24 febbraio 2014

Due sole canzoni - All The Pretty Little Horses e Death and the Lady - per il brevissimo ritorno sulle scene di Shirley Collins, a più di trent'anni dall'ultima apparizione dal vivo. Ha propiziato l'evento a Londra David Tibet, con un concerto presso la Union Chapel di Islington lo scorso 8 febbraio cui hanno partecipato anche Macgillivary e, principale attrazione, Current 93. Ne hanno scritto The Quietus e The Guardian. Ne ha scritto anche Michael Rodham-Heaps: "Now in her late seventies, she crossed the stage with Ian Kearey who sat down to accompany her on guitar. The crowd’s appreciation was deafening. Seated, she stated “I wouldn’t have done this for anyone else other than David Tibet.” A further massive applause followed, then faded to a gorgeous rendition of All The Pretty Little Horses. The vocal was warm, aged, reflectively twisting, the “peck out eyes” bit ringing in my ears as the golden accompaniment bounced the chapel walls like imaginary hooves. The approval was astounding… “You’re far too kind,” she stated modesty and pleaded with us to “stop clapping before I burst into tears and ruin the next song.” I had tears for her… she was so sweet and humble. The next (and very last) song was a folk-fold of a “maiden meets death in the woods” (Death and the Lady, NdR), a prophetic tale where the maiden in question bargained for extra life, but couldn’t escape death’s inevitable embrace, Shirley’s deep voice echoing its pathos perfectly".

On Saturday 8th Feb, Shirley performed for the first time in 32 years, accompanied by Ian Kearey, and opening for Current 93, to a sold out and delighted Union Chapel. Shirley sang All The Pretty Little Horses, accompanied by Ian playing Shirley’s own banjo-dulcimer made for her by John Bailey in 1967. Her second song of the evening was Death And The Lady, accompanied by Ian playing bottleneck slide guitar. Her voice sounded fantastic after all these years. It was a giant breakthrough on the dysphonia which has plagued Shirley for decades. Shirley said: “I loved singing again. It was great working with Ian Kearey. We’re talking to David Tibet about recording.”