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25 October 2004: Sarah McLachlan + Butterfly Boucher - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, England, UK

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Sarah McLachlan is big, and I mean big, in North America. She is responsible for the Lillith Fair tours which have brought together some of the finest female singer songwriters in the world together in one show, but this as far as I am aware is the first time she has been seen live in the UK. This does not mean that she doesn't have a sizeable following over here, getting tickets for this gig wasn't too difficult although we did end up sitting right up in the gods (those of you familiar with the concert hall will know what I mean and those of you not, well it's a bloody long way up!)

As I said Sarah has a reputation for promoting female artists so it was no surprise to find that the support for the evening was an Australian female singer songwriter called Butterfly Boucher. The lone Miss Boucher took to the stage, guitar in hand and proceeded to flaunt her talent for lyrical magic. The tracks came thick and fast as is usually the case with support acts but there was still a little time for a bit of chat with the audience, which included an offer to sign copies of her CD during the interval (this worked a bit too well as the cue for autographs was huge and she must have had an aching wrist after signing that lot. I alas was so far back that by the time Sarah McLachlan came on I still hadn't reached the front, never mind I got a unsigned copy after the gig.) Having never heard any of her music before I can say that I really enjoyed the set. Having now bought the disc I can tell you that my favourite track are "Life is Short" and "Another White dash", but the whole album is superb and well worth the price.

I did however know what to expect from Sarah McLachlan. My partner Lisa is quite a big fan and although my personal taste tends towards the heavier rock category I have to admit to really liking her music. The Concert Hall is not the best venue for gigs, it's a bit too formal and so generally lacks a bit of atmosphere but this did not put a damper on the evening. The songs were delivered with exceptional skill and variety, it's always nice to hear a track you know done really well live in fact I think my favourite Sarah McLachlan album is the live "Mirrorball" and my favourite track is "Building a Mystery" so when she played that track I found myself screaming out loud with all the girlies. It was great.

Because this was the first UK tour I don't think she knew what to expect, how would the crowd react? Would they sing along? And so the set was pretty much a greatest hits with a bit of new stuff. Hopefully we didn't let her down she certainly gave us a night to remember. Other highlights from the set (apart from "building a mystery", it's such a great track it's worth a second mention) were "Sweet Surrender", "Ice Cream", "Good Enough", Circle" well I could really list them all (If I knew what they were all called). I just hope that it's not another 16 years before we see her in the UK again.

Cheers.

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© Simon, livemusicreview.co.uk

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