Circulus + Lisa Knapp + Takao Ito at the Spitz, 7th Sept.
Out of these three acts, to be honest only Lisa Knapp was worth the entrance money. Takao Ito sang earnest songs in an English/American folk style accompanied by an acoustic guitar, in Japanese. Circulus, the headliners, were a sort of novelty act very much from the Land Which Musical Taste Forgot. To be fair, their woodwind player was very adept on an impressive collection of old wind instruments (recorders, crum horns, wooden flutes), but their mix of prog folk tunes, 70s synthesizers, medieval garb and "sing coo-coo"s left me a bit cold. Particularly unnerving was the number of people present not only attempting to dance along to the music but who also knew the words to the songs.
I heard Lisa Knapp on a Kershaw show a few months ago and she didn't disappoint this evening: some great old songs and some original compositions, alternately sung unaccompanied and backed by the excellent band. Looking forward to catching her again at the Magpie's Nest nights at the Old Queen's Head in Islington if I can make it.
Sad to think that this excellent venue, along with what's left of the rest of Spitalfields Market, will soon be bulldozed. Hopefully they can find a new location before long.
- Review of "Wild and Undaunted" by Lisa Knapp
- "Save The Spitz" pages
- The Guardian attempts to explain the Circulus Phenomenon.