BEING THERE: Gin Wigmore @ World Cafe Live

Gin Wigmore, Upstairs At World Cafe Live, by

Last night, the Upstairs At World Cafe Live, usually a quiet-dinner-and-strummed-guitars kind of place, was turned upside down by New Zealander Gin Wigmore. The Kiwi singer rocked an enthusiastic, overflow crowd, some of which had driven from as far as Michigan to see her at WCL, one of her rare U.S. shows. You might recognize Wigmore from the new James Bond-themed Heineken ad starring Daniel Craig. She is currently on the road supporting her Gravel and Wine album, which was reportedly heavily influenced by a tour of the southern U.S. a few years ago. Her backing band of razor sharp dressed men in vests and bolo ties¬† played loose and loud like the house band at a Texas roadhouse. Wigmore herself is a study in contrasts. At first glance all blonde curls, piercing pale blue eyes, smoky voice and a black evening dress but underneath she’s an inked tiger who knows the game of love is not for the weak and always plays to win. She showed her soft side during a prayerful and desperate “If Only,” a ballad capped with a beautiful “Layla”-esque guitar coda that that seemed to resonate from somewhere deep within her. Switching gears, she closed with the eviscerating “Kill of The Night” a rocking vamp of a number in which she declares, “I wanna taste the way that you bleed.” Message?¬† Handle with care, this kitten has claws. — PETE TROSHAK