[LIVE REVIEW] Shepherd's Bush Empire - London - REVIEW #2


By James Jackson
The Times

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The Missouri singer-songwriter couldn’t have seemed more casual and carefree on her flying visit to the UK — like the most glam slacker in town

You don’t share a stage with the Stones, Michael Jackson, Prince and their like, sell 50 million albums and survive cancer and a relationship with Lance Armstrong without learning a thing or two about owning a stage of your own. While it would be easy to cast Sheryl Crow in the light of some noble survivor, the Missouri singer-songwriter couldn’t have seemed more casual and carefree on her flying visit to the UK — like the most glam slacker in town.

Skinny in spangly trousers and sleeveless “Lover” T-shirt, Crow looked a good 15 years younger than her 55, suggesting she now spends her days peeling the skin off her kiwi fruit rather than the labels off her bottles of Bud. Hopping about like a goofy teenager for the opener, Everyday Is a Winding Road, then strapping on her hip-slung bass, she had the confidence to serve up four 1990s classics straight off the bat, including the barfly ode All I Wanna Do. Thereon, tracks from her new album, Be Myself, dominated, and it said much about the way they effortlessly evoke the rootsy pop hooks of her glory years that the venue’s bars remained relatively untroubled throughout.

Alone in the Dark showed she hasn’t lost her knack for a sweet chorus melody, Roller Skate’s pleas to her smartphone-glued kids caught her pithy wit. “Are you married?” she dispatched back at an audience member who was yelling that he loved her. Swipes at the “insane” stuff going on in America were good-humoured enough to end with a laid-back “whatevs”.

The mid-tempo pace was agreeable if a touch workaday, but with harmonica solos, singalongs and bursts of soloing from the Brian May-ish Peter Stroud (one of three guitarists), lulls were few. Crow could, in many ways, be an earnest female Tom Petty, but, as she beamed at the audience singing back to her the chorus of If It Makes You Happy, she seemed to be having too much fun for that. The Missouri girl has firmly got her “whatevs” groove back.

SOURCE: The Times (UK)



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