Gig Review – Man In The Long Black Coat

Barb Jungr sings the songs of Bob Dylan

Tuesday 13th January 2009 @ Tobacco Factory Theatre

Tonight’s show was an interesting prospect but one that toyed with my ideals; I absolutely love Bob Dylan and would jump at any opportunity to see his songs live but I wasn’t sure how I felt about seeing and supporting a woman who had made a career out of performing songs that weren’t her own. However, as soon as Barb Jungr opened her broad mouth and treat the assembled crowd to her powerful and inspiring voice, I was enraptured.

About 100 of us were sat in the Tobacco Factory Theatre amongst old boxes, barrels and endless strings of laundry – the set for the currently running A Christmas Carol at the theatre – but all eyes were permanently fixed centre stage at the keyboard, huge grand piano and glamorous Barb herself perched on the edge of her high stool. We were treated to nearly 2 hours of Dylan’s back-catalogue from career defining songs like Like A Rolling Stone to the obscure, ‘lost’ b-sides like Man In The Long Black Coat and each tickled my soul and brought a wide, delighted grin to my cheeks.

Any reservations I had had about someone performing a show of songs that weren’t their own evaporated when it became clear just how much Barb Jungr loved and admired the songs of Dylan herself. Between numbers she would revel in telling us fantastic anecdotes about how she came across some of these songs, when and how they were written and how the songs fitted into Bob Dylan’s life before charming us all with her own mesmerising interpretations of them live.

If truth be told, as fantastic as the music on offer was, at 2 hours long I did get a bit fidgety for the last 20 minutes, especially as it was a seated show but I left still humming the touching chords of Not Dark Yet and just had to treat myself to her CD. Rude not to really!

www.barbjungr.co.uk

Matt Whittle

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