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Carl at Chop Suey

Photo by The Finest Kiss

Carl's second West Coast adventure went really good. The Finest Kiss (who took the photo above) wrote a review of the gig, of course focusing more on Glasvegas, who were the main attraction, but spending a few words on Carl too:
"Opening the show was a pleasant surprise. Carl Barat of Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things did a solo set of just him and an electric guitar. He played a handful of Libertines songs that a got everybody singing along to him. I think he may have done one or two new songs as well. You would probably get a better review of his set from one of the many women front and center singing along to every one of his songs. I realized this night the women dig Carl Barat. Why not, he’s a good looking dangerous kind of guy in a Jud Nelson, Breakfast Club kind of way. After his set all the women at the front left. I though that Barat might reappear for a song or two in the Glasvegas set like he did a last week in Glasgow, but no such luck".

As much as I hate this "tombeur des femmes" reputation that follows Carlos everywhere (he's such a talented bloke and yet he only seems to be appreciated cause he's got blue eyes and a nice bum) I think the "West Coast Girls" (the Pet Shop Boys didn't write that did they?) are doing a great job supporting the Mighty Carlos over there. Actually he even asked a "favor" to the people who're going to see him in L.A. So says our friend Alice: "In Seattle, Carl asked us if we knew of 'anyone who likes him' who's coming to LA. He said if we did, could we ask them to come to the front and make a lot of noise. I assume this means cheering rather than heckling, but we thought we might just pass on his request".

Of course Alice also wrote another one of her beautiful reports:
"Seattle, like San Fransisco is a city built on hills with a grid-system of roads that seem to go in steps, creating that amazing network of steep streets punctuated by platforms where the junctions on the cross-hatching lie. I'd never been there before, and it seems an interesting place... less affluent than SF, but with the same marvellous setting of water and mountains... and drizzle. Made me feel quite at home.
The venue, the unauspiciously named, 'Chop Suey' was out of the centre of the city in a district well populated by tattoos and piercings as well as the requisite pizza-parlours and bars. In contrast to San Fransisco, they let us in fairly promptly at 8pm, leaving a bedraggled bevy of teenage girls denied admission on account of not yet being 21 stranded on the street. We gave them big hugs, regretting that we couldn't smuggle them in under our coats, and feeling pleased that Carl had come out earlier and had a good chat with them. Stupid legislation.
Chop Suey was smaller than Popscene, a welcoming space with a small stage, a long raised bar area and a compact space that probably held about 300 people. We'd greeted stateside friends, got our drinks and managed not to twitch too much while we waited. A mere hour or so after we'd come in, Carl emerged on stage. The set was similar to the one he played in San Fransisco, with the substitution of 'Can't Stand Me Now' for 'Time for Heroes' as the closer. As in San Fransisco, he was uncharacteristically chatty. He dedicated 'France' to 'all the French people' (where, in the world, or there at the club, we wondered). He commented at one point, 'if you have trouble understanding me, you're going to be fucked with Glasvegas,' to which the quick reply came from the crowd, 'pardon?'
The mood was much lighter than in San Fransisco - as a result, I think, of both Carl being more relaxed and the crowd itself being more interactive, with more people in the audience interested in him... knowing the words, cheering and so on. Indeed, his greater confidence was palpable, and a delight to see, although I would say that overall his singing was slightly less sweet than on Thursday, this most likely due to a slight sore throat he'd complained about before the show. But the increased confidence made a big difference, everything seemed more sure, less hesitant, and this was particularly apparent in his guitar playing.
As in San Fransisco, it was hard to see him putting down his guitar after so short a time - the price of the support slot - but absolutely wonderful to hear him publicly reclaiming material that he's not been playing since 2004. I know that he's said that his plan is to create new material, and, I would imagine, eventually to tour that. But in the meantime, I hope he will allow himself - and us - the indulgence of more shows where some great musical gems get dusted off and aired in public".

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