Patti Smith And Kevin Shields Coral Sea Sessions
Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Southbank
Centre. 11Th September 2006.
This was the first night of two shows that were
recorded and will be put together to become
Patti’s next Album.
I chose to go on the first night as being 9-11 it
promised a different tension to the second date
for obvious reasons.
As expected the show was sold out and Patti
arrived on stage below a film of the 9-11 attacks
taken by one of her friends in New York.
The show started with her and Tony Shanahan
On-stage with a set that included a couple of
leather sofas and an lamp with a very floral
shade on it!!
The version she did at the start of Peaceable
Kingdom was angry and beautiful at the same time,
Patti then introduced her Italian Cellist and
Jason Pierce of Spiritualized etc. and did a cool
version of Jacksons song and a couple of brand
new songs un-played anywhere that sounded pretty
angry. Beneath the Southern Cross worked really
well in this setting, we then had a new song that
features a call and response section that they
tried three or four times and sort of got through
it was a lot of fun and pretty cool with it. Then
Kevin Shields joined them for the last song of
the first set which in my opinion was the best
thing he played all night.
After the break the chatty cheery almost Patti of
the first set was replaced by the angry Ranting
incanting Patti of the second set where she read
all of The Coral Sea book that she put out in
1996 as memorial for Robert Mapplethorpe whose
60th birthday this performance is celebrating.
While Patti was reading Kevin Shields was sat on
the sofa playing four or five guitars at once and
making intense squalls of noise and feedback that
brought to mind Wharton Tiers solo album Brighter
Apparently much of his equipment wasn’t working
correctly, but whether that was the case or not
by the end of 45 plus minutes of this noise I
think much of the hall was dying for him to stop
playing and let the noise die away.
This was shown by the fact that they didn’t get
an encore! Which is pretty much unheard of at
I have since found out from the shows promoter
Glenn Maxx that Kevin was angry at how much of
his equipment failed and didn’t sound right, I’m
not sure how listenable this will be when it
comes out, I hope I want to listen to it more
than once, I live in hope. The first half though
was classic and legendary Patti at her best.
While at the Queen Elizabeth hall she also said a
prayer for the new stage in the foyer that
included an acapella version of People Have The
Power that I’d have liked to have been at, but
took place before anyone got there!!