BPREVIEW: Regina Spektor @ Symphony Hall 05.08.17

BPREVIEW: Regina Spektor @ Symphony Hall 05.08.17

Words by Ed King

On Saturday 5th August, Regina Spektor comes to the Symphony Hall – performing in Birmingham as part of a six UK tour dates.

Doors at the Symphony Hall open at 7pm, with tickets priced between £30.50 and £38 as presented by SJM Concerts/Gigs & Tours. For direct gig info, including venue details and online tickets sales, click here.

So at the beginning of the week you’re making jokes about holding your heart for a Jewish redhead who can play the piano…

Born into a musical family, both performers and professors, Regina Spektor began playing piano as a young child growing up in Moscow. After her family left the USSR, as it was back in the late 80s’ perestroika, Regina Spektor eventually settled in the Bronx and began performing around the clubs and cafés of downtown New York. Piano based storytelling is perhaps one way to describe Spektor‘s style; socio-political and self analytical narratives, delivered over strong melodies with ivory at their heart is another. The classical training is there, the Jazz influences were there, and watching Regina Spektor’s finger work is like a master class in appropriate pressure. But there’s fun, self deprecation, the occasional horror story and above all honesty. So it’s a win.

After a few years grafting through the suitcase sales and self promotion of a truly DIY artist, Regina Spektor signed to the Warner’s subsidiary, Sire Records, to release Soviet Kitsch in 2004. But it would be the flurry of singles from her 2006 LP, Begin to Hope, that would start attracting the more mainstream success – although the album tracks such as ‘Samson’ and ‘Après Moi’ would be picked up and performed by Gwen Stefani and Peter Gabriel respectively.

The production partnership on Begin to Hope, with David Khane, would carry onto Spektor’s third album for Sire Records – releasing Far in 2009, with (…wait for it) Jeff Lynne also sitting in behind the glass (BOOM, a regional connection… Trinity Mirror’s click bait merchants would be proud). But Far would also deliver arguably some of Spektor’s most memorable songs, with the singles ‘The Calculation’ and ‘Eet’ backed up, even beaten, by the delicious ‘Folding Chair’ and personally pertinent ‘Laughing With’.

Two albums and eight years later, Regina Spektor is back globetrotting to promoter her latest LP Remember Us to Life – released in 2016 on Sire Records, the label Spektor has stuck to since first signing to them in 2004. The debut single from Spektor’s seventh studio album was ‘Bleeding Heart’, let loose into the world in July last year.

An official ‘Steinway Artist’, endorsed by the piano manufactures in 2012 (although having played on/preferred Steinway pianos throughout her career), Regina Spektor at the Symphony Hall is a promising marriage of artist and venue. It also gives me allows me to come up with a suitable pun for the one Sire Records album I haven’t mentioned yet.

Until then I’m going to make jokes about Donald Trump and Stan Kroenke being sat on by an escaped rhino… lets see if this universe stuff really works.

‘Bleeding Heart’ – Regina Spektor (from Remember Us to Life – look out for 3mins 46sec)

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‘Samson’ – Regina Spektor (from Begin to Hope)

Regina Spektor comes to the Symphony Hall on Saturday 5th August, as presented by SJM Concerts/Gigs & Tours. For direct gig info, including venue details and online tickets sales, click here.

For more on Regina Spektor, visit www.reginaspektor.com

For more from the Town and Symphony Halls, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.thsh.co.uk

For more from SJM Concerts/Gigs & Tours, visit www.gigsandtours.com

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