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The Ballad Of Shirley Collins


The Ballad Of Shirley Collins“There are some great female voices around now, but I’m not one of them, and I wish I was…” states Shirley Collins, sadly, on the opening of the LP to the sound of bonfire sparks, following it sincerely with “…but I believe when I was singing at my best I was the essence of English song

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Current 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel)

Macgillivary - live at The Union ChapelLondon 8 February 2014

Macgillivary started proceedings with some rather spooky vocals, multiple choirs caught in the looper’s long corridors, trapped trajectories, cloister curving, quickly followed by a souped-up electric zither accompaniment, as her sorrowful voice continued to work its magic through the vastness of the chapel. She pulled out some nice feedback too, and those ‘white horse’ piano tides were superb, reminded me so much of Galás‘ dark inroads or a more shadow-cast Enya. She concluded her set by walking into the wings, leaving the looper to stretch her vocals ad infinitum, the audience left to clap an empty stage.

Shirley Collins - live at The Union ChapelCurrent 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel) […]

Comus / Shirley Collins / Stephanie Hladowski & Chris Joynes (live at Islington Assembly Rooms)

London 21 September 2013

It is a mild, early autumn Saturday night and Upper Street is the very picture of modern urban revelry. Outside the doorways of fashionable bars and clubs, the pavements are clotted with thick knots of drinkers and smokers, the ‘dun-tsch, dun-tsch, dun-tsch’ beat of anonymous dance music bleeding out from their dimly-lit interiors into the warm evening air.

There is scarcely a free chair around the outside tables of the chi-chi restaurants, every surface groaning under cornucopia of plenty: pan seared scallops, herb roasted pork tenderloin and quinoa-crusted plaice, chilled Chablis and Blue Mountain double espresso. Everywhere stand men with casually unbuttoned striped shirts and hair thick with extra-hold gel, whilst women with glowing blonde hair and micro-skirts totter atop their high heels. An enormous shocking pink stretch Hummer glides past, one of its darkened rear windows lowered as a girl clutching a precarious flute of

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