Sweet Baboo – Live

22 Nov

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Green Door Store: Tuesday, November 19

Returning to the venue where he was responsible for one of this year’s Great Escape festival highlights, Sweet Baboo (Steve Black to his pals) suggested this show might not be quite as exuberant.

“We’ve just spent £60 on meat at the World’s End pub so we’re bound to be a bit lethargic,” he said.

Admittedly this lacked some of the high jinks of the May show, but he did his tales of love, loss and giddy romance proud.

Black’s approach is to treat his experiences of adversity and affection with the same medicine – an almighty dose of fizzy pop crammed with sweet melodies that just stay on the right side of sickly.

‘The Morse Code For Love Is Beep Beep, Beep Beep, The Binary Code Is One One’ showed both his unique lyrical approach and penchant for a bob-along tune, while ‘C’mon Let’s Mosh’ channelled the nous of Neil Hannon by simultaneously harnessing wry one-liners with proper song-writing craft.

While several of the songs on his recent album ‘Ships’ are buoyed by hearty brass sections, they’re given a more straightforward workout live, not least on his crowning glory ‘If I Died…’ which juxtaposed some showpiece strutting and a heady rush of squalling guitars alongside a niggling sense of artistic doubt, “Daniel Johnston has written hundreds of great songs, and I’ve got six,” he sang.

On this evidence, he can at least change that line to twelve.

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