I felt a little out of touch with new music towards the end of 2010, so in January I made a New Year's resolution to attend at least 1 gig a week until the end of 2011. The rules are simple: 1. Attend at least one gig a week 2. No duplicate headline acts allowed 3. No stockpiling gigs 4. Where possible, don't attend too many gigs at the same venue (I can bend this one)
Here I'll report back on my weekly musical escapades and any great musical discoveries I make along the way.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Week 11: Wed 16 March - The Decemberists, Hammersmith Apollo, London
I've never been to a gig before where the lights went down and the audience was instructed to introduce themselves to the people next to them and then wave at those above them on the balcony by a Voice of God, but then I'd never seen TheDecemberistsbefore. Led by a quirky frontman Colin Meloy (who from the moment he walked on, I thought resembled the old man character in UP, don't ask me why) the group walked on to rapturous applause - they're certainly a band with a dedicated following. I've only got their last album "The Hazards of Love" which I have only recently given a proper listen and grown to quite enjoy. They played a lot of tracks off their new LP 'The King Is Dead', with old favourites thrown in. I was only familiar with a third (if that) of their set, but enjoyed the gig nevertheless. They're great at interacting with the crowd who absolutely adored them. At time's Colin's vocals grated, and it was a bit too country for me, but I'm definitely going to investigate some more of their back catalogue after seeing them live.
Blind Pilot were supporting them on the tour. I bought Blind Pilot's album '3 Rounds and a Sound' a couple of year's ago, so it was a nice surprise to find out they were touring with the Decemberists. They only played a short set which went down well and sounded great. I would really like to see them again in a more intimate setting though.
Cherry Ghost played Union Chapel on Sunday night (20th). I was working but got to see most of their set. I didn't have high hopes for it as I found the album a bit mediocre and their performance didn't really blow me away. They delivered a series of songs which each sounded similar to the last. Union Chapel is a great place to see live music (not that I'm biased) and that certainly helped Cherry Ghost who sounded nice, but that was it, it was nice, it wasn't exciting or interesting. I was thoroughly bored by the end, just willing them to play 'People Help The People' as it's the one song I'm most familiar with. They ended on that before the encore, but played it slightly differently to the original version and it just lacked something. They redeemed themselves a bit by playing 'Mathematics' in the encore but on the whole it was quite a dull performance of some quite dull music.
This week I have become hooked on Wolf & I by Oh Land. It's a great song, I love the vocals and eerie harmonies. I thought I could be onto a winner with this one, so went and listened to some other tracks, but so far they've not really grabbed me and are a lot poppier than this single which is a shame, but it's a great song nonetheless.