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Electric Picnic 09 - Neko Case

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ATL | 14:49 UK time, Sunday, 6 September 2009

Cosby Stage, Saturday 5th, 11.00pm

Whilst the Electric Arena goes into disco meltdown with the mighty Chic, and Madness are doing the nutty dance on the Main Stage, it's alt country time in the Cosby stage with flame haired chanteuse Neko Case. With her recent album, 'Middle Cyclone' garnering a healthy amount of critical praise, it's pleasing to see that the stage is nicely filled in the face of such heavyweight competition.

And thankfully, Case doesn't dissapoint, turning in a warm and homey perfromance, which has the feeling of a few friends gathered on the front porch for a bit of hoe-down. The funk from Chic and the beats from Errol Alkan threaten to overpower this delicate brew of Americana, but all that happens is that we have to listen just a little bit harder.

Swathes of pedal steel guitar coat the inside of the tent, whilst the beautiful harmonies of Case and her backing vocalist add a little honey to the brew. Songs like 'This Tornado Loves You' and 'People Got a Lotta Nerve' just soar, carrying us all with them. The set is peppered with witty banter and asides, and the whole set has a relaxed and uplifting atmosphere, perfect for those of us who are quite happy to slow things down a little at this point in the proceedings.

To take Case's tornado metaphor, this is the calm at the eye of the storm, and Neko Case makes us all feel very welcome to be here.

Describe in a tweet: Dustbowl blues in the middle of a muddy field in Ireland - we're not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Good Vibrations: The pedal steel guitar is just beautiful, prompting your correspondent to put forward a motion for its inclusion in every band, ever.

Life's a beach: At one point the backing vocalist utilizes a little music box device resembling an old style calculator, with paper feeding through it. It sounds out of tune with the band and prompted one wag to observe, "it's the first time I've witnessed accountancy live on stage, and hopefully the last".

EP rating: 8/10


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