Mark Lanegan - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Any gig featuring just a singer accompanied by a single acoustic guitarist can be a recipe for utter tedium. When that singer possesses one of the most distinctive and brilliant voices in rock music, however, the chances of banality seem very long odds against.
Mark Lanegan strolls on stage with David Rosser and, with barely a nod to the audience, starts off with a brilliant rendition of ‘Field Song’ which sets the tone for the evening. What follows is an utterly mesmerising and heart wrenching set of stripped down versions from his extensive back catalogue, the simple arrangements seeming to make the songs shine brighter than could be deemed possible considering the quality of the originals. The fragile beauty of ‘Resurrection Song’ is swiftly followed by a haunting take on Pink Floyd’s ‘Julia Dream’. The finale of the main set, ‘On Jesus’ Program’, comes along far too quickly but perhaps that is simply a sign of just how captivating tonight’s gig has been.
After the wholehearted roaring of the crowd, Lanegan and Rosser return with ‘When Your Number Isn’t Up’ and a version of ‘Hangin’ Tree’ that eclipses the one that appeared on Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs For the Deaf. Finally we are treated to a stunning version of the Screaming Trees classic, ‘Where The Twain Shall Meet’. The crowd voices its approval once again but sadly the house lights soon come up and we have to disperse in to the balmy night pondering on the brilliance we have just witnessed. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long before Mark Lanegan again graces the stage in such a simple yet unforgettable fashion.