SARAH Gillespie oozes talent from every pore. Whether it is writing witty lyrics or performing on stage (guitar in hand), she always delivers, hitting sweet spots galore.
At Pizza Express Live Soho on Friday night (January 18), Gillespie’s musical mastery thrillingly bubbled to the surface like the bubbles in the restaurant’s house Prosecco. As with the Italian wine, she was much enjoyed by a sell-out audience.
Supported by a soirée of superb musicians, Gillespie showcased her latest album Wishbones – a collection of songs that demonstrate her verve for writing quirky lyrics remains undiminished. Tales based around mundane emails sent from her four year old daughter’s nursery school (Susannah Threw A Helicopter), drinking to excess (Moonshiner), Brexiteers (The Last Of The Good Time Charlies) and an conflicted oil engineer sensitive to the environment around him (an epic The Ballad Of Standing Rock).
A jaunty You Win, Russian Interference and Coup D’Etat – all taken from Wishbones – were also performed with panache. As were a number of songs from Gillespie’s rich back book. How The Mighty Fall – a number taken from album Stalking Juliet and dedicated to Theresa May (not someone on Gillespie’s Christmas card list).
There were heartfelt tributes to her departed mother (Glory Days and Postcards To Outer Space, performed solo) and a witty take on motherhood (Babies And All That Shit).
While Gillespie, with her delicious lyrics and sultry voices, was the night’s fulcrum, it was all gloriously enriched by her band. A masterful Chris Montague on guitar (all swirling chords), Laura Jurd on trumpet (magnificent), Tom Cawley on piano, Emiliano Caroselli on drums, Ruth Goller on bass and the wonderful Emma Divine providing sublime backing vocals.
Gillespie is an understated talent. A wordsmith. A blend of Dylan, Mitchell and PJ Dylan. On top form. At the height of her career. Wishbones is required listening, Gillespie and her band required viewing.
Thinking about it, more Veuve Clicquot than Prosecco.