London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

It's the kind of rock'n'roll that's on a macrobiotic diet and whose personal file 'Hates' column says 'smoking and bad manners'...

When the camera pit is the nearest thing resembling a moshpit, you know you’re in trouble. Not that you’d expect stagediving, slamdancing and sweat-drenched human pyramids at a Sheryl Crow gig, but someone maybe, like, standing up might lend the show a bit of atmosphere.

The California cowgirl it’s OK to quite like is still fond of the iconography of rock’n’roll, as leather trousers, numerous mentions of bar-rooms, black jack and beer bottles can testify, but you suspect tonight’s audience might feel more at home with EastEnders and soft soul.

This means even when she’s kicking (or rather, sort of nudging) out the jams on the upbeat likes of ‘A Change Would Do You Good’, she is greeted by sedately seated clapping along. This ain’t rock’n’roll – this is Pebble Mill At One!

At least Shezza herself is still making the effort to work up a sweat. Furthermore, she’s splashed out on a string section and piano player, not to mention an intermittent slide show with lots of slightly incongruous animation on it.

Ultimately, though, this can be perfectly agreeable armchair entertainment, not least because Sheryl is fast becoming the female Bryan Adams. The key phrases to bear in mind are ‘I never knew she had so many good tunes!’, ‘verse’, ‘chorus’ and, oh yes, ‘no-nonsense good-time rock’n’roll, not like these new “drumming bass” types’.

Sure, it’s the kind of rock’n’roll that’s on a macrobiotic diet and whose personal file ‘Hates’ column says ‘smoking and bad manners’, but songs like ‘If It Makes You Happy’ and ‘Every Day Is A Winding Road’ effortlessly achieve that nagging bus queue resonance… oh no no no NO NO NOOOO WHAT AM I SAYING THE KIDS’LL KILL ME!

Oh well. Fuck ’em. Shortly before this show London Tonight described Sheryl‘s biggest hit ‘All I Wanna Do’ as ‘the anthem for a generation’. Exactly which generation may be open to serious debate. But in Sheryl Crow‘s head, at least, she’s about, erm, 28 until she dies.