Brooke Fraser in Belfast

An absolutely wonderful gig. I adore Brooke Fraser. I’ve never actually been to The Limelight (I’m an awful student. In all senses) and I was lackadaisical about getting there in time for the doors, surely there wasn’t going to be THAT many people on a Monday night. Wrong. For a while I thought we were going to be stuck beside the bar with no view of the stage. We eventually got a decent spot up a few steps so I could see! The heat in the venue was intense, and I actually wasn’t even pressed up against anyone!

Cary Brothers (Not The Cary Brothers, just Cary Brothers – one person) was support, he was likeable and after nobody really paying attention to him he got an audience volunteer, and won us over, and ended up singing in the middle of the floor . You aren’t supposed to try to steal the show when you are support, Cary! Isn’t that right, Josh Ritter? He stayed around afterwards and seems like a good guy.

Brooke and her band came out to cheers and started off with the short, haunting “Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel. It reminded me of my Mum! She loves them, and I’d never really singled that tiny song out before. She then launched into a loud ‘Orphans, Kingdoms.’ I love how songs seem to become more marvelous when you hear them performed live, Mickey and I discussed how you always like the songs more afterwards – and I didn’t think I could like her album ‘Flags’ any more than I did. Songs that pale into insignificance on the album come into their own and spread their wings on stage.

I also loved hearing the stories and meaning behind some of her lyrics, introducing ‘Sailboats’ she said “This is a song I wrote for my husband…BOOM.” and held up her ring hand triumphantly to laughter and equal cheers and jokey boo’s. She told us how she had to google all these sailing terms to write the song, and as she sang it I actually listened to the lyrics and fell in love. Get a load of this song writing:

“We’re adrift on a sailboat, my love is the sea/ Yours is the horizon, constant and steady.”

“When we succumb to decrepitude/Still our love will remain in its youth.”

She is a beautiful and highly talented girl, her New Zealand accent and funny, strange stories were a joy to listen to, she covered ‘Narwhals’ (They have a tooth that looks like a unicorn horn), watching her brother being born and subsequently tasting breast milk, her Scottish mother in law, anti-sweat injections (due to us all melting in the heat)  and afterwards I despaired a little of my unremarkable face and abilities and awful accent! Can I be like Brooke, please?

I got caught up completely in the music and lyrics and had a really brilliant gig – her song ‘Coachella’ about the music festival captures a lot of the overwhelming joyful feelings hearing songs you love surrounded by kindred spirits. She did a wonderful cover of Coldplay’s ‘Violet Hill’ in the encore but the highlight was ‘Something in the Water’, and every single person seemed to join in and it was a big storm of singing and music and we couldn’t help but pour out into the rain with smiles on our faces and hopes that she comes back soon.

Here’s some photos and a video I’m going to give Micktee316 deserved credit for!


Author: Fiona

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