Amy Winehouse @ The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (26/04/04)

I'm sure Amy has changed some or all of her band since I last saw her. However, this was surely for the best. The brass section was quite welcome but for me the guitarist and bass player really shone.

Also, previously Amy played guitar but tonight just opted for hands-free singing!

Amy played virtually all of 'Frank' for us although any fan attending to hear the songs played faithful to their album versions would have been disappointed. They basically re-arranged and re-jigged all the songs giving them a fresh sound which was nice. She also sang 'Take the Box' twice (once as an encore and played distinctly funkier)

The support guy (a singer called Tyler James) was pretty good and not so different to Amy in style. My gigging buddy said he had "a touch of the Terence Trent D'arbys". Fair comment. I'm going to stick with my very own summation though, which was "Chris Cornell fused with Craig David and living in Essex".

The whole night was made almost intolerable by some stupid little cow standing next to me who when everyone else was facing and listening to the music was instead jumping up and down with her back to the band trying to entertain her boyfriend (I pity the fool!). LIke a spoiled child with attention deficit disorder, she frequently angered her surrounding fellow gig goers sufficiently to recieve a sudden collective "Ssssshhhh!" in her direction. It wasn't enough to silence her sadly. You know who you are. Please don't bother ever going out to a gig again!

The venue was very full. I knew the event was sold out some time ago but didn't expect it to be quite so, well, 'rammed' basically.

Amy wore a black top which was strapless and made for nervous viewing. She seemed to be constantly pulling it up and readjusting, ensuring she hadn't accidentally popped out. Just like those de-oderant adverts, surely she would have been more confident with something more reliable.

She spoke a few times but I was near the back and couldn't really pick up on her words. She did at one point thank us all for buying her album and then she paused and frowned and asked "You did all buy it, didn't you?".

Amy is without a doubt, a rare talent. She has a great voice, she's mesmerising to watch on a stage and she's making music which is very different and brave. She's bearing her soul and letting us know exactly how that feels.

That said, I couldn't help but feel that tonight Amy was trying just a little too hard. Perhaps just too many notes? I also feel that it would've been nice to hear more of what 'Freddie' the incredible guitarist had to offer!

A big thankyou must be said to 'Rachel' who struggled to the bar for us when all other routes were blocked.

As well as this UK tour, Amy is going to be appearing at several festivals / events this summer and will then do doubt take a well earned break (and buy some new tops that fit better!)

(Support: Tyler James)

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