with professionalism, and with a songwriting talent that would make other artists weep, Damien Rice tonight proved that he is up there with the greats, regardless of what the indie-snobs think.
review by: Tommy Jackson

photos by: Tommy Jackson

Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th July 2007
Henham Park Estate, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 8AN, England MAP
£112 for the w/e, or £45 per day
last updated: Mon 2nd Jul 2007


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