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Gina Dootson

Centurian, Newcastle

22 November 2005

It's two years since I saw Gina Dootson on stage. I liked her voice and her guitar style. But it wasn't until I bought her CD and played it to death (I mean that literally — it's only a CDR and I wore it out; it won't play any more) that I fell in love with her songs. So I've been waiting two years to see her again, and last night I finally got the chance.

And the thing I had forgotten in the intervening time is how agressive she is on stage. You don't get the same effect from the CD. She screams every note like she really means it, and thrashes her guitar so hard I thought it would break. I was stunned. She's even better than I remembered.

She came on following a local lass who sang songs about skipping through the bluebells and falling in love. Gina is more about having a good scream about life then cutting yuor wrists. Her first words are, "This song is about my ex, who treated me like shit." And that was the cheerful song in her set...

Most of the songs were new to me; one of them is already a favourite and I hope I'll be able to them on a CD soon (that's a hint, if by some miracle you're reading this Ms. Dootson).

It's a shame her time was very short, due to having three acts on the bill — only 40 minutes, and a big chunk of that is taken up with re-tuning her guitar after each song. (There are long, awkward pauses while she does this. Maybe she needs to tell jokes or something... er... maybe not.)

And the audience was criminally small. Probably less than 20 people actually listening to the music, with a few others further back at the bar. I hope the poor turn out doesn't put her off coming back to Newcastle soon. I promise I'll be there.