Courtney Love, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, gig review


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The Independent Culture

“I will rise and rise again” promises Courtney Love in her new song ‘Wedding Day’. Courtney’s lyrics often portray her as the avenging phoenix from the ashes, but for a long-term fan, each rising leaves a taste in your mouth that’s a little more ashy.

Courtney’s long been in danger of becoming the grunge Joan Rivers - so outrageous! - and in truth it’s been some time since either her sharpness or her songs matched up to her gob.

'Wedding Day', while it has some of the gutpunch power of classic 'Hole', is decent at best, while its flipside, the more sluggish ‘You Know My Name’ flirts with self-parody (“I’ll bring the truth… I’ll never change. I am the one the one you blame…”).

As she struts on, puffing theatrically on a blue-glowing e-cig in hand, to the strains of Ravel’s Bolero, signs are not good.

Once she gets into her howling stride with the old stuff, though -  the caustic, cleansing ferocity of ‘Violet’, the skewering of self-righteousness in the rarely-played ‘Rock Star’ - she is peerless and pure.

And with young girls and boys around the room, screaming every fiercely feminist word, you have to concede that if Courtney’s become rather one-note, it’s still a hell of an important note.