Having spent a good apprenticeship with the Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger is now very much her own woman. Her recently released second LP, 'Personal Record', bettered even her excellent debut, 'Last Summer', and her stunning show tonight beautifully combined the two to create something rather special.

Despite the stifling heat in the Night and Day Cafe after another warm summer’s day in Manchester (not a phrase I use often!), Eleanor, cutting a striking image in red skinny jeans and flowing red patterned shirt, managed to maintain enough energy to bring animation to her well crafted lyrics, while Field Music’s Peter Brewis provided the guitar work to elevate these songs beyond their recorded selves.

A wonderful double whammy of 'I Don’t Want to Bother You' and 'I Won’t Fall Apart On You Tonight' opened proceedings in fine style. Think American 70’s soft rock meets indie-jangle with the ghost of Stevie Nicks overseeing things and you wouldn't be far wrong.

Elsewhere, 'Stare at the Sun' was the kind of pure C-86 delight that the Popguns used to excel in, and 'Roosevelt Island' was a semi-spoken word gem that had Eleanor twitching on stage like a less manic Ian Curtis. Ode to Los Angeles, 'Inn Of The Seventh Ray' was yet another highpoint in the first part of the show.

There was no let up in the latter stages either when 'When I Knew' and 'She’s a Mirror' brought the set to a glorious climax before Eleanor returned alone to run through a stripped down version of the deeply personal 'I am the Past'. It was a great moment.

The full band return for 'Singing Time' and 'My Mistakes' and even though the last molecules of oxygen were fast disappearing no one left until the final note had been played.

A proper gig.

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Commenting On: Night and Day, Manchester, 29/8/2013 - Eleanor Friedberger

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