And no one taught me how to cry…

A rather fine windfall came my way last week, in the shape of a spare ticket to go and see Anaïs Mitchell. Saw her in Bristol a couple of months ago with her brilliant Young Man band, but this was a solo gig, in the new-to-me surroundings of The Jericho in Oxford.

Anaïs Mitchell

I’m glad to report that The Jericho is another in a reassuringly long line of recently discovered cracking little venues, putting on great music. It’s an upstairs room in a pub, basically – tiny stage, tiny dance floor, stools, tables, beer, what else are you looking for?

As we walked in, we were met by the sight of Anaïs Mitchell sat on the floor amongst the audience, watching support act Jack Harris, which was all rather cool. I have to say I’m afraid I talked boorishly through most of Jack Harris’ set and can only remember the fact that he told a very funny story about Les Paul. (Must try harder…)

Anaïs Mitchell came on in due course and started her set with Cosmic American and went through a range of songs mainly from Young Man in America and Hadestown, but also took requests and played a good few older songs. She also finished with a version of Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.

If I was a little disappointed not to be seeing the Young Man Band, I needn’t have been, her songs are so muscular that they pretty much stand on their own, and some were even a little stronger. Both times I’ve seen her now, I’ve been struck by how tiny she is and wonder how she manages to command a stage, but she certainly does. I think it’s by the power and sheer intelligence of her songs and her beguilingly vulnerable voice. I don’t think I was the only one in the small audience to be mesmerised by her for most of the evening.

This video was shot by Twitter buddy Substandardnerd, (although he seems to go by a different name on YouTube) and it’s terrific…

Lovely evening, and pretty good recordings too…

Wilderland / Young Man in America

Wedding Song


Out of Pawn

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