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Odin Dragonfly

Fibbers, York

24 August 2007

There were two support acts, Sarah Dean and Aimie J Ryan, who played about half an hour each.

Sarah sings and plays the harp. If you like the sound of that, you'll like Sarah Dean, if you don't... what's wrong with you??? Anyway, she has a nice collection of songs, most of which I remembered from her last set in the same place but only one I really knew, Bonny At Morn (traditional Northumbrian folk song). She has a huge contingent of appreciative fans in the room and you could hear a pin drop when she was singing, not the sort of thing I expect from a rock audience in a bar and quite an interesting phenomenon.

Aimie sings and plays the guitar. Her voice is surprisingly powerful and her guitar playing very aggressive. Her songs didn't do a lot for me on first listen but she's a good performer.

And now the moan of the evening: the same audience who were respectfully silent through Sarah's set yakked quite noticeably and intrusively all through Aimie's. I found it really annoying, inconsiderate to those of us who want to listen, and shockingly disrespectful to the performer. Honestly, I sometimes think gigs would be better without an audience.

Ok, on to the main act, who were scheduled to play for about an hour.

I'm not going to go blow-by-blow (that's not a flute pun, honest) through the songs. Basically they played all of Offerings from beginning to end (missing only Caught in a Fold). I was sure I would know the whole set from previous gigs but they surprised me with a new song at the end, Forsaken Love, written but not recorded by Stevie Nicks. (Heather says Stevie Nicks should record it, but she's wrong; Heather's the better singer and anybody else would be a pale imitation.)

I don't think I can pick a highlight from the set. I love Waiting for the Snow. I love the melody in This Game. I love the hypnotic quality of Round and Round. They're all perfect... Performance-wise, I might have to pick Witches Promise. My friend (who was a Jethro Tull fan when the song was new) thinks Angela plays it better than Ian Anderson. I love how Angela takes the high harmony to Heather's low melody line. Then they swap over! They have such amazing versatility, and their voices are perfect complements, no matter who is singing the lead. The best vocal partnership ever.

Every song in the set is beautiful and though I think I've heard tighter performances from the girls, any slight imperfections were lost in the warm atmosphere pouring off the stage. Odin Dragonfly gigs are unique in their friendly and relaxed atmosphere. You feel more like you've been invited to Heather and Angela's party than to a gig. You get general chat about life, the universe and everything, moments of genuine humour, and just general... friendliness. How much do they natter between songs? Well, consider that the whole album is only 50 minutes and after an hour on stage Angela pointed out that they had four songs left and zero minutes left to play them in. (I'm not point the finger at any particular culprit in the nattering stakes, but here's a clue: she was blonde.) Hence the cutting of Caught in a Fold, and to be honest that was probably the best choice to cut (good though the Odin Dragonfly arrangement is, it's still a song I've heard dozens of times before). And overall they played for probably an hour and a quarter.

And at the end they were so busy talking to all their friends and relations that I felt guilty imposing on their time to ask for autographs. (But I'm glad I did. Thank you.)

Best concert I've ever been to.

And I only say that when it's true. Honestly.

I can tell it's true by how much I wish I was there again tonight...

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