Vic ChesnuttEdit this event
- Koko, Camden Town »
It’s a simple trick and no doubt one that will continue to be used again and again, but building up a folky drone loop and playing some nasty chords around it continues to elicit exhilirating results, and Alexander Tucker has the form down pat. Whilst not as eclectic or imaginative as, say, Team Brick, he does do what he does do with mesmerising effect, bringing to mind Led Zeppelin and Americana film soundtracks.
Vocal cycles resembling The Beta Band are conjured and simple songs sung atop. Sometimes it goes a bit snoozy dadrock, sometimes a little to hey-diddle-fi-fo for my liking, and the set certainly does go on for a bit long, but it is great to hear a loop set like this through such a massive soundsystem.
The general concept of Vic Chesnutt’s most recent record, North Star Deserter does seem great – cult folk singer backed by Silver Mt Zion and Guy Picciotto - but really the overblown textures obscure all the lyrical content and provide a timely reminder of why most post-rock is instrumental.
One part of the arrangement (in both senses) that does work is Chesnutt’s brittle nylon string guitar plinky-plonking naively over the no-more-than-competent textures. Context is the key, y'see. The toy-like guitar sound adds humanity through its incongruity - whilst Vic's voice is powerfully direct when it is centre of attention, when allied to the full band's outpourings it sounds like anyone wailing over any bombast. An eyes-screwed-up, pompous reading of The Stones' 'Ruby Tuesday' is the nadir, attempting to pump the song full of Meaning and Significance but just embarassing all involved.
'You Are Never Alone' is a lovely, loungey respite from the bloated booming, and effectively showcases the beautiful range of Vic’s voice by easing the band into the background and letting the song take centre place. Sadly, that aside, the most exciting thing about the set is seeing him out of Fugazi on stage, even if he isn’t playing anything interesting.
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