It’s been too long since the UK has been graced with the presence of Atlanta’s finest, the Indigo Girls. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, veterans of stage and studio, arrived in London for the first time in six years with a startling array of guitars, mandolin, banjo and lute racked up on the stage. “We know how to play this lot and we do it well,” the racking seemed to say.
By goodness, so they do. Their outstandingly loyal, vocal and tuneful fans welcomed back older numbers with ecstatic enthusiasm, quickly making the Girls feel at home. New album Become You was offered up for scrutiny and was loved passionately by those present within moments of the first track breaking cover.
A most talented lady on keyboards, accordion and penny whistle (sometimes playing two of these three at the same time) stood just behind Amy Ray’s lanky form while Emily Saliers showed what a fabulous penchant she has for ballads in front of a flamingo-like specimen in a Pippy Longstocking hairdo on bass.
Closer To Fine was sung in tune by almost the entire audience and Amy in particular was clearly overwhelmed and delighted by the audience’s reaction. Galileo similarly pleased the crowds and Become You, featuring a folksy accordion riff, immediately got the place going, while Emily’s intricate guitar skills bewildered and astonished, from balladry to Hillbilly.
And what civilised fans the Girls have. Only a couple of cat calls – one for Moment of Forgiveness, which was added to the end of the set in response. Not often do you get bands changing their set on demand after six years off the road.
The fans were promised return visits this year by the Girls to make up for lost time and were in raptures as a result. Rarely have I witnessed such total union between performers and audience as I witnessed here tonight. Miss this act at your peril.