King Creosote and Peter Bjorn and JohnEdit this event
A promising-looking evening’s entertainment, promoted by Eat Your Own Ears, but one which ultimately doesn’t quite live up to expectations. * Alexis Taylor *of Hot Chip opens proceedings with a minimal yet slightly eccentric solo set, no doubt baffling those expecting numbers akin to his band’s upbeat electro-pop. Backed only by rudimentary drum machine and, in turn, organ and guitar, much of the set is muscled out by chatter and the placing of orders at the bar – in a more appropriate environment, these rather stark songs could well be somewhat more affecting.
** Peter, Bjorn and John **admit that the evening’s jam-packed schedule means their set is an unsatisfactorily brief affair; and indeed, their allotted time draws to an end just as they’re truly getting going. For their first 15 minutes, they put all their eggs in the 'charm' basket – yet the material is not quite charming enough. But then_ ‘Young Folks’ _predictably gets the crowd going, and from thereon the guitar is cranked up quite considerably. By the abrupt end, I’ve surprised myself by wanting more.
** Larrikin Love** seem a slightly strange choice for the main support tonight – they head out on tour with Dirty Pretty Things in November. Yet, almost as if to prove their credentials, they open with a violin-led number which suggests an English answer to The Pogues. In fact, this sets the tone for the whole set. Despite things quickly turning considerably more NME-friendly, the flat caps and references to_ “butternut squash” _at the very least allow them to stand out from the in crowd. Yet, beyond their pocket of wildly passionate fans here tonight, they do not seem to have won over too many more.
It’s not often you’d see me asking for a microphone anywhere in the vicinity of KT Tunstall to be turned up, but it seems that tonight’s soundman has been subjected to ‘Other Side Of The World’ once too often and decided that enough is enough. It’s a tragedy, though, because Tunstall’s backing harmonies contribute a great deal to the appeal of* King Creosote*’s acclaimed KC Rules OK _album, which is played almost in its entirety here. The success of the King – Kenny Anderson to his family – lies in the expert offsetting of deep melancholia with deadpan humour and self-deprecation. Yet, for much of tonight’s occasionally shambolic set, the band tip the balance slightly too far in the favour of light-heartedness, and so undermine the foundations upon which the material is conceived. It’s no coincidence, then, that tonight’s highlight by some distance is when the encore begins with Anderson forgoing the band to deliver a hugely arresting solo cover of _‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. But it’s harsh to criticise too much – Anderson is a hugely likeable stage presence and his songs are far too strong to be spoilt totally. Besides, in some instances, the atmosphere actually works in the material’s favour. For instance, opener_ ‘Not One Bit Ashamed’ becomes a rousing, communal show of condemnation for the song’s unsatisfactory lover for whom Anderson _“gave up on my liver, trying to keep up”. Yet, that song’s refrain - “It’s not good enough” - does ring true for a good deal of tonight’s performance: not quite good enough to do the album justice.
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