|The Greystones Pub Music Venue Sheffield|
How best to describe this performer.? If you could imagine equal parts of Bill Nighy crossed with an extremely hyperactive child and large measure of a Victorian Music Hall MC, that would sort of do it, I think. The ebullient Mr Otway arrived on stage and surveyed the backroom venue as gleefully as if it had been the Royal Albert Hall. The sixty something gaunt 'popstar' lifted the art of self deprecation to a new level in a show that referenced disco, pop, heavy metal, stadium rock, punk and included all two of his hits and his theremin 'virtuoso' skills. Don't be fooled by the 'failure' tag. The band, a foil for much of the humour were a super, accomplished outfit. with Richard Holgarth - guitar, Murray Torkildsen - guitar, Seymour - bass & Adam Batterbee - drums giving great support and allowed space to shine throughout the set.
He has made a film, Otway the Movie' that charts the ups and downs of an eccentric rock and roll career, which is currently travelling around the festival cinema circuit. I haven't seen it but on the basis of tonight's performance, .I suggest it would make a good addition to a film component of an Arts Fest line up. Details here and a Guardian review here Catch him at Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festivals later this Summer.
The audience participation came not so much in singing along with the songs as in a chanting of a well honed responses in a 'Good Old Days' fashion to theatrical questions posed by Otway.
It was an evening delivered with charm, good hunour, and excellent showmanship. A great gig, definitely one for end of year picks.
One of Otway's two hits Burn Baby Burn
|Pulp members gather on City Hall steps|
Pulp Heroes: Earlier in the afternoon while walking around seeing the sights, we happened across Jarvis Cocker and his entourage on their way to a sold out documentary screening on the band at City Hall. Famously from Sheffield, Cocker and his fellow Pulp members with critic Paul Morley paused in front of the steps posing for cameras and answering reporters questions while a local ladies choral group sang acapella version of their hit Common People. The scene gave us a sense of just how important these local heroes were to this town.