Madeleine Peyroux, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

November 26, 2018 by

American jazz/blues singer Madeleine Peyroux is one of a rare breed when it comes to seeing her perform.

Her delivery is effortlessly natural and with her influences many varied, so much so, that it’s fascinating watching. Peyroux easily swaps musical genres with such quality. Whether it be jazz, blues, country, each song comes stamped in Peyroux’s inimitable style.

Promoting her current album Anthem, inspired by and featuring the Leonard Cohen song of the same name and considered by many as her greatest work yet, a bold statement when considering her previous
success, it’s hard to dispute the claims with the recording being both personal and political in content, that grips you from the very first hearing.

What was a joy it was then watching much of the album performed live with Peyroux supported by such an excellent band, most notably John Herington, Steely Dan’s guitarist of choice, in such fine form with some subtle yet inspiring guitar work.


The concert was one of the quietest I’ve heard for many years. It was nice to for once listen to and experience something pure without a bass guitar booming or the snapping sound of a snare drum. Each instrument expertly played, heard and enjoyed.

From the new album the evening opener ‘Down On Me’ and the McCartney-like ‘On My Own’ bounced along as did the Latin inspired ‘Honey Party’ with her audience contributing in the choruses, but my
stand out song and performance was her version of “All My Heroes” beautifully sad and melancholic with Peyroux plucking her ukulele and some soulful piano by Andy Ezrin.

Of the rest, a wonderful version of Hank Williams “I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive” got feet tapping as did the jaunty “On A Sunday Afternoon” whilst “Brand New Deal” sounded right out of the Donald Fagan songbook and quite stunning.

She’s not one of Cardiff’s regular visitors but from the response received there’ll be no shortage of fans looking for another repeat performance from one of the Jazz world’s finest.



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