Saturday, 13 June 2015

Memories of a thousand* gigs #42

(* probably not actually that many, but who’s counting?)

Imelda May
The Point, Cardiff - 8 February 2009
Also present: MrsRobster

I think like many, my first taste of Imelda May came via Jools Holland. She looked a great deal of fun, and after hearing her second album 'Love Tattoo' I was convinced. She played The Point in Cardiff on a freezing cold February evening. MrsRobster's mum and stepdad were supposed to be joining us, but conditions were too poor for them to get to us from rural Herefordshire. We braved it though, and the Point proved to be a lovely warm, intimate venue; a converted church with a nice feel and good sound.

The warmth continued throughout Imelda's set. She is a phenomenal presence on that stage, especially when she starts singing. Her lovely Southern Irish lilt, which just melts me when she speaks, suddenly becomes this huge bellowing jazz voice that at times comes over not unlike Etta James. This blend of jazz and rockabilly is what makes Imelda such a unique talent. Add to that a bit of banter with the crowd, displaying a touch of Irish humour, and we have someone who can set a venue alight.

Her set was dominated by tracks from 'Love Tattoo', but also included a smattering of tracks from her debut, a couple new ones which appeared on her next record 'Mayhem', and some warmly received covers. Among those covers was a version of Primitive, a song made popular by The Cramps. She dedicated it to Lux Interior who passed away just a few days before. Closing her set with a take on Gloria Jones' evergreen classic Tainted Love, Imelda made the whole thing seem effortless.

I wasn't sure how MrsRobster would take to this show - it's not the sort of music she's ever engaged with a great deal, but she rated Imelda May highly, both in terms of the performance and Imelda herself. We were also agreed that the Point was a really good venue. Sadly, as is the way, this was one of the last gigs held there. New apartments had been built opposite, and one - yes, just ONE - of those new residents complained to the council about the noise. The Point was forced to close its doors as a result. Nevertheless, this was a great show to go out on.


And here's some footage of the night in question (not shot by us, though):


  1. You buy a brand new house opposite an already established music venue,complain and then it closes.Unbelievable

  2. That southern lilt is a Dublin inner city accent. That accent would be known as a 'howareye'!!

  3. Yes, Imelda May has released some great records. I saw her a couple of times many years ago, supporting/accompanying Mike Sanchez, the british Rhythm-and-Blues singer, another terrific performer.