Review & Photos: Laura Gibson, Breathe Owl Breathe, Morgan Manifacier @ Bottom of the Hill, 2/6/12
February 10, 2012
Written by Nic Buron
The light persistent rain couldn’t keep San Francisco’s damp masses from huddling together for a night of varied folksters at Bottom of the Hill on February 6th.
The evening starter, Oakland’s very own singer/songwriter Morgan Manifacier, was accompanied by a celloist. Both were seated, but that did not stop an enthusiastic crowd from gobbling them up. I do suspect a few ringer audience members were in attendance, as the activity near the front of the stage threatened to shake free a couple of ceiling tiles. Manifacier’s sound is reminiscent of everyone’s favorite bearded Foxes. No complaints…
Co-headliners Breathe Owl Breathe mixed a strong cocktail with a dozen ingredients or more. Some of their songs were sunny, some dark; there was crowd participation, semi-performance art stage banter, and the list goes on and on. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Their set even included story time, which is fitting since they’re on the road hawking a gorgeous children’s book. The book is split into two stories (when you finish one, flip the book over to read the other), and at the center is a two song 7”, whose lyrics make up the words of the stories.
Laura Gibson was accompanied by a full band, on tour to promote the just released and well reviewed, La Grande. Though they bounced from genre to genre, all the while they showcased Gibson’s immanently strong songwriting.
There were a handful of new songs on display, and the song “Skin, Warming Skin”, was accompanied by an amusing anecdote Gibson told about a recent French radio interview. Based on the, um, nature of the lyrics, her interviewer repeatedly asked about when she “lost her innocence.” Gibson cooed the story with a petite and sometimes passable French accent, generating some good natured chuckles. Maybe you had to be there…