A week ago, the name Imelda May was one of those names that sounded familiar, but I honestly couldn’t tell you anything about her – where she came from, her style of music. That all changed on Wednesday August 10th. One of my friends – Cindy, has a friend- Inessa at Kink.fm, a radio station I listen to a lot. Kink has the Bing Lounge in Portland, a nice cozy little setup that seats about 60 people and has a rather small stage, but nice sound system, video recording equipment etc. They get a lot of groups that are performing in the area to drop in, record a small set and then their air these on the radio. Anyways, Cindy called me and asked me to join her in the Bing Lounge to listen to Imelda May. Front row seats no less – thanks Inessa!
After performing the first number, Inessa and Imelda had a little interview. That was when I first realized that Imelda was Irish. Funny how accents just don’t seem to translate through music in the same way as they do speech! She then did another four numbers.
Marvelous, quite an unusual sound, and a band that had a lot of character – yes a totally crazy drummer, a trumpet player who really knew his way around the valves, a double bass player that was a total fascination and a guitarist that could really put out a few licks – oh and just happens to be married to her. Rockabilly is the name of the game, coupled with more than a little bit of blues and jazz. Her professional career is still only 7 years old and yet she has three albums, a bunch of awards, performed for the Grammy’s in 2010 and appeared on Jay Leno.
And yet after all of this, she is still a real human being. We got to talk to her afterwards, along with some photos. She was engaging, witty and yes, we talked about some strange stuff, like transporting deceased people to the place of their choosing!
But that was not the end of the day with Imelda. Kink also gave us tickets for her concert at the zoo that evening. What a difference between the intimate concert and the big event. First off, I never would have “understood” the band the way I did had I not seen them close up.
The zoo lighting is an abomination and half the time they were in shadows or darkness. At least the sound system was good and so we got to listen to a lot more of their music. After the first number, she commented about how good one of the children was at dancing and invited them up onto the stage. The father did indeed bring her up onto the stage and got to meet Imelda, and danced on stage for one of her numbers. What a treat that must have been for her, and a total crowd pleaser as well. That should have shown the larger audience what a real person she was.
So, thank you Imelda. You now have a new fan and I am sure quite a few others here in Portland and I hope to catch you again some time. Until then I just have to get iTunes working again so that I can download some of your music. Also thank you kink-101.9 and thank you Inessa and Cindy.
Brought to you by Brian Bailey
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