Martha Wainwright's UK tour show is a knockout

Dec 5, 2012

Part rock star, part folkie, part torch singer, Martha proves the Wainwright dynasty is in safe hands

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What you need to know
Canadian-American folk-pop singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright is currently on tour in the UK, promoting the release of her new album Come Home to Mama.

Martha is the daughter of American folk singer Loudon Wainwright III and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, and the sister of singer Rufus Wainwright.

She is best known for her songs Prosepina and Can You Believe It, and has collaborated with Pete Townsend (The Who), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) and the band Hole.

She is on tour in the UK until 7 December.

What the critics like
The rival Wainwrights may have to watch out, says Andre Paine in the Evening Standard. Here Martha performs a "faultless, emotionally draining set of knockout tunes" from her new album, with a deep, expansive voice that elevates her songs to greatness. This coming-of-age performance shows "the songwriting dynasty is in safe hands".

No woman in pop sings better than Martha Wainwright, says Nick Hasted in The Independent. Her songs are "shamelessly lusty". And not even "Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald have sung Stormy Weather better than Wainwright does here".

"Part rock star, part folkie, part torch Singer," Martha Wainwright veers easily between the styles in part because of her extraordinary voice and in part because of "the charisma she brings to each performance", says Matt Hall on The Londonist.

What they don't like
This intense show isn't comfortable, says Paine in the Standard. For the Wainwrights, "keeping it in the family results in lyrics that can make you squirm", but at least Martha no longer feels the need to sing insulting songs directed at her dad.

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