Archive | February, 2013

Andy Burrows – Live

26 Feb

Andy Burrows

Komedia: Monday, February 18, 2013

On paper, going to see the ex-drummer from indie makeweights Razorlight on a cold Monday night shouldn’t stir up much excitement.

But Andy Burrows isn’t your average pan basher who now reckons he can belt out note or two.

He’d already proven his songwriting credentials by penning his former band’s biggest hit America – allegedly much to the annoyance of gobby singer Johnny Borrell – and this set showed his knack for creating memorable tunes has prevailed in his new solo material.

Supported by a full band, the immaculately crafted songs from his back catalogue immediately took on a more boisterous feel as Burrow’s let off the shackles on his vocals.

Another Picture of You– released under his I Am Arrows moniker – typified his skill for writing breezy, free-flowing classic pop songs and giving them an extra shot in the arm on stage, before a cover of Crowded House’s Four Seasons In One day was saved from being a middle of the road meltdown by some simply stunning four-way harmonies.

Burrows is also a master at pacing a song, with the tearjerkers Light The Night and Hometown – both of which appear on the Snowman and the Snowdog soundtrack – starting off innocuously before blooming into all-consuming numbers brimming with purpose and overflowing with melody.

There is no doubt that Burrows is a rare breed; a drummer who has stepped out of the shadows with stunning results. He clearly loves
every minute of it too – no doubt helped by not having to stare at Borrell’s backside for a couple of hours every night.

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Laughtermarket Valentine’s Night Comedy – Live

26 Feb

Laura Lexx

The Old Market, Hove: Thursday, Februray 4 2013.

Six comedians for six quid sure beats shelling out on an overcrowded flashy restaurant on Valentine’s Day – especially with a line up like
this.

With the exception of the deadpan-wannabe – yet deadweight in reality – compere Fraser Geesin, the remaining five acts showed the beating heart of live comedy is in rude health.

Brighton-based Laura Lexx (pictured) was charm personified with a fast-paced confessional set that included her middle class background, Harry Potter hairdos and her ongoing romantic “dry period” that removed the necessity for shaving her legs. Who said romance was dead?

Lanky Sean McLoughlin dispatched a bitter 15 minute tirade about being so poor he “was refused a nectar card” before Sam Stone pondered the pitfalls of trying to find love through The Guardian’s Soulmates pages – especially when blokes blurred their profile pictures.

David Jordan then banged out a couple of musical masterpieces about being a camp, straight man and a size XXXL, booming “why perch on a deck chair when you can luxuriate on a lazy boy?”, before headliner Imran Yusuf’s well-honed combination of tongue-in-cheek laddish banter, emotional honesty and sharp social observations showed a true step up in class and received a rapturous reception.

He was one fella who received more than enough love on Valentine’s night.

David Bazan – Live

4 Feb

david_bazan_guitar

The Basement: Thursday, January 31 2013

There’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, then there’s Seattle’s David Bazan.

The one-time Pedro and the Lion frontman isn’t one for sugar-coating his songs – as this stripped down solo offering revealed – be it when recounting his battles with the bottle (“all this lethal drinking is to hopefully forget about you”, he admitted on Stitches), or his journey from evangelical Christianity to quizzical non-believer (“you expect me to believe that all this misbehaving grew from one enchanted tree?” he asked on Hard to Be)

Playing to a small – yet clearly devoted crowd – Bazan, with his receding hairline, beard and hoodie, came across like the common bloke’s Josh T Pearson. Like his fellow countryman, Bazan fulfils the role of a latter-day anti-preacher, preferring to plough his own furrow as he questions and challenges instead of willingly obeying.

At times, his acoustic offerings were mesmerising, especially when the unnerving intensity of his words were smartly juxtaposed with some seriously sweet melodies. Occasionally some of his tamer meanderings trailed off into tepid territory, but when his vocals took on the same raw and rasping passion as his lyrics, it was match made – if not in heaven – then somewhere else suitably sublime.

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