Eve's Plum Make (Brief) Stop at the Hill

By Kevin Gibson

Rare is the occasion when the headliner actually spends less time onstage than does the warm-up band, but if anyone is keeping score, add Eve's Plum's April 19 show at Phoenix Hill to the list.

After sitting through an hour's worth of Gladys, a handful of hardcore Eve's Plum fans were graced with one fleeting, 40-minute set (no encore) from the New York-based headliner.

Suffice it to say, if anyone went to the bathroom at the wrong time - or blinked - they may have missed it entirely. But let's not be too hard on Eve's Plum. Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and think how it must feel to be on tour promoting an album and to have about thirty people show up for a gig. If not for lawyers, they probably wouldn't have taken the stage at all.

Nevertheless, the time they played was easily worth the $6 cover. The lovely Colleen Fitzpatrick and her equally lovely voice seemed to engulf the entire room, especially on band staples like "I Want It All" and "Blue."

And for those of you who have the group's second and newest album, Cherry Alive, Fitzpatrick and her crew brought to life several selections, including the first single, "Jesus Loves You (Not As Much As I Do.)

Perhaps best in the set was the smoky "Wishing the Day Away," and the jarring, Beatle-esque "Serious Stuff." Of course, you'd have to have Cherry Alive to know these tunes, and apparently few in this area do.

Shame, shame Louisville. If it's any consolation, the band doesn't seem to hold grudges. Guitarist Michael Kotch handed out free stickers to the faithful following the show and Fitzpatrick seemed to blame the poor attendance on a combination of not enough promotion and a too-large venue.

"Actually, there were more people here than I expected," she said. "We haven't been here in, like, two years, and that hurts (attendance)."

Maybe next time they'll play the cozier Butchertown Pub, or the band's next album will achieve more commercial success - God knows the potential is there - and Louisvillians will finally give Eve's Plum the respect they deserve.

If there is a next time.

Opening up the evening was Gladys, a jangle-rock quartet who were obviously heavily influenced by early R.E.M., the Del Fuegos and probably the Jayhawks.

Their hour-long set had its ups and downs, but never really gave the audience reason to sit up and take notice. Of course, there weren't many people there to impress.