Live Music + Gig Reviews

Tori Amos @ Hammersmith Apollo, London

16 January 2002

Tori Amos

Tori Amos

When this highly original performer floated onto the stage in a sea of blue chiffon and feathers wearing her jeans underneath, we knew it was business as usual. Tori Amos‘s kookiness and unpredictability can be totally relied upon, and she wasn’t about to disappoint.

Safe in her cocoon of keyboards and grand piano and with just a bassist and drummer in tow, her red-haired tresses soon stared to fly. Tori’s lengthy performance had the vast audience mesmerised to the point of catatonia – until the dying embers of the concert, when they finally got to their feet.

She blitzed her way through a comprehensive set of material, much of it from new album Scarlet’s Walk, pausing just the once to chat to her devoted followers. She told a markedly strange yet cute tale about her daughter, which was evidence enough to suggest that motherhood has inevitably affected her life.

There was an early and well-received highlight to the show- an adapted rendition of her hit Cornflake Girl, which sounded refreshed and original. Hearing this lady live was certainly a different experience to spinning her albums in the comfort of the living room.

Aside from her soaring, breathy vocals and majestic mastery of the keyboards, Tori’s affectations were unmissable. She was freestyle and expressive, sensual and possessed, frequently stroking two keyboards at once with consummate ease.

Some of her best moments were the simple yet heart-wrenching songs interpreted with no more than a piano and voice, although the stark and tragic Hey Jupiter was thoughtfully reinterpreted with a grinding drum machine pattern.

As a sometime fan knowing two of her albums inside-out, it was disappointing that few personal favourites from Under The Pink and Boys For Pele were featured – especially the grinding spectacle that is Professional Widow.

But to have seen such a talented, one-off performer for the first time was an experience- which was sumptuous and entertaining on both the ears and eyes.

buy Tori Amos MP3s or CDs
Spotify Tori Amos on Spotify

More on Tori Amos
Tori Amos – Ocean To Ocean
Tori Amos – Native Invader
Tori Amos – Gold Dust
Tori Amos: “The message was clear – wear very high heels, and make your point!” – Interview
Tori Amos – Night Of Hunters