Rosie Thomas and Sufjan Stevens @ The Polish Catholic Centre, Sheffield (12/05/04)

Sufjan came on first wearing a Michigan cap (both artists were from Michigan) and opened with REM's This one goes out to the one I love. He alternated between songs sung with guitar and banjo with some interesting stories thrown in between songs (including one about a guy they used to make fun of at school who died whilst they were still studying and how that affected him). He was a competent and modest musician and was very much like Rosie in his relaxed and friendly attitude.

Sufjan did the mitten-pointing routine which according to him and Mary Lee Cortes is what everyone from that part of the world does to describe where they're from. He added a wolf's head to the top corner. I got confused.

Rosie was wearing all black. The only detail was a little bo peep design on her front. She came across as a very shy person and seemed to giggle through her song introductions which was strangely indearing. She told us how someone at a previous gig had recently told her to talk more inbetween songs so this was what she was attempting to do. However, once she had launched into a song we saw a completely different person with a very strong voice and total commitment.

She alternated between piano and guitar both of which she seeemed to play with minimum effort. She and Sufjan are touring together and apparently someone in a hotel got the wrong end of the stick, assumed they were a couple, a booked them a double room. She laughed as she told us this and said they made the best of an awkward situation.

I felt this was a very special and private, at an unusual venue too. The venue thankfully had a bar, albeit an expensive one. Also the hall had stacks of chairs at the back and you had to unstack your own seat. It was just like being back at school assembly!

Myself and brother Tom hung around afterwards to meet Rosie and have a chat. She was very nice and was cool about me having me photo taken with her. Check out the photo!

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