Who would’ve thought that Annie Clark, more commonly known as St. Vincent, would be found playing a tour date in Eastbourne and not Brighton?
The train from Brighton to Ashford was chock-a-block with eager fans, curious to see how Eastbourne would compare alongside their impatience for Clark’s performance. Once the venue was found (a lot harder to find thanks to the darkness, the rain and Google Maps having claimed it was in one direction when it turned out to be in the other!), a pint of lager and packet of crisps were purchased for less than 4 quid and the surroundings could be appreciated.
Having not been back to Eastbourne since the age of 9, it was overwhelming to really notice how beautiful its architecture is. Although we do have some beautiful venues, like the Dome and Concorde 2, the Winter Garden felt more suitable for a Victorian ball or tea dance.
To support this initial atmosphere, you could barely move for the amount of elderly people sat around and having a chat (there’s a reason my dad loves calling it “God’s waiting room”). Were all these old ladies really there to enjoy Clark’s notoriously experimental songs?
Regardless, bunches of hipsters and couples in their early thirties were found gathering before the stage.
Support was provided by the psychedelic-indie band Coves, who hail from Leamington Spa.
Sounding like a female-fronted Echo & The Bunnymen, the band were one of the first I’ve ever seen to feature a drummer playing upright. Following Coves, there was almost an hour’s wait till Clark came on stage in all her eccentric glory.
As part of Clark’s Digital Witness Tour, the audience were told to keep their phones in their pockets and avoid “digitally capturing tonight’s event”.
Clark was everything you’d expect her to be. Wonderful and surreal, Clark performed from her latest album, Digital Witness.Perfectly capturing the zeitgeist, songs concerned with technology were ironically enacted with an amazing use of lights and sound effects.
Often using the breaks between songs to make very interesting speeches regarding journeys, “us” and the digital, Clark lived up to the carefully constructed persona of St. Vincent.
Unfortunately she did not play her song ‘Bad Girls’ (of which she wrote especially for the TV show Bob’s Burgers), but that was just having needlessly high expectations for a performer who already pushes the boundaries of music as it is!
If you were originally intrigued to go but got put off by the idea of travelling to Eastbourne, as Clark herself sings, ‘what’s the point of doing anything?’
Photo Credit: Mike Burnell