Monday, 15 August 2011

The sky above ablaze

In February 2007 I went to see Amy Winehouse at Manchester Academy. It's a show I already had great memories of - her stunning, flawless vocal performance, the lovely chilled-out crowd and the rare, fleeting pleasure of knowing you're seeing someone at the height of their talents, in that brief period between people starting to truly appreciate their genius and the point they become subject to absolute tabloid hysteria. Since her death - and no, I still can't quite believe I have to sit and write 'her death' - those recollections have taken on a greater significance. I know now that I'll never see her sing again, and she'll never have the chance to return to the level of greatness I witnessed. As I've said before, I feel privileged to have had this experience.

At the time, I recorded some clips of her performance on my phone. I haven't watched any of them for years, and in fact, I thought they were lost - saved on some broken laptop. But last night, I was combing through my old external hard drive (actually looking for amusingly bad photos of my younger self and people I used to date - ha) and I found them.

I'm not posting these because they're in any way decent quality. They were recorded on some crap mobile phone camera (probably this, my absolute pride and joy at the time) and the sound's not great either - it cuts out during You Know I'm No Good, and Rehab is partially obscured by my shouty 'singing along'. I'm posting them because they're wonderful to me - even through the LQ-everything, the power of her voice sends shivers down my spine - and I wanted to share them.

I've never heard her sing Tears Dry On My Own better - just listen to that I'll be some next man's other woman soon. Fuck Me Pumps makes my stomach flip - the unmistakeable outline of her, the way she moved. Of course there are countless superior recordings and videos - but I haven't been able to stop watching these since I found them. I can't look away.

1. Tears Dry On Their Own 2. Back To Black 3. Fuck Me Pumps 4. You Know I'm No Good 5. Rehab


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