Tag Archives: Green Door Store

Sweet Baboo – Live

22 Nov


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.


Ty Segall – Live

3 Aug

Green Door Store, Brighton: Wednesday, August 1 2012

If there was a night to forget your earplugs, this wasn’t it.

Ty Segall might look like a stereotypical San Fran slacker with his
shaggy blond mop and laidback demeanour, but his live show mirrors his prolific output. It’s relentless.

Having already released two albums this year with a third due before
Christmas, he’s not one um and ah when it comes to recording.

And he’s far from shy when it comes to churning out his quickfire,
scuzzed-up, garage rock racket on stage too; the distortion pedals were
plastered to the floor and the amps he didn’t blow up in the
soundcheck (seriously) were turned up so loud that noise pollution officials within a ten-mile radius were no doubt getting twitchy.

There were almighty howling guitar screeches, big, dirty streams of
feedback and crashing cymbals – and that was just in the first 30
seconds of the opener.

From then on, there was no preening or pretence as Segall and his band
ruthlessly dispatched a tinnitus-inducing tirade of fast-paced,
riff-heavy numbers. 

Amid the glorious din, it was Segall’s vocals that prevented the set from becoming a tad too one-dimensional with a mix of thundering verses, lacerating squarks and the occasional snear-cum-whine.

Nevertheless, it’d still be easy to chide Segall for a repertoire that is far from novel and has been done to death. And it’ll no doubt be done again. But towards the end, as those down the front crowdsurfed, swung from the rafters and clambered on to the stage, it seemed doubtful that anyone else could do it better.

Live Review: Francois and the Atlas Mountains

6 Feb

Green Door Store, Thursday, January 26 2012

Forget the club night anthems of Daft Punk or the gleaming disco pop of Air, Francois and the Atlas Mountains are about to become your favourite French band.

Not only do they have a charming album (E Volo Love) which is packed with sweet melodies, bilingual vocals and afropop rhythms, but they also put on a jaw-dropping experimental live show that leaves you thinking ‘where the bloody hell did that come from?’

This show, part of the annual Vive la France shindig, started off true to form as the jaunty yet gentle Les Plus Beaux skipped along with carefree abandon and featured some cute, co-ordinated hand gestures.

So it was a bit of a shock when Edge Of Town made it clear things were going to get far more lively than their laidback recorded offerings would suggest.

Seemingly propelled by an unexpectedly powerful bassline and frantic percussion, singer Francois flitted from languid cool to body-shaking escapism as the layers were expertly piled-on and the volume soared.

Next, The Pastels-influenced City Kiss was no longer a hazy, fey affair, but a majestic, head-bobbing belter, with added flurries of left-field beats and bravado.

From then on it was a free for all. While they didn’t go as far as to make their delicate songs unrecognisable, they frequently built them up with electronic wizardry, vocal gymnastics and a compelling concoction of wonky rhythms, multiple patterns of percussion and scintillating basslines.

As they bowed out with a riotous, loop-heavy, floor-filler, it was the clear that if surprise is a key element of attack, then Francois and the Atlas mountains are about to become all-conquering

Live Review: EMA

16 Sep

Green Door Store: Tuesday, September 8 2011

Tonight was the perfect example of how the trials and tribulations of a few carnage-fuelled months on the road can help, not hinder, musicians.

In May, at her second Great Escape festival show in six hours, and the final show of a lengthy tour, EMA (Erika Anderson) was boozed-up, boisterous and bolshie.

Wearing ripped black jeans and covered in sweat with her long, bleached blonde hair stuck to her face, she oozed cool and attitude. 

She brazenly spat out songs about loss, loathing, peering over the abyss and, er, viking ships, from her debut LP Past Life Martyred Saints while stumbling into the crowd and getting in the faces of those in the front row.

Fast forward four months to this show – the first date of a new tour – and EMA and her band were far more laid back. More’s the shame.

Here, her performance was nervous, shy even. She lacked the swagger and raw emotion that her dark and doom-drenched songs deserved and had made her stand out back in May.

To be fair, her riff-laden, drone-like efforts were given a more accurate showing with regard to her recorded sound. The fuzzed-up barre chords were tuned down and her sultry, vulnerable vocals and sweet melodies were pushed to the fore.

As impressive at it sounded, the sum total of her performance lacked the urgency and vitriol her lyrics demand.

She seemed to gain confidence towards the end of the set, stalking the stage with her mic lead wrapped noose-like around her neck as she closed the set with album highlight California.

The ranting, spoken word verses were accompanied with perfect pop-star  gestures, striking poses and a barrel-load of energy.

But it wasn’t enough. Having previously looked like a star in the making, at times during this show she seemed to be going through the motions.

If solace is needed, get a ticket for the last night of the tour; On past experience, it’ll be a belter.

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