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- Camera Obscura »
DiS damn near falls over before we’ve so much as taken one step inside The Luminaire this evening – there’s something about the foyer glitterball and a large mirror to the right of the front doors that completely disorientates your average gig-goer (and yes, we’re very average). Stumbling past a doorman who informs us that tonight’s sold out – we fob him off with a slurred ‘guestlist’ remark, before remembering that we are actually on the list – we emerge into a room sweating at the seams, full with girls in pretty summer dresses and boys in cardigans. If it weren’t such a mammoth cliché we’d slip the word ‘twee’ into proceedings here. Oh whoops.
The impressive turnout is attributable to the fact that tonight’s headliners, Camera Obscura, have a new record all but out; a very very good record, too. The Scots stumble themselves through the initial trio, Tracyanne Campbell completely forgetting her opening chords at one point. “I’m not trying to be cute,” remarks the petite, raven-haired chanteuse. “I’ve actually forgotten the chords.” Only a few songs later the band will stop again, this time to tune up. Campbell makes a request: “Can anyone do this for us?” The too-polite horde before them look at the floor, sheepishly, too terrified to say anything that may wholly unsettle an already rocking ship.
Once the set is flowing, though, Camera Obscura deliver a fine performance – even though the majority of material is culled from the aforementioned new album, Let’s Get Out Of This Country, each and every attendee is hypnotised entirely. The album’s title track is a clear favourite, while relative hoots are offered forth when new single ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’ is introduced. It’s as manic as this crowd gets, although its silence is even more striking: during the set’s sweetest few minutes, ‘Country Mile’, a perfect hush descends, Campbell and acoustic guitar sounding louder, despite their softness, than at any other moment of the show. Introduced as a love song, it’s more than that: it’s a beyond-lovely song, one of those three-minute wonders that seems so simple but leaves you breathless nonetheless.
DiS leaves slightly early to make the train back to our particular corner of London, but does so with a slight feeling of disappointment – not because of any failing on Camera Obscura’s part, but because we’d have quite happily stayed the additional ten minutes if there was money enough for a cab in our wallets. Since there’s not, we journey westwards on public transport, our eyes twinkling and our hearts skipping still at the joyousness of the past hour, initial admission confusion notwithstanding.
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