Tonight at the Islington Assembly Hall in London, Liz Phair played with a full band on her Girly Sound To Guyville tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Exit To Guyville LP.
Opening with mine and many fans favourite Supernova really helped put us all on the upswing for a school night out on a warm and rainy Tuesday in June. With brilliantly poetic lyrics like ‘You walk in clouds of glitter and the sun reflects your eyes, and every time the wind blows, I can smell you in the sky’ or ‘Your eyelashes sparkle like gilded grass, and your lips are sweet and slippery like a cherub’s bare wet ass..’ this awesome song will forever continue to be dedicated to great lover’s all over the world.
‘What if we just f*cking went wild and started playing Led Zeppelin?’ Liz puts it to the audience after the band went off the set list and we all cheer them on with enthusiasm. They play Take A Look from the self titled LP released in 2003, (also featured on an episode of Charmed the TV series). Next was a new song that’s been featured throughout this tour called God Loves Baseball written about the Chicago Cubs win on Wrigley Field breaking their 108 year losing curse. Liz is a big cubs fan!
I must admit, it’s really cool seeing Liz, a slight blond woman leading a band of towering men on stage. She smiles as she sings and peppers her between song chat with random swearing, it’s so refreshing. She makes me imagine her being the coolest girl in high school, that I know could kick my butt but I want to best friends with her anyway.
‘Did you know I used to live here?’ Liz tells us. ‘Gotta figure out how to make my self valuable to your immigration department!’ to which the audience cheers back a loving reply ‘YOU ARE!!’
Her lyrics are fearless, she writes what we think but never usually say out loud. Then she sings it out to the world! Dirty, filthy, funny, sexy, smart, real, beautiful, dark, light and passionate. She reminds us that it’s totally okay to be an ‘average every day sane psycho super goddess’ (lyrics from Extraordinary Liz Phair LP 2003). An anthem for the women of the world, I definitely say so!
Liz writes so brilliantly in her songs about the warped contrasts in love, sex and relationships – whether it’s the sweet beauty, realistic tragedy or the dirty fun grittiness. Phair gets it and gives it back to us weaved through with great guitar hooks, playful melodies and gorgeous layered harmonies. I can’t wait to read her memoir that’s due out soon, titled Horror Stories part of a two-book deal with Random House.
Photography & Live Review by Belle Piec of Liz Phair at Islington Assembly 4th June 2019.