Caroline Alexander - Live At Dingwalls

Sunday 1st July 2001
Caroline Alexander - Live At Dingwalls
Caroline Alexander - Live At Dingwalls

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Independent
RELEASE DATE: 2001-07-01

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Recorded live at the legendary Dingwalls club in London on a Thursday night in September 2000, the most extraordinary thing about this CD is the transformation that takes place in Caroline. Having already unleashed a couple of uncompromising singles, I interviewed her for my radio show recently and discovered that she's really shy but you'd never know that listening to this. Place her on stage and suddenly the spirit of punk circa 1977 explodes as she runs through her set. Opening with a raw version of Split Level's "Healed" and thin into her debut single "Fake The Blame", it's immediately apparent that Caroline is not some nice manufactured girl singer. Instead, the teenager seems determined to scare people with her delightfully raw vocal attack over the layers of indie guitar, punky rock thrown up by her band. Musically this owes more to the spirit of punk than anything else but in an age where plenty of music is plastic, there's something endearing about Caroline's back to basics response. The inclusion of a cover of Siouxsie's "Hong Kong Garden" is an inspired choice. Two studio tracks also give you a chance to hear her in lefi frenetic mood. My fave? Got to be "Don't Need You" which is her ferocious response to record company execs who wanted to sign her and re-design her..No thanks! Already her own person, 'Live At Dingwalls' is a snapshot of an artist unfolding in the spotlight. Already writing bar own material, Caroline has the charisma and talent to go big time and this gig even with its imperfections will go down in memory as a milestone.

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