photo by unknown
Believe the hype and Anna Calvi is the British female artist we’ve all been waiting for. Florence Welch is too showy, Adele too mainstream and with the untimely death of Amy Winehouse, the credible female artist throne sits empty. Step forward Calvi; looking like a moody, less-pretty sister of Natalie Portman, it’s easy to see the remains of the precocious child who taught herself guitar in her bedroom listening to Jimi Hendrix records.
Citing Nina Simone and Edith Piaf as musical influences and David Lynch as a visual inspiration Calvi claims that her study of classical arrangement at university has helped her make music that tells a story as much as the vocals, with tension and release playing integral parts in her compositions.
What’s clear is that this is no stage school graduate. She has the finger-picking skills of Django Reinhardt and a self-styled flamenco look that’s more interesting than a lot of what else is on offer, but there’s still something missing.
Yes, the album shows moments of highly-skilled musicianship but one can’t help but feel that the musical pundits have jumped on this Italian-English newcomer with the relish of a drowning man sighting a life raft. There are glimpses of greatness in Anna Calvi but time will tell if she really is worthy of the crown.
Sala KGB, September 16th, 2011