‘I was making myself the usual cup of tea, when the doorbell strangely rang…’ (Not So Manic Now, Dubstar)
Sarah Blackwood is the ice-cool electro pop chanteuse of Dubstar, Salford/London coffee table purveyors of bitterweet lyrics and ear-wormy tunes. Bravely upholding the femme-pop vanguard against the ground forces of Britpop at the time, Blackwood became a combination of indie poster-girl and Bridget Jones alike Starbucks idol.
So strange and otherworldly to see Ms Blackwood land in Istanbul’s oldest club – albeit founded in 1994 – Roxy, in the cities’ fashionable Cihangir district. Ably assisted by Candian Robert Smith/Andrew VanWyngarden lookalike Oliver on acoustic guitar, the perfectly toned and poised Blackwood provides perfect ying to the guitarist’s tousled yang.
Billy Bragg’s ode to Thatcherism as failed-relationship ‘St Swithins Day’ sits by The Rolling Stones ‘Under My Thumb’ and Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, and alongside Blackwood’s soft northern accent, sound like the judgement of the quietly righteous. It’s as if the sardonic techno-pop queen once astride a heap of muscled, male, discarded dancers has descended from the mountain into the village throng; to bring the iceberg to the drowners.
In person Sarah Blackwood is a humble, gracious, sensitive, and sweet true lady – a woman of legendary status, maturing in the classiest of styles. Blackwood winked at Istanbul from the wall of the club, and Istanbul yielded, one more time…