SINEAD O'CONNOR VICAR STREET
One of these days, Sinead O'Connor is going to give herself whiplash. I'm talking about that trademark head jerk of hers - the one that usually accompanies a high note. Yeah, that must get sore after a while.
Ten albums in - the latest of which, the imaginatively-titled I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss, proving a genuine return to form - and Sinead O'Connor is still playing dress-up at her gigs. Clerical collar; crucifix; sunglasses indoors - the whole works. She doesn't even wear shoes. Now, isn't this the bit where I tell you about how the Dublin songstress went off on one in between songs? Probably. Tonight, however, we appear to be witnessing a more restrained Sinead O'Connor at work, at least as far as the dreaded 'banter' is concerned. Keep to centre-stage, perform the songs as they were recorded, make a few dedications and clock out. Simple.
A few messy, distracted moments aside, this is a version of Sinead I can get on board with. She's in no mood for a greatest-hits set.
Lest we forget, she has decided to retire her career-defining cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U. What we get, instead, is a cool and capable collection of original pop and rock numbers, largely culled from recent studio offerings.
The set opens with an exquisite makeover of John Grant's Queen of Denmark. Indeed, O'Connor is still in possession of some mighty rock star chops, focusing most of her energy on that striking, near-ethereal vocal of hers. A dexterous, five-piece band add a touch of magic to Take Me to Church (no, not that one) and The Wolf is Getting Married.
With the enchanting Streetcars, Sinead brings the entire house to a stunned silence. It's a short set, and you wonder how long she can get away with ignoring the oldies, but boy, does that voice still give us chills. HHHHI