In the hot and dark basement of the Sebright Arms on a Thursday evening, three people take the stage: the Weather Station, led by Canadian songwriter and guitar player, Tamara Lindeman. She is joined tonight by a bass player providing tuneful and sensitive support and the subtlest, quietest drummer ever to give accompaniment to a song. That is some skill in a small place. Anywhere really. But the centre of attention is the singer, delivering a lovely set that draws on “Loyalty” her new release but includes the wondrous “Came so Easy” and many other early songs. Many people in the audience – me included – have clearly been in love with these pieces for a while but have not had the chance to see her. This is playing, singing and writing of the very highest quality. Skilful, moving, honest. Not the usual chords or structures and not the usual lyrical ways and means. Earlier in the evening, the support band, Oh Sister, were at the beginnings of this kind of journey. They will learn a lot from watching and listening to this playing and this writing. Tamara is very possibly tired of the Joni Mitchell comparison, in fact I know she is because of the interview on the excellent Line of Best Fit site. But the tone and sweep of her voice does bear that weight. And yet the lyrics are not easily comparable to anyone – they have a highly original depth and range with an eye for the intimate detail and strangeness of particular moments. This is a wonderful talent who will not be playing places of this size for much longer. In fact, she is supporting the Mountain Goats in the cavernous (by comparison) Shepherds Bush Empire in November. The songs the singing and the playing are an easy match for the space. I hope The Weather Station come back soon in their own right…
This blog is for reviews of the various live shows that we go to as well as being about the music we enjoy listening to…along with some pointers to videos and music tracks we’ve enjoyed…along with links to music blogs we’ve enjoyed. In spite of what friends and family might assume, this is not going to be exclusively limited to what gets called “Americana” by Uncut (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing – in fact quite the reverse!) but includes a wide variety of music we’re interested in. The only consistent connecting theme is it seems to be about music made by people who are mainly off the really giant commercial radar (with some exceptions) but who seem to be in it because they enjoy working with those few chords and twisting them into something new and timeless. Or something like that. So we’ll reference things we’ve been to see recently and in the recent past and years ago and just yesterday and maybe even at the time.
Those of you familiar with King Creosote will recoginse the title of this blog as being part of a great song of his. We really don’t intend to take this name in vain but to take it as an inspirational title. Last April at the Slaughtered Lamb he played my favourite song “And the Racket They Made” by request *after* the show was finished and people were leaving. He didn’t have to do this and he could have politely asked me to back off and leave him alone (there I was whining that he hadn’t played it after an immaculate 2 hour set). There were no cameras recording this lovely extra performance and this song in particular – but it happened. Really. And the only thing recording it is this, a post on my other blog and memory.
So this blog is a means of recording some of what happens out there in the still beautiful and unpredictable world of live music (away from most of the corporate venues at least).
Hope you like it.