[sic] Magazine

Amy Winehouse – I Told You I Was Trouble – Live In London, DVD

To steam time is to take control but with compression comes less salt.

This sinewy wind ruled warrior’s heart shutters to stop, while counting names my sporty gem could have caught. She will be one of many brisk and agile agents, of handy familiar fare, that was drawn to successful battle but never given wink. With heartfelt yet counterfeited pride, while in pursuit of permanency lost, I now name her ‘My Ladyship’. More than fitting, for such a reliable and excellent craft, is this last tribute to my ocean companion of extended loft and oversized sail. I may have finally wrecked my dynamic dove, before her due time. She was pushed into artistic ransack, to serve conquest, for this is monumental in the acts of Gods and men.

With hearts of many, my crew comes only before her. Progression is distained by shipman but, hearty group plunder is of fantasized cutting edge and, we will take and make use of anchored steam ship ahead. Sink or sunk, we shall beat the shores for excellent artists found in this freshly filched vessel. Finding abandonment to be the case, we simply grab this bucket with spirit of easy salvage. A DVD is found in an engine room of pipe and stove. My handy page will see to this monster’s phoenix like resurrection, while we search for a player of such disk.

‘Amy Winehouse – I Told You I Was Trouble-Live In London’ is the prize of moving picture and sound. Reminded that her music is ubiquitous and hardly news of fresh, I still relish the opportunity to see simple brilliance in full colour and movement staged.

This gangly girl is made to appear even more so, by her bee hive hair doo and shortly hemmed dress of thrift shop variety. With one hand either resting on swinging, swaying hip or pulling on strands of raven locks; this songstress doesn’t roam the stage except to grasp refill. There is an amount of different drinks consumed during the performance, and one might assume grog. An excessive amount of affection is cast toward her balconied husband, to the dismay of even him at one point. There is a feeling of hurried want during the evening, with her constant signals to speed tempo and requests to “run it baby”, directed toward her drummer. At one point, while introducing a number, she cuts a story short and declares “fk it”, with a thirst to just get on with the next song.

A few notes are spoiled and apologies are given, but for me never requested. She is a unique vocalist who takes great risk in her performance and certain originals, in my mind, should be given license in this regard. I point but I do not judge. To not appreciate her talent, because of ill fame, is a witch hunt in my one good eye.

Amy Winehouse is not limitless in her range but the power she has, is used with great lyrical soul and spirit of scat. As her eyes roll back in her head, when hitting certain runs, one can easily see her love for this thing she does. Backing her on this scarlet draped stage, of fringed lamps and changing light, are some of the best musicians anyone could hope for. With musical director Dale Davis on bass, Robin Banerjee on guitar, three wonderful musicians on trumpet and sax, Xantone Blacq on keys and Nathan Alan keeping things tight on drums, Amy is vocally backed by Zalon Thompson and long time friend Ade Omatayo. Everyone is working at a faster tempo than original recordings and with the constant stepping, and side dancing her two back up singers perform, there is a bit of well deserved toweling off.

Sixteen songs are performed, with very few being of cover. A running time of 150 minutes is the total for both concert and subsequent documentary. This artist of prolific song writes her own lyrics, while finding little but some help, with melodic production. Much of her lug is lyrically raw and vulgar but flows with a graceful ironic beauty. She strings words together like a poet who is out to shock. ‘Some Unholy War’ is brought to mind. Due to her heavy accent and guttural tones, I sometimes wonder how many actually pick up on all of her frank words.

Following the stage performance is a well produced documentary with interviews and candid audition footage. Considering some of the idiotic hoop jumping, an up and coming performer is subjected to by TV and radio; she seems to have been a good sport along the way.

I am not here to inspect her personal life, but relate my findings about these goods on disk found. I enjoy her melodies, lyrics and vocal style. Jazz with a soulful R&B sensibility brought to life through an upbeat tempo that defies the original album tracks, to the point of prefer ability is my tea. Not all of my crew cared for this production, but that is of no surprise. Either you drink in this novel act or find fatigue from it; there seams to be very little neutral ground in this matter. My point is; if you already find value in her work, this will provide refreshing replenishment and if you don’t, this will not strike as an epiphany.

Our newly found steam barge, of man made power, will serve my crew for now but analogue drive is my only true love. Until we are one with full sail again, soot and dusky smoke will prove byproduct, in service of compressed time for tastes of upcoming sights and sounds.