I once had a friend telling me they would probably turn up to hear Mark Lanegan sing the telephone book! But then I agreed because Lanegan just has one of those voices, deep, soulful, soothing to the point it quelled even my horrendous foul and ill-tempered mood on Thursday when we went to see him perform at the KOKO.
With nine studio albums and a plethora of collaborations under his belt, there is quite a back catalogue to choose from but I never get tired of hearing my favourites. Sometimes I purposefully don’t listen to a new album if I’m going to see an-artist live shortly, sometimes I just like going to a gig and hearing a song for the first time. I bought the new album whilst I was there, no surprises I chose the red coloured vinyl edition and a notebook. Maybe I’ll write that ercury prize-winning album now!
I have I think seen Lanegan perform maybe 10/11 times over the years in various guises, The mark Lanegan bans, The Gutter Twins, with Soulsavers, with QOTSA, by himself. He’s not you average front man, there is no charismatic jumping around on stage, or joking around with the audience. He walks on sings, says thank you every now and then, introduces the band, gives a small wave and walks, not always necessarily in the order but trust me this is enough. Some artists you go to see perform, others you go to listen to, he falls in the latter category.
I didn’t stick around for the signing, I’m not good with queuing but I have my album and notebook, and he ended the show with two amazing covers of Joy Division songs which is all good. Love will tear us apart is one of my all time favourite songs. Cover versions are one of the rare things I get snobby about, I hate a terrible cover versions but then again there are some really good ones out there. I doubt that there is a song that Lanegan could cover that wouldn’t be just as good as the original, in fact due to him covering other songs, I discovered some amazing artists to add to my back catalogue.
So until next time I have Gargoyle to listen to along with the many others but some artists are just better heard live, Mark Lanegan is one of those artists!