Odetta @ Queen's Hall

A show that tugged on the heartstrings until they were at breaking point

Article by Duncan Forgan | 15 Jun 2006
After a mixed week of esoteric ups and downs, Odetta brought Edinburgh's live Triptych shenanigans to a suitably redemptive close with a show that tugged the heartstrings until they were at breaking point. After gingerly mounting the stage at the Queen's Hall aided by her piano accompanist and a fellow good Samaritan, the 75-year-old legend gave life to her fragile appearance by wrapping her golden tonsils around a concise set of songs ranging from joyous church spirituals to ballads and bluesy laments. Not a single note was wasted which meant that the intensely political messages inherent in songs like Poor Man's Blues, TB Blues and a cover of Labi Siffre's Something Inside So Strong were rammed home with optimum impact. A final magisterial cover of the House of the Rising Son later and she was off. Whether we will ever be lucky enough to see her again is unclear, what is certain is that those who did on this, her first visit to Scotland, will not forget her in a hurry. [Duncan Forgan]