Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

A Free-Thinking Pecker Like Bonnie Old Me

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Will Oldham is an awkward bastard and I love him for it. His band (including double bass and fiddle) clump in the middle of the stage whilst he prowls around the edge. He has no idea what to do with his hands. The music is relaxed and playful though.

This was a much better gig than last time I saw him. Obviously it leaned strongly towards the more recent material which is good because Beware feels like an album that wants to be performed live. The barnstorming instinct to progressively increase the tempo is sometimes a bit wearing but generally suits. This more straightforward country approach works surprisingly well for the songs on The Letting Go too, rendering a melancholy bunch of songs into something much more forceful.

Moving further backwards through the catalogue means greater re-invention of existing material. We get a good chunk of Ease Down The Road which includes a manic thrash through Sheep and a mournful waltz through Grand Dark Feeling Of Emptiness but also some more indifferent overhauls. Even further back and there is breath-taking version of I See A Darkness which is one of the few times he embraces the stripped down sound of a lot of his recorded music. All in all it was a whirlwind tour through a very diverse collection of songs played in a pretty diverse range of styles.

(The less said about Susanna, the support act, the better. The lead singer had a decent set of lungs but no idea what to do with them and all three played their instruments like they were wearing gloves and performing at a funeral. The highlighted their deficiencies with a leaden version of Oldham’s Joy And Jubilee and what was pretty much a massacre of one of my favourite songs, Who Knows Where The Time Goes?)

Written by Martin

21 April 2009 at 01:20

Posted in music

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