Andrew Bird Review
Since 1996 Andrew Bird has put out an album more or less every two years, which may come as a surprise to the crowds who know him only for this year’s release, Break It Yourself.
See him live, however, and it’s obvious Andrew Bird has been in the business a long time. The man is so experienced; he performs with complete ease and charm despite a self-confessed sleepless night brought on by a heavy bout of gigging. His current UK tour includes headlining some big festivals, so it’s no wonder the Theatre Royal was brimming with punters.
Two opening solos captured the crowd in an instant. Undoubtedly a master at violin, Bird plucks and strums the strings with gusto while his bow seems to have a life of its own. With the right amount of time dedicated solely to the instrument, his voice came along sounding quite lush and we see why Andrew Bird has become a big name of late.
When his band joined him onstage for a couple of folky and experimental pop songs, the intensity and goosebumps dipped a little only for them to return when the band congregated under a spotlight. Here, we were invited to a more intimate sound.
Birds’ charm and versatility of instruments became one as we were treated to poetic and sometimes humorous lyrics, professional whistling and a customised two-headed spinning horn which echoed all the layers of sound into a rich wash. The show was both atmospherically intimate and stadium-hyped at the same time. In this case we can forgive the recurring whistle, Birdie.
Theatre Royal, Sunday 10th June 2012
Words by Annie Lorenzini