LIVE REVIEW: Pauline Murray @ Georgian Theatre, Stockton (31.10.20) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Images by Steve White

With this being the strangest of nights, given that minutes before Pauline Murray takes to the stage the new lockdown is announced, there’s a clear split of emotions inside the Georgian tonight.  

Divided, seemingly, into two camps (those nervous for the future, and those fully intending to live for the moment and enjoy their last live gig for months) it’s an interesting audience for Murray to manage. Is this the night for a gentle, introspective performance or is a more rebellious, slightly Last Night Of The Proms type of evening required?

What we get, stylistically at least, is something in the middle; a choice which seems to appease all members of the sold-out crowd and fit the mood well.   

Split into three 30-minute sections, Murray kicks off with acoustic versions of numbers taken from recent album Elemental.  Perhaps the most enjoyable section of the evening, Murray’s ability to bring warmth and a new context to her recent output, particularly on standouts Dark Clouds and When We Were Young, plays out particularly well and is well supported by the lovely Georgian acoustics. 

A quick 20-minute turnaround is given for an app-ordered drink before part two and an enjoyable Q&A conducted by Penetration guitarist Paul Harvey, which given Murray’s history is both interesting and a nice way of demonstrating the two most diverse parts of Murray’s personality; artistic insecurity and a deep rooted self-belief in the importance of the arts. Topics included Sid Vicious gobbing on the roof of the Penetration van, and the impact of the Invisible Girls.

A final solo 20 minutes, with a lovely 12-string version of Dream Sequence, concludes a night which showcases a well-written, well-curated, show.

It’s such a shame the show can’t go on to other venues, for the short term at least. And let’s hope it’s not too long until both Murray, and the Georgian, can do this again. 

 

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