Andy Sheppard, Redferns Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr says while…
- Posted on Mar 14th 2011 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Sunday night at the Rock Shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., Collins played his first US show in eight years, kicking off a brief tour that includes one more New York City appearance -- Monday night at Bowery Ballroom -- and four in Austin at SXSW.
Looking sharp in a green plaid shirt and brown fedora, Collins performed much of his excellent 2010 comeback album, 'Losing Sleep.' He also offered up solo hits, such as 'A Girl Like You,' and a collection of still-fresh Orange Juice jams, including 'Blue Boy,' 'Rip It Up' and 'Falling and Laughing.' Although he walks with a cane, speaks with some difficulty and no longer plays guitar, he sings with the same lumpy baritone that's always made him so endearing.
'Losing Sleep' features guest spots from Johnny Marr, Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos and Cribs singer Ryan Jarman, among others, and while none of these famous fans made surprise visits Sunday, Collins hardly missed them. Backed by a five-piece band, he breezed through the up-tempo likes of 'What Is My Role?' and 'Do It Again.' It wasn't until he reached back a bit further -- to 'Home Again,' from his 2007 album of the same name -- that he really got the chance to show how much he's recovered.
"Go for it, Edwyn!" someone shouted just prior to the song.
"OK, I will," he replied. "Trust me."
Singing over one of the night's sparser guitar accompaniments, Collins held a long sustained note when he came to the word "salvation," drawing a big cheer from the audience. It was the evening's second-most heartwarming moment, after Collins' encore version of the 'Losing Sleep' song 'In Your Eyes,' done as a duet with his 20-something son, William. Bashful at first, the younger Collins grew more comfortable as the song progressed, singing the part Jonathan Pierce, leader of New York indie heroes the Drums, handles on record.
When it was finished, William gave his old man a hug, stepped offstage and walked the length of the room, earning congrats along the way. And rightfully so -- this was a back-patting kind of night.
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