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Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan @ Gagarin, 12/12/2010

Isobel and Mark didn't need to look or even talk at each other in order to interpret their songs flawlessly.
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The concert audience in our country is stable and loyal to artists of their choice and we saw that again on Sunday evening when Isobel Campbell accompanied by Mark Lanegan played in frond of a nearly full Gagarin (friends of Belle and Sebastian and Screaming Trees unite!).

It was the duet's second appearance in our country. When they first visited in 2007, only a few months after the release of their first album, the "Ballad Of The Broken Seas", the musical collaboration of Isobel and Mark was still fresh and seemingly mismatched. Three years and three albums later ("Sunday At Devil Dirt" in 2008 and this year's "Hawk" complete the triplet) the two artists seem to have found the balance and harmony they need on stage.
Anyone who has listened to those three albums or had the opportunity to attend their previous live show, was not surprised by the low key with a few peaks performance that we witnessed. And this was evident by the audience's attitude - at least those who had gathered in front of the stage with us - who seemed to follow closely and with reverence what was happening on stage.

The shy Scot and Lanegan, monolithic as always in front of the microphone, didn't need to look or even talk to each other to be in sync and interpret their songs flawlessly (although we could take a few
Mark stolen smiles from Mark to Isobel as an indication that they were in a good mood). Their singing was the essence of the show, as Lanegan's commanding baritone voice dominated all the songs while Isobel completed the harmonies with her voice but also her cello or various percussion and only when Mark left the stage for two songs she gathered all the attention on herself.

The show (main set and one encore) lasted about an hour and a half and the set-list included songs from all the three albums they have released. The set started with "We Die and See Beauty Reign" and then we heard songs like "Come Undone", "Come on Over (Turn Me On)", "The Circus Is Leaving Town" and "Salvation", while "Get Behind Me", "Back Burner", "Ramblin' Man", "You Won't Let Me Down Again" and "(Do You Wanna) Come Walk with Me?" where the obvious highlights.

Tangowithlions Tango with Lions, Katerina's Papachristou band, was the support act that got the night rolling, and although we were late to catch the full set, their melodic songs seemed to match the evening's style and managed to create the appropriate atmosphere for the main event that followed.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Get Behind Me (live in Athens)

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