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Review: PATTI SMITH Carling Academy, Liverpool.

Byline: By Paddy Shennan

PATTI Smith is a Scouser!

Well, not really - well, not at all - but her granny WAS born here, and the singer is so proud of the fact she gave us her life story in a song.

Jessie Pollard was born here in 1894 and spent the first 11 years of her life in the city before moving to America. And today, Smith will visit the streets where the young Jessie lived and played.

It was a night of surprises.

Later in her set, she told us about a recent day trip she made to Grasmere to see Dove Cottage which, somehow, sounded odd coming from the high priestess of punk.

Having also been dubbed an icon, a legend and the poet laureate and godmother of punk, the 60-year-old - whose 1975 album Horses inspired and influenced countless future artists on both sides of the pond - has quite a reputation to uphold.

I thought she dented it by including, on her recently-released album of cover versions, Twelve, a lame version of Tears For Fears' lame hit Everybody Wants To Rule The World, (thankfully overlooked here), but I think we can forgive her one aberration.

There were one or two low moments last night - not least during Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced?

which descended into a self-indulgent muso mess - when it seemed as if punk had never happened (or, at least, Smith was betraying the very philosophy she pioneered), but her initially hit-and-miss performance just got better and better.

A deliciously delicate cover of The Beatles' Within You Wit hout You and rousing renditions of the Stones' Gimme Shelter and her own Free Money helped get things back on track and by the time she delivered an electrifying version of her big 1978 hit Because The Night, she could do no wrong.

And there was still a glorious version of Gloria to come, and the highlight of Twelve - her subtle take on Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit.

By turns playful, powerful, girlish and grown-up, Smith belied her bus pass age throughout. The gran she never met was in her thoughts and her son, Jackson, was on stage sharing guitar duties with veteran Lenny Kaye . All was well in her world.

"Hey Liverpool! You f****** wipe me out!"

Hey, Patti - likewise.

RATING: 8/10 A family affair
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 21, 2007
Words:387
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