25 June 2010

Music I've been missing - Dido, No Angel

I was flicking through my iPod the other day, considering making a playlist of women with powerful voices. Like Florence and the Machine. I didn't get much past her because I am in currently deeply love with the song The Dog Days Are Over.

I have heard this song a few times before but didn't take much notice until I heard it in the trailer to the Eat Pray Love film. I started to read the book by Elizabeth Gilbert but couldn't get into it. Maybe it's because I'm not in my 30s, married and wanting out, and looking for a higher being. The film, starring Julia Roberts, looks quite good, and not as boring as the book. I think The Dog Days Are Over as a backing song makes the film seem more exciting than it probably is. Undecided about seeing it.

Moving on.

I thought about what other women with powerful voices I may have on my iPod. I immediately flicked to D.

D for Dido.

Then I saw, with great disappointment, I didn't have her No Angel album loaded.

Dido was literally the music I've been missing. (Note to self - add No Angel to iPod.)

I love this album, and I think that I played it non stop in 2001, seriously. Sadly for me, Dido's an artist where I much prefer her first album to her subsequent ones.

Some say her music is bland and depressing. I'm a believer in giving things a go. At first I didn't really like No Angel. I thought it was a little boring. But after hearing it played at the department store I worked in, I grew to love it and bought a copy for myself.

Sometimes her music made me sad. She sung of the same yearning and betrayal I felt at times in 2001.

I adore this song. Here With Me. Australians, particularly Victorians, may know it from the WorkSafe ads.

Her green eyeshadow captivates me. I wish I could rock green eyeshadow like that. And also rock a long cardi like she does. She's stunning. I consider her as one of the most outwardly beautiful women in history.

Here With Me features in one of my all time favourite films Love Actually. I watch this movie over and over, never getting bored of it. I laugh, cry and recite lines as they're about to be spoken, all while drinking moscato and eating cheese in my pyjamas. I do that about four times a year. That's how much of a low-brow romantic sap I am.

You can view several of my favourite scenes edited and featuring Here With Me on YouTube. The bit when Dido plays is heartwrenching. As is the carols scene where Marc resolves to give up Juliet.

Other times Dido's music has made me feel uplifted. Though I'm not into dance music, the beats and vocals made me feel elated. This song in particular. Take My Hand.

In some points of the album version, I can hear sounds that remind me of whales under the sea. There's an amazing, soaring part towards the end of the song - amazing.

I have seen Dido live twice - once in 2001 at The Forum and once in 2004 at Rod Laver Arena (both Melbourne).

I rate The Forum gig 11/10 better than at Rod Laver. Musically they were both high quality, but there was something about being at the front at The Forum and seeing the musicians do their thing. Take My Hand was my absolute favourite song that she performed live. The energy and sound rushed through me.

I remember her female percussionist being inside a 'beat contraption', if you like, banging, tapping and tinkling on lots of different instruments to make beautiful sounds. I also recall never seeing a bead of sweat on Dido. I believe she sang solo the whole time. It was an astounding concert - an experience I have not forgotten.

My friend and I bought tshirts. She thought she lost hers in the taxi, but it had fallen out of her bag and she found it in the gutter in the morning. I still have mine. I don't (read: can't) wear it now. It was a once size fits all number - it was about a size four, and at that time I was about a size seven. It was such a struggle to wear! Not sure how I got it over my boobs come to think of it!

We made a weekend of that concert. Went shopping, stayed up late, slept on another friend's couch. I loved the concerts back in those days - the act of traveling from the country to Melbourne made it a real event. Now I sometimes go to concerts after work, and go to work the next day, so it's a bit of joy sandwiched between the routine, with a high dose of exhaustion!

Here is another of my mementos from the show. It's a Dido guitar pick.

I think it was thrown from the stage and fell near me, but I may be mistaken. It may have been handed to me by security. Either way, it was my first taste of souveniring from a concert. From that concert on, I tried to get near the front and get a setlist or guitar pick. I've succeeded on many occasions - I actually have Darren Hayes' water bottle!

Here is Dido's guitar pick next to Neil Finn's. I saw the roadie take it off his mic stand at the Crowded House concert at Rod Laver in 2005, and I asked for it.

Once again, this music I've been missing entry has taken many tangents, and mentioned artists beyond Dido. It's a lot of fun writing these and recalling the various experiences I've had and journeys I've taken because of the music I listen to.


  1. You have fabulous taste in music!
    Everyone has raved about the book, but I read Eat Pray Love and I hated it. It seemed really self indulgent. I'm hoping that the movie is better.

  2. Oh my gosh now I'm singing No Angel haha
    I adore that Dido album so, so much! I bought it back in 2001 and listened to it non-stop. I love almost every single song on it. Her voice is so beautiful and I love the lyricism and meaningfulness of her songs. x

  3. OMG YES.

    I <3 Dido, and No Angel has about a million personal connotations... great album, great entry! :)



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