My Sad CaptainsEdit this event
With snow settling on the ground and an icy chill biting through the wind, it really isn't the ideal time to venture out into the cold night air. Tonight, however, DiS will make an exception. Last autumn, when the balmy Creatures Of An Hour long player introduced Still Corners as the perfect musical accompaniment for all seasons, the announcement of their imminent UK tour - first in actual fact - was received with baited breath. Although in many ways novices on the live circuit at least, last year's signing to Sub Pop Records coupled with an October sojourn of the States has toughened their mettle somewhat, as they'll demonstrate in spades later this evening.
First up though are the excellent My Sad Captains, a band who've been treading the boards and hovering around London's independent scene for the past three years or so. Fusing the strident Americana of Sparklehorse with an opulent ear for krautrock laced melody, songs like 'Orienteers' remind us of the time long-forgotten shoegazers Moose decided to ditch the effects pedals for something more steel infused. Then, just to throw a spanner in the works, throw in a deceptive groove orientated jam called 'The Homefront' for good measure. Unconventional and sporadic yet utterly captivating, this scribe's request for a setlist raises collective eyebrows among the foursome. Which is just as well considering the looseness of it all.
By the time the headliners take the stage, the Bodega has filled up nicely. Opening with instrumental 'Circulars', it's a different, more confident Still Corners standing before us from the band that nervously played a mid-afternoon set to barely a handful of punters at last summer's Latitude. Vocalist Tessa Murray can't thank those that braved the treacherous conditions enough for coming out, reminding us of the time she lived in Nottingham as a student before diving headfirst into 'Cuckoo'. Even the odd technical hitch doesn't spoil the show. Murray's keyboard cuts out altogether during 'Endless Summer' where even the intervention of drummer and songwriter-in-chief Greg Hughes fails to remedy the problem. Parity restored, the delectable strains of 'Submarine' coupled with 'I Wrote In Blood''s haunting melody takes a healthy diversion into Stereolab territory. The similarities at times between the trans-atlantic avant garde musical stylings of both bands becomes overwhelmingly more evident throughout, as does the band's obvious enjoyment at rocking out in public compared to the tranquil nature of their recorded counterparts.
Short but sweet in execution, only Murray and Hughes return for the encore, a sweet, semi-acoustic dreampop rendition of Bruce Springsteen's 'I'm On Fire'. By the end there's barely a dry eye in the room, a startling reaffirmation that tonight's decision to leave the warmer confines of home was indeed a good one after all.
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