Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt – Shepherds Bush Empire, 15 February 2010

I was meant to see Lyle Lovett a little while ago but the gig was cancelled. I’ve been listening to a lot of country music recently so the timing of this concert was spot on (although Lovett covers many more genres than country ranging from country and folk to jazz and pop).It’s just as well that it was a show to listen to and that there were no visuals.

I have never, truly, been to a show where I was surrounded by so many giants (and I’m not small!). So when Lovett and Hiatt took it in turn to sing a song, the other one joining in, I made a point of reaching up just to see their faces before settling to staring at the jacket of the guy in front of me.

This didn’t matter too much, although I’ll now think twice about whether I want a standing or a seating ticket according to gig.

There was a lot of chit-chat between Lovett and Hiatt between songs, which gave the gig a very informal feel. These two guys could have been having a chat and playing a few songs on their porch, not in front of a very demanding audience: “play this song”; “stop chatting and get on with it”. Missing the point I felt. And then some guy asked a direct personal question, which was rightly averted.

True, it wasn’t one of those gigs where you were singing and dancing… but the quality of Lyle Lovett’s lyrics and his voice, combined with Hiatt’s music made it a winner.

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