London South Bank Royal Festival Hall
Rhinestone trash like the [B]Dixie Chicks[/B] may get the corporate spend, but [B]Iris DeMent[/B] is the diamond among the Nashgirl makeweights...More on
Recovered "from a little bout with the cancer", John Prine's voice is a rasping fog issuing spitball sermons. The drummerless double bass and guitar set-up suits his unerring perception, steely irony and finely detailed sadness just fine - better than the records.
A songwriting giant since the early-'70s, in recent years Prine has provided fuel for both the Primals and Spiritualized. Tonight, he tends classics like 'Angel From Montgomery', 'Jesus The Missing Years' and the definitive vet-drug-casualty composition 'Sam Stone' as if they were newborn babes.
Iris joins for a few duets from the new 'In Spite Of Ourselves' album but it's Prine's own 'I Wasn't Hurting No-one' and 'Peaceful Waters' reserved 'til the end that bath us in crystal fire and confirm his genius. One a psychodrama where he faces his fate with steely menace, the other a meditation on murder, violence and destruction. Unassailable.
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