Eleanor Friedberger live at Moth Club: singer announces Andy Warhol tribute show in spring

Eleanor Friedberger plays her first London show of the year at Moth Club to promote her third solo album, 'New View'

Hazel Sheffield
Thursday 04 February 2016 12:11
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Musician Eleanor Friedberger performs at The Echo on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles
Musician Eleanor Friedberger performs at The Echo on June 18, 2013 in Los Angeles

Eleanor Friedberger plays her first London show of the year at Moth Club, an old working men's club, where red velvet booths line walls covered in plaques commemorating rotary clubs and regiments.

It’s cosy and there’s no avoiding eye contact with the huddled crowd, so she's prepared a few things to talk to about: living in London in her twenties, just before she joined her brother to form the band The Fiery Furnaces; the TV performances she has lined up in New York to promote her third solo album; the next visit to London to play headline shows with her band and Warhol tribute nights at the Barbican with Tom Verlaine from Television. No big deal.

Tonight she remembers seeing Smog in an Islington church with a cover of ‘I was a stranger’, seguing into ‘Your word’ off her new record. ‘New View’ is about leaving New York City and reconciling yourself to getting older, being happy with your lot. Friedberger has smoothed the angles, dropped her indie roots for Neil Young-tinged rock.

 

Glitter Gold Year-- thank you London for such a nice first NEW VIEW show.

A photo posted by Eleanor Friedberger (@eleanoronly) on

Without a band, we miss the gut twisting electric guitar solo in ‘Open Season’, leaving the kaleidoscope of hatred and regret over a breakup to come through in the lyrics. “Here’s the receipt,” Friedberger sings, retreating to her “tree museum” in upstate New York, where she is learning to be alone. Her voice is more comfortable digging in the lower registers, mining the passage of time for lyrics about keepsakes in amber, day-long walks and the end of springtime.

She fluffs last song ‘Sweetest girl’ and asks the audience what song she should finish on instead. “’My Mistakes,” the crowd shouts back, picking the first song off her first solo album. “But it’s only two chords!” she protests, before playing it anyway.

Whatever mistakes were troubling her in 2011 are long gone now, it seems.

4/5 stars

Setlist

He didn’t mention his mother

I am the past

I was a stranger

Your word

Cathy with the curly hair

Scenes from Bensonhurst

Does turquoise work?

A long walk

Stare at the sun

Run, run, run

Widow city

Because I asked you

All known things

When I knew

Other boys

Early earthquake

Open season

Sweetest girl

My Mistakes

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