Mojo Jan 2011 ****
23 Jan 2011
Beat Poet Adventurer Strays Beyond Bounds of Singer Songwriter
Gillespie’s debut last year mixed vivid lyrical imagry with gypsy jazz, folk and Middle Eastern textures. On her follow-up, the singer, who has grownup in America and Britain, distils her sound to a core of acoustic guitarand subtly imaginative accompaniments from Gilad Atzmon, who moves between accordion, saxophone, clarinet and electronics. Her voice may be strong and defiant but there’s a streak of vulnerability as she sings of turbulent love affairs and touches on politics, from economic meltdown to the War on Terror, in intelligent, poetic sorlgs. How The West Was Won tells the story of the last British prisoner in Guantanamo; on Junk Food Angel she takes Subterranean Homesick Blues to an Arab souk. Throughout, Atzmon’s asides – from electronic beats to a snatch of The Flight Of The Bumblebee add colour and character. Impressive.