Tori Amos

Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham on Wednesday 14 May 2014

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Tori Amos has gone back to basics with her 14th album 'Unrepentant Geraldines'. After completing the previous tour in 2009, Tori felt that she had reached a creative block, this lead Tori to move away from the usual pop/rock genre and try some new musical endeavours such as writing music for the Light Princess musical.

Thankfully Tori managed to recapture her creative flair for piano based alt-rock, and 'Unrepentant Geraldines' is the result of this new wave of inspiration.

Thankfully the promotional tour for this album had included Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall and so with it being practically on my doorstep, it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. Upon arrival at the venue, there were notices put up stating that Tori Amos will be on stage at 20.50 and will finish at 22.15. So only one hour and twenty-five minutes worth of songs. This felt like a big insult considering some people had paid nearly £50 for this show.

Tori Amos

Once at our seats, it was easy to notice how many empty seats there were due to the overpriced tickets. However this did have an advantage, it made the performance feel extremely intimate and it also kept away the more boisterous people that attend shows to just shout drunken heckles at a performer.

Tori strolled onto the stage and sat in-between her piano and a keyboard, which at various points she would play them both at the same time. Tori opened the set with 'Parasol' and from there on in it was an evening of piano wizardry at its purest.

During this tour Tori has tried to mix up the setlist every night of the tour, and each night she has attempted to split the show into thirds. During the first part the audience seemed to give a loud roar of approval when Tori tapped the opening notes of 'Caught a Lite Sneeze' with the 'Hurt' snippet included.

Tori Amos

The evening was full of weird and quirky surprises such as when the backdrop turned in a grid of large bricks with the words "Lizard Lounge" written on them. This is the part of the set where Tori plays cover versions, and for tonight’s show they fans were treated to a version of Metallica’s 'Nothing Else Matters' and 'Moon Shadow' originally by Cat Stevens.

The only downside to being such a talented songwriter with such a vast back catalogue is that there will always be great songs missed out each night of the tour. Sadly songs such as 'Crucify', 'Professional Widow', 'Raspberry Swirl' and 'Me and a Gun' were all absent from this show. However this is the reason why seeing Tori Amos live is such an experience because each show is as unique as can be, the words "predictable and boring" can never be used to describe these shows.

However classic songs such as 'Little Earthquakes' and 'Take To The Sky' were included in the set list, and for the encore Tori decided to perform 'Cornflake Girl' which was welcomed with a rapturous applause partly because last time Tori had played this song in Nottingham was way back in 1998. The evening’s proceedings were brought to a close with 'Pretty Good Year'.

Despite being strange, weird, quirky, and unpredictable, Tori had managed to prove that when it comes to writing incredibly intricate melodic piano based songs then no one can match her piano prowess.

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article by: Luke Seagrave

photos by: Luke Seagrave

published: 15/05/2014 18:28