Tori Amos has more talent than it’s reasonable for one person to have, and has a stage presence that has been sharped into an ethereal point. In her arguably nearly 51 year-long musical career (she won a scholarship to study music at the age of 5), Amos has journeyed through all manner of subject matter, and seems to rekindle many of her themes of religion, womanhood and doomed love in her new album ‘Native Invader’. Her low-key album launch party at the equally low-key Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, London was a taster of what was to come on her larger world tour. The stage set up was stripped down; the best way perhaps to show off the bare bones of Amos’ raw talent.
Straddling both her synthesiser and her famously favoured Bosendorfer piano, she blasted through a compact but beautifully arranged set, before premiering some of her new material towards its end. Particularly moving was the as of yet unreleased ‘Reindeer King’, which featured all of Amos’ signature surreal, romantic imagery:
“You know that I would skate/From Skandinavia/All the way to the Moons of Jupiter”
Amos seemed to forget both her body and the audience as she moved and swayed between the two instruments, simultaneously playing both at the same time. Her technical proficiency is undesputably impressive, but it never distracts from the rich tapestry of imagery that Amos paints with her music.
Her final song ‘Mother Revolution’ (2005) allowed Amos to use her synthesizer’s psychedelic tones to full effect. Her echoed voice filled the room, bringing to mind some of the fairytale themes set up in ‘Reindeer King’.
“Now everyone; it’s time to get trollied” Amos laughed as she took a bow and left the stage. There was a sense that the audience had, for a brief moment, journeyed through a spirt land, only to find themselves on the other side a little sleepy eyed. Amos has still got it and it’s likely what it is will never leave her.
Tori Amos’ new album ‘Native Invader’ will be released on the 8th of Septmber via Decca Records.