Posted: 23 May 2014
Live Theatre, Newcastle
21 May 2014
Eliza Gilkyson from Austin, Texas, played to a select
audience of around 70 in the top floor studio space at Live Theatre, whose main
auditorium simultaneously played host to up-and-coming local comedians. I
suppose it was what you call an intimate gig.
Accompanied by Jim Henry on guitar and mandolin, Gilkyson
used the first of two hour-long sets to showcase songs from the two albums
she’s released since her last visit to the North East: Roses at the End of Time and 2014’s The
Nocturne Diaries of which Touchstone and Where No Monument Stands are the stand-out
tracks, the latter with a melody by John Gorkal added to words by the American
poet William Stafford.
The interval afforded everyone the opportunity to enjoy a
chat with Eliza who built the second half of her set around requests. Not too
many artists would have a request for a song about a suicide bomber but the
deeply moving Tender Mercies was duly one of the first on the list.
Eliza isn’t the sort of songwriter to have a greatest hits
collection (that’s more likely to be her dad Terry whose compositions included
Memories are Made of This and Bear Necessities from the film of The Jungle Book
which she played on her last visit to Newcastle but not this one.
Nonetheless, at the request of yours truly, Eliza delivered
a delicate Hard Times in Babylon and finished with one of her much respected
Dylan covers, Love Minus Zero.