You'd think by now I'd have learnt to keep an open mind when it comes to almost everything in LA but one thing I assumed I'd never have to question is the universal fact that nothing good comes out of a Monday. So as I headed out to Bardot in Hollywood at the beginning of this week, I had all the usual Monday feelings of impending deadlines and overhanging guilt from the weekend. The kind that is meant to stop you having too much fun. However, my pessimism was overriden once again, firstly by the beautifully atmospheric and intimate venue that is Bardot and secondly by the inimitable Angela Mccluskey. By the time she took to the stage, the place was packed with people who clearly know how to start their week off in the right way: with damn good music. Playing songs from her new record 'Lambeth Palace', this was my first introduction to Angela apart from the praises being sung before her set. I was immediately struck by the fact that she had the room under her thumb. Her bluesy & often hauntingly delicate voice and undeniable stage presence was such that during the low key numbers, the room was willfully silenced and when she took it up a notch, the whole place was jumping around like there was no school tomorrow. And this wasn't just a random crowd, this was a room packed with FANS, one of which has been a loyal devotee since the beggining, naming her as his favorite voice along with Shirley Bassey (what an awesome compliment). She is able to swing between styles flawlessly from Blues to hints of Northern Soul & Reggae, topping it all off with a Disco finish. It was the first time in a long time that I really wanted a set to continue because I was eager to see what she would pull out of the bag next. Even her capturing arrangement of Famous Blue Raincoat had me forgetting, for the duration of the song, that I have an annoying tendency to be a Leonard Cohen snob. (Listen here)
I will surely be looking for a regular Monday night fix of good music on my return to the UK, it's like soulfood for the impending week ahead, which is exactly what Angela provided. And now I've proved that a good time isn't day permittent, if you ever find yourself in New York on a Wednesday & in need of a musical pick me up, you should head to Entwine, where Angela along with fellow musicians Kraig Jarrett Johnson and Greg (G Whiz) Wiecsorek have formed a Wednesday night residency. Judging by previous guests such as Courtney Love and Joseph Arthur, you never know who will turn up to do an impromptu session.
You can get a free download of 'It's Your World' which is featured on the Oil of Olay campaign by clicking here. Enjoy!