Juliette Lewis @ Garage 21-10-09

October 29, 2009

Garage, Glasgow, October 21 * * *

In recent years Juliette Lewis has been better known for her music than acting, but as she showed tonight the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Here to promote her first album since parting company with The Licks, Lewis – dressed like Justin Hawkins’ American cousin – introduced most songs with long monologues while her exaggerated showmanship style, unlike her outfit, gradually lost its sparkle during the course of what was an energetic but fairly mundane set.
Throughout it felt like she was playing the part of rock singer, a composite character of Jagger and Joplin. It probably wouldn’t have mattered so much if not for the relatively average nature of much of the material aired. Songs like Purgatory Blues, Fantasy Bar and Junkyard Heart although big on riffs and foundation-shaking bass lacked surprises. The absence of the kind of hook American rawk demands meant the performance and posturing nearly always overshadowed the music.
Religious spiels, pleas to “kiss the person next to you” and solos from her decidedly mediocre band prompted looks of derision in some quarters of the crowd, while her hippie-ish confessions made cringing hard to avoid especially before final offering Suicide. All in all it was a strange display by an artist more likely to be recognised for her onscreen rather than onstage talents.


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