The Dan, 4 Feb 1999

The first City of Women gig at the Dan O’Connell was very quiet from the crowd side and nice and noisy from the stage side.
While the Dan has a reputation for overcrowding this hot Thursday saw only sixty or seventy people out to see and hear City of Women. Another feature of the Dan seems to be pretty basic sound. While the last actual Deborah Conway show there was marked by particularly awful sound the City of Women were much easier to hear. Deborah’s vocals sometimes were drowned out by the rest of the band but then City of Women is not just a backing band for DC so I figure this is no catastrophe.
I only recognised a few of the songs. They opened with Interzone which has a much fuller, more aggressive sound, with the band. Actually this is true for everything they played. The difference between just DC and Willy and some backing tapes and City of Women is like day and night. Frankly Interzone doesn’t grab me a heap. It sounds a little like a Bond theme at times but didn’t last night.
Radio Loves This was full on and really good. For the guitar players reading this they were playing different chords further down the fret board and playing really really fast so it was hard to tell what the strumming was. Willy was playing a recurring melody across it that sounded to me a little like a snippet from Day Tripper. All of this came together to make a great sound and DC’s voice came through loud and clear.
She’s Coming For It also came up really well with City of Women. It didn’t sound quite like the pop ballad that it has so far but this is no bad thing either. Most of the other songs were ones I had either not heard before or I didn’t remember especially clearly.
There was one song where DC’s voice was put through some effects and sounded weird but it really grows on you after only a short time. Other songs sounded like they would have been right at home on My Third Husband, one especially (sorry, don’t know what it was called) reminded me of Bag of Sweets.
Other songs sound like nothing else on any DC album. Strong, almost floating, vocals and weird tempo and sounds in the backing. I look forward to hearing more of these.
The evening was plagued by minor sound problems of hissing and static and stuff like that but from where I was sitting it got lost in the general wash of sampling and effects so i wasn’t bothered. Events stopped briefly while they address some major problem in which DC tried to get the audience to chant the name of the bass player (Edmond Ammendola).
All in all a good show. well worth getting along to these, I’ll be at the Empress on Tuesday for sure.
Mark O’Meara

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