Gig Review – Tori Amos


Tori Amos

Glasgow 02 Academy, October 6 2017

How good was Tori Amos live? Even three days later, I’ve still got a glorious glow just thinking about the gig…

The gig was the final night of the European tour supporting her new album Native Invader. A quarter of a century since she appeared with her debut Little Earthquakes, she still seems like very few before or after her. Sure, comparisons may be made with (insert name here) or (insert name here) if you must. But as she walked out onto a stage – just her, her faithful Bosendorfer concert grand piano and a couple of keyboards – she gets a standing ovation just walking on stage. It probably is easier if you’re playing to an adoring crowd, rather than struggling to be heard amongst people who aren’t there to see you, but what is clear is that she has won fans over, and they aren’t about to let her go.

She’s clearly had a great tour – and the warmth of Glasgow audiences is rightly legendary. With a pretty damn impressive back catalogue, she’s never going to be able to play every one of the favourites and promote the new album. But the gig felt like a great crowd supporting a great artist.

I first heard her in 1991, a few months before the album came out when ‘Silent All These Years’ came out (it would later make the top 40; she’s had a number of bona fide hits here in Britain over the years). It sounded like nothing else at the time. So to finally hear it live is a dream come true and the sense that it’s just as magical and bewitching as it always was.

Many of the crowd are delirious to hear ‘Baker Baker’ – but me, I’m delighted to hear favourites like ‘Sparkle’ -‘she’s addicted to nicotine patches’ indeed, and I realise that ‘Winter’ may indeed be my favourite song of hers after all (for a long time I might have plumped for ‘Sister Janet’, b-side to ‘Cornflake Girl,’ her forst top ten hit). Her cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ is as heartbreaking as the original, and she also weaves in the Eurythmics’ ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’ into the set.

Perhaps most revelatory is hearing ‘Blood Roses’ live. On record I’d found the track from Boys For Pele unsettling and alienating. Yet hearing it live, it all makes sense. I’d been privilged to be able to review the gig for free – but within a very short time, I felt that I would have been delighted if I had paid for both mine and my fiancees tickets.

Forthcoming from Tori Amos


Back in late 1991, Tori Amos’ ‘Silent All These Years’ appeared on the radio. It was unsettling, vastly different and utterly thrilling. It later became a Top 40 hit on re-release, and indeed she had a number of UK chart hits in the 90s, including a no.1 single with a remix of her song ‘Professional Widow.’

April 13 will see deluxe re-issues of her first two albums, 1992’s Little Earthquakes and 1994’s Under The Pink. These not only include a number of great singles – ‘Pretty Good Year,’ ‘Crucify,’ ‘Winter’ and ‘Cornflake Girl’ but also some excellent b-sides. My favourite was ‘Sister Janet’ (the b-side of ‘Cornflake Girl’, but perhaps the most legendary was her take on Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’:

‘Take To The Sky’ is another Little Earthquakes‘ era b-side that suggests you really should snap these re-issues up:

Some Covers For Friday Part III

Hey, it’s Friday, it’s been a good week, and I’m in the mood for sharing so here are some fantastic covers for you all.

First up, I heard Camera Obscura doing this live earlier this year, and it blew me away. They really DO make this their own song.

Camera Obscura -‘Super Trooper (Abba cover).’ mp3

Electric Light Orchestra are one of those bands that seem to be considered beyond naff, and yet…there’s something quite nice about their songs in small doses. Or in this case, in the hands of the much-missed Delgados (RIP).

The Delgados -‘Mr. Blue Sky (ELO cover).’ mp3

I know very little about this cover, exvcept that The archies were a TV show before I was born, and this was no.1 back in about 1969 -but it’s kinda cool, and I’d love to know where I can hear Mary Lou Lord’s cover of the Bevis Frond’s Lights Are Changing, too.

Mary Lou Lord -‘Sugar Sugar [from the Archies].’ mp3

You get to hear a lot of music when you write a blog. You also get the chance to hear a lot of stuff that you’ve been searching for for ages. These two songs were things I had put out pleas for-and ended up in my inbox extremely quickly. Thanks. These were originally recorded for an album for Northern Ireland called ‘Peace Together’ when the province was a lot more troubled. I love the Peter Gabriel original and also really like Pop Will Eat Itself’s take on it (Gabriel’s stuff with Genesis was mince though). While I quite like a lot of the Police’s stuff (though their solo stuff leaves much to be desired in a certain case, Mr. Sumner) I was never a big fan of this song, until I heard Therapy? do it.

Pop Will Eat Itself -‘Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover).’ mp3

Therapy? -‘Invisible Sun (The Police cover).’ mp3

There are some great Arcade Fire covers dowing the rounds, I posted their version of Guns Of Brixton earlier this year. This is their take on Bowie’s Five Years.

Arcade Fire -‘Five Years (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Morrissey was quite passionate about many bands over the years, and famously covered Suede’s early b-side ‘My Insatiable One’ (again, if you know where I can get hold of this, please get in touch) before most people had even heard of Suede. He also bigged up James years before they broke big (although it’s long been rumoured that ‘We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful’ was a dig at them). This song -the b-sde to his ‘Pregnant For The Last Time’ single -was a cover of a Bradford song.

Morrissey -‘Skin Storm (Bradford cover).’ mp3

Speaking of seeking out covers…I’d made a plea for this earlier this week and got this, plus another Tori cover into the bargain..

Tori Amos -‘Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover).’ mp3

Tori Amos -‘Happpiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles cover).’ mp3

Finally. This song (and if I really, really need to spell it out it’s ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’) is possibly my very favourite cover version ever. I’ve no idea what Morrissey -or indeed any of The Smiths think of it – but it’s fab in my eyes (or should that be ears?)

Schneider TM -‘The Light 3000.’ mp3

As always, if you like what you hear, please go and seek it out (it should go without saying that I do not hold the copyright and these are here for sampling only) by supporting the artists involved, preferably through your local record shop!