In the second and last national concert of the European tour around "Hunter" – after having performed at the Hard Club in Oporto on Friday night – Anna Calvi was received by a room composed and ready to discover, live , the crudest and most visceral facet of the British, which claims to have her most direct and self-biographical set of songs on this third album – and dominated, as never before, by lyrics related to gender and sexuality.
But if the singer-songwriter never ceased to be at least competent for just over an hour – just like her two-piece band on percussions and keyboards – it was almost always easier to hear her than to see her for good. part of the time. Except for the two or three songs in which he approached the audience, through the microphone ahead of the stage, contemplating Calvi and the musicians without having spectators to limit the view would have been a difficult task for many, perhaps taking to those who were in the first queues – a consequence of a spectacle whose audience was standing and with the artist almost at the same height.
The situation was particularly frustrating at the time when the singer got down and put on the stage, making it impossible to follow what was happening to those who were not around her, considering that the performance did not have screens that allowed to see what was going on there .
Still, and this was a testament to charisma and talent, the voice of "Suzanne & I" kept the audience interested and seemingly surrendered. Not that the effect was immediate: "Indies or Paradise", "As a Man" or "Hunter", all themes of the new album, marked a start as correct as contained, without special deviations from what is heard on the disc and short of the most effervescent load that merge the new facet of Calvi (confirm in the promotional photos and recent video clips).
But from the final stretch of "Do not Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy", filled with successive howls among one of the greatest episodes of instrumental euphoria, Calvi gained another safety and took the pulse of the stage and audience. A red-haired woman in a scarlet scene, with an imposing and distant aura, she would end up becoming an accomplice of the spectators without losing her pose or needing to be pampered – she addressed them only for brief greetings, thanks and the band's presentation.
Songs like "I'll Be Your Man" or "Desire," two of the must-haves from the eponymous debut album (released in 2011), were among the flamboyant moments of an alignment that also ranged from the velvety whispers of "No More Words" , another reprint of the debut, or the recent "Smimming Pool" – with the almost silence being as potent as the tormented distortion.
On the other hand, "Alpha" and above all the irresistible "Wish" were almost festive, while sprinkling a rock simultaneously rough and elegant with a danceable dance. And it was decidedly a more loose Anna Calvi who dominated the last third of the performance, approaching the ravages and barriers breaking through "Hunter" with a posture still theatrical, but less involved with himself than at the start.
Even more expansive, the encore served "Ghost Rider," the Suicide version included in the EP "Strange Weather" (2014), an anxious and puzzling ending to a show that would have been more memorable in another room or possibly a seated Capitol . In any case, the relation of the British with the Portuguese public does not seem to have been pinched and a concert of these gives some reason, once again, to the fervent praises of Brian Eno while it moves away, like the new disc, of territories near (much) compared to PJ Harvey. Anna Calvi is finding her place, it is hoped that in the near future we will see her as well as we have heard …