Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 06/10/2011 | Nerina Pallot – Shepherds Bush Empire, London

06/10/2011 | Nerina Pallot – Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Jo Cox


Nerina confesses during her set that she was reluctant to return to the Shepherds Bush Empire, her last performance having ended in tears and cuddling a borrowed cat (or something like that). Tonight it seems as if the place is very much out to get her again and as the sound system messes with her vocals during the first two tracks, I reminisce on all the other great artists I’ve struggled to hear in this venue. The Empire sound system is a bitch to everyone, hopefully she didn’t take it personally.

By the end of Turn Me On Again, all niggles seem to be dealt with and another disastrous night for Nerina thankfully avoided. In signature sparkly ‘Dorothy’ shoes (blue this time, apparently from ebay, shipped from Kansas perhaps?) she presents a far beefier sound than I remember from previous tours, drifting from the acoustic style she built herself on – much the same route as KT Tunstall has gone down. It works though, Idaho taking on a whole new depth with the addition of a string quartet. That being said however, there are still plenty of examples of the stripped back sound, with a solo version of Mr King and the inclusion of Grace.

Highlights inevitably include Geek Love, which originally lost out on an audience vote via the clap-o-meter (which Nerina points out is definitely not a disease) to Damascus but was included thanks to a gobby lady later on in the set, albeit in a censored form. The crowd also seemed enamored with a pop-tastic mashup of Better Than Today and Prince’s Raspberry Beret followed by a cover of Beyonce’s Crazy In Love. For me though, the latter stuck out like a sore thumb and highlighted the quality of Nerina’s songwriting, Crazy In Love seeming weak by comparison (not that this revelation came as much of a surprise to me after bearing first-hand witness to Beyonce’s Glastonbury performance this year).

Whilst I was a little dismayed to find When Did I Become Such A Bitch? entirely omitted from the setlist, as Nerina herself points out it’s hard to please everyone and almost impossible to make sure everyone goes away having heard their favourite song, especially when you’re four studio albums in. Regardless of all this, Nerina can hopefully call this the night her fortunes at the Shepherds Bush Empire turned around.


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