Review: Alicia Witt & Paul Carella, Borderline 28 July 2017

3 words for this gig. Awesome, awesome with a side order of awesome! The revamped Borderline venue provided a sparkling acoustic showcasing Alicia Witt’s gorgeous vocals. Stunning and boy can she play a keyboard (a re-configured Casio standing in for her trademark piano) and some truly demonic playing on the 8+ minute “Red Sole Woman” finale. An intimate and spot-on venue for this type of music and well-chosen by the artists.

@aliciawitty @PaulCarella Pictures here and Video clip here (be gentle with it, my camera was fighting the lighting but the audio of Alicia’s voice IS to … cry … for!)

First a confession. I booked my ticket to this gig solely to see Alicia Witt. Before this evening I’d only had the most cursory of brushes with Paul Carella’s music via his website … right, now that I’ve got that out of the way …

Alicia appeared on-stage alongside Paul Carella, literally; an inspired move, neatly side-stepping the “well I only came to see <insert headlining act name here>, so I’ll bug out now” dilemma and boy would you have missed out if you didn’t get to hear Paul Carella sing “Chasing Echoes” among maaaany others. Their performance and vocal styles complemented each other so well.

Alicia treated us to a generous helping of songs from her upcoming 15,000 Days EP (here’s hoping it becomes the full album) Earful a stand-out, liberally sprinkled with favourites from “Revisionary History” (Friend, I’m not Ready for Christmas and Consolation Prize) and “Live at Rockwood” (Anyway and my personal favourite Fighting for Crumbs.) Both performers were completely relaxed on-stage, sharing an easy banter, adding to the intimacy and fun of the evening. Consummate professionalism and a little #singlemaltcoffee – for good measure 🙂 Alicia also nailed an unexpected and well-received rendition of the Heywood Boogie from her credit sequence playout from the original Twin Peaks TV show – hard to believe this was first played over 25 years ago, wow.

A marathon 2 hours 30 show, no break (unless you count a rather unorthodox coffee refill!) , finishing waaaay too soon. The crowd, Alicia and Paul were flying and could have gone on for hours … Both performers were euphoric coming off-stage and were ready to give their time, selflessly. Chatting to fans, signing CD’s and taking selfies. Even the odd hug – thank you Alicia 🙂

Alicia Witt should be justifiably proud of a flawless performance tonight. Her next UK gig cannot come soon enough. I’ll be keeping Mr. Paul Carella on my radar too!

UPDATE 2/8/17 John Carroll Lynch @MrJCLynch and Alistair Petrie @alistairpetrie also enjoyed the music from the back of the room, we saw you 🙂