Alela Diane- Crawdaddy July 09

August 5, 2009

There are some gigs where word of mouth seems to pack the place in and this was one- was a little early and couldn’t believe how many people were there before the support was even on!

First up was Peter Delaney on the ukulele(s).  Excellent playing with a lovely soft almost haunting falsetto slightly reminiscent of Sam Beam- Dent May take note!  I should also note that ever since Tiny f’n Tim I have despised the ukulele but Peters playing was impeccable and I have a new found respect for the instrument…ok maybe not enough for the Ukulele Hooley Festival but will have to check him out again.

After some tooing and froing- two women finally came on stage and I was quite surprised to see a shorn Alela Diane introduce Alina Hardin who I had actually mistaken for Alela at first with her long flowing hair.

The majority of the set was from To Be Still but they started with a new tune which was unfortunately a false start with some loud rumbling sounds from the guitar.  Once that was sorted they continued with the tune and moved onto Tired Feet from the first album which sounded good with the simplicity of the guitar and their harmonies.  They were then joined by Alela’s father on guitar (and mandolin), an Appalachian hatted drummer, and a bassist with a 70’s fashion statement- it would have been great if Matt Bauer was touring with her as he did quite a bit of the backing work on her album before going off and doing his own (mentioned here).

The three added quite the punch to the next tunes Dry Grass And Shadows and White As Diamonds which were quite catchy.    They moved onto The Alder Trees and another tune, but for the first time that night the crowd lost a bit of interest and there was some chatter.   Every Path was up next and while a good slow number she only regained the crowd with My Brambles and The Ocean with some excellent subtle drumming and beats.

The title track To Be Still followed with a more country feel and then back to just Alela and Alina for Matty Groves which was a  tune that her folks sang to her when she was young.  For the encore they were all back out and again some sound issues with the guitar before they went into Oh! My Mama, Lady Divine and a great end with The Pirate’s Gospel.

Throughout the set she was quite chatty between numbers as well as the bassist who was quite humorous.  Alela mention that there was only 20 odd people at her last gig here and I think she was pleasantly surprised by the packed house.  A very diverse crowd it was with young and old- even the Silver Fox who was at Ane Brun was there to give details of zero deaths for the train crash when it was the Harcourt station.  She said that at least there wouldn’t be any ghosts haunting the place but with her excellent voice haunting the place already, I think that was enough for the night.

Overall an excellent gig which was complimented by the fact that the crowd were fairly respectful and quiet during both the support and main acts- something which I have noticed recently at quite a few gigs.  If it is down to the recession and people only going to the acts that they really want to see then long may the recession continue.  That being said there were reports that there was a lot of chatter in the back which I didn’t hear.

I did manage to grab a setlist at the end but unfortunately it slipped out of the pocket on the run into town in the lashing rain- while I am not always insistent about getting the setlist correct it is a niggle when I had it in front of me and didnt even take a look!

1   New one
2   Tired Feet
3    ?
4   Dry Grass And Shadows
5   White As Diamonds
6   The Alder Trees
7    ?
8    Every Path
9    My Brambles
10 The Ocean
11  To Be Still
12  Matty Groves
13  Oh! My Mama
14  Lady Divine
15  The Pirate’s Gospel

Thanks to LongmanOz for filling in a couple of blanks!

Also came across setlist.fm which is a wiki site for setlists-was very close to the one in Frankfurt.


  1. Any idee of the title of the new song she sung first ? She played it in France too a few days later. In the lyrics there was something about people in the wind…

    • Really wish I hadn’t lost that set list so I could tell you for sure! Had a quick look at other gigs but nothing there- will let you know if I come across the tune!

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