Yo confio en Juana Molina
So, as promised, I'm posting my experience of the Juana Molina gig I attended the other night.
We hadn't bought tickets in advance, but we were at Mono by about 7 o'clock, so we went inside to the little record store they have (called Monorail) and bought two (at £10.50 each - approximately USD20). The tickets said doors were at 8, but on the door outside it said 8.30. No problem, so we went for a drink and a bite to eat.
We turned up just before half-past eight, and found Mono to be pretty quiet. The place has a pretty nice feel to it, even if it does exude an air of studentesque left-wing-ism (for example, posters on the walls about a Scottish Socialist Party rally & an organic food shop). My girlfriend told me it used to be a Mexican restaurant, but you can't tell... it seems well designed for the bar/restaurant/organic food shop/record store that it is.
We got a table just 5 or so metres from the stage and bought a couple of drinks. Then we waited.
Then went to the bathroom.
Finally, at about half past ten the opening act hit the stage. He was a rather odd red-haired fellow, whose checked shirt gave him a rather country-boy feel. He sang without the accompaniment of music, and in a very folk style. His songs all seemed to feature something or other about Jesus, although I wouldn't class his music as religious, per se. Initially, his solo vocals-only music made me cringe, but I quickly warmed and appreciated it, even if I wouldn't listen to it usually.
After a fairly short set up, Juana hit the stage.
The performance itself was great. As you will know, her music is a mix of vocals, guitar and synthesised sounds. The way in which she added the latter really added to the performance. She used a series of pedals which seemed to record what she played. Before and during each song, she would use the two keyboard synthesisers she had to play various sounds, which she built up into a loop, using these memory pedals. This made it so much more involved and interesting than if she - for example - had a laptop computer with the loops preloaded.
I recognised most of the songs that she played, even if I don't necessarily know their names. She sang beautifully, gave it her all and really impressed. My girlfriend, who wasn't familiar with any of Miss Molina's work, really enjoyed it which is always a good sign. She played one encore, which was long but very engaging and a great way to end the gig.
As usual, something went wrong with my plans to take some photos. I organised my camera, found my memory card, replaced the batteries, then left the damn thing at my girlfriend's house... So I apologise for the lack of visuals. I should have expected this as I inevitably find that there's something (usually my own stupidity) which hampers me from photographing great gigs.
Would I go see her again? In an instant... although if the gig was at Mono, I wouldn't turn up so promptly!