A Quick Saturday Post – Fanfarlo and James Yuill

I’m one of those people who can’t just knock up a quick blog post in ten minutes. I need time. Usually a couple of weeks, which makes doing live reviews a bit of a bind, as there’s really not much point posting a review of a live gig three weeks after it happened and everyone’s forgotten about it (except on Songkick, of course).

So, today, I’m just going to post a couple of tunes. I know nothing much about either artist, except that I’ve listened to both tracks in the last few days and rather like them. Which is what music blogging should be about really, rather than some old bugger wittering on for 1000 words about one bloody song.

Indie Shuffle posted this track by James Yuill last week, and it popped up on Hype Machine getting all sorts of love. I love Hype Machine, as you can never really predict what people are going to love from one day to the next. In this case, they love a charming bit of folktronica (*shudder*). His album “Turning Down Water For Air” is out now (ok, it’s been out for about a year). Check out more at his MySpace page here.

James Yuill And The Periodic Table

Now Fanfarlo I knew absolutely nothing about, until they cropped up on a Word Magazine CD a few months ago which I’ve only just got round to listening to. “Fire Escape” uses that fantastic synth arpeggio sound that New Order and Grandaddy made not famous at all, and it’s busy earworming its way through my skull as I type this.

Fanfarlo, In A Barn

Again, check out their MySpace page, on which I found this great cover of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “A Minor Place”:

Both bands are on tours, to places possibly near you.

Oh, and a nice thing happened yesterday. A momentous occasion for Loft and Lost, which has now had over 50,000 page views since I started it back in January this year. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it (which is a lot, in case you were wondering).

MP3: This Sweet Love by James Yuill

MP3: Fire Escape by Fanfarlo

Buy James Yuill’s “Turning Down Water for Air” (CD/MP3)

Buy Fanfarlo’s “Reservoir” (CD)

Back to the 80’s with Hot Vampire Chip Weekend

So, in yet another of my hopelessly behind-the-times posts, those two darlings of the MP3BlogOSphere, Hot Chip (From Putney!) and Vampire Weekend (Not From Putney!) have new songs out, as musical outriders to their new albums which will come tearing over the horizon at some point in the New Year.

First off, the new Hot Chip song “Take It In” sounds somewhat like Cabaret Voltaire before exploding into a happy, poppy, none-more-shiny chorus, quite at odds with the Sound Of 80’s Sheffield verse. I like it.

And second off, the new Vampire Weekend song “Cousins” sounds like something from C86. Yes, these cheeky chappies from the Ivy League have moved on (a bit) from their Bhundu Boys moment, to do their utmost to sound like McCarthy, Bogshed or a sped-up Stump. I like it too.

Both bands are also going on tour in the New Year, and I (of course) managed to not get tickets. Will have to give Scarlet Mist a try – for UK readers, this is a superb site on which you can buy or sell face-value concert tickets with other fans. It’s totally free and a refreshing change to those grubby Ticketmaster-owned “Fan to Fan” sites doing the rounds, which to me are just a higher-tech (and corporate!) version of ticket touting.

MP3: Run To The Temple by Bogshed

(and a note to the older readers – never in a million years did I ever think that if I started a blog, I’d end up posting something by Bogshed. But it does bear a more than passing resemblance to “Cousins”, doesn’t it?)

MP3: Buffalo by Stump

(note to older readers – I’ve been waiting for an excuse to post this for ages)

MP3: Take It In by Hot Chip

MP3: Cousins by Vampire Weekend

Amazon’s Vampire Weekend Page

Amazon’s Hot Chip Page

Buy Stump’s “Fierce Pancake and Beyond: The Complete Anthology”

(Can’t find anything by Bogshed on Amazon. Sorry)

Frightening Rabbits In East London

“Ah, The Troxy, we meet at last”.

After two aborted attempts to get to London’s newest swish venue, The Troxy, in the past two weeks – missing The Flaming Lips due to a prior engagement (hey, Kate!), and Monsters Of Folk due to illness – it was nice wandering down Commercial Road to see Frightened Rabbit there. Well, when I say nice, I mean it was nice not getting mugged. Let’s just say the Troxy is a salubrious venue in an insalubrious part of town. The barstaff are nice, if somewhat disorganised, and the vast team of people working in cloakroom seem cheery enough.

I was at the Troxy to watch Frightened Rabbit support Gomez, seeing as I’d managed to miss them at The Lexington earlier in the month1. Now, I’ve only known about Frightened Rabbit for about a month or so when I was sent a link for the video to their new single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”. To say I was gobsmacked is not even the half of it. I’ve played that bloody song 43 times according to my iTunes, and their last album “Midnight Organ Fight” has been played rather a lot in the past couple of weeks.

Since recording that album, they’ve expanded to a five-piece, and they shambled onto the stage and launched right into “The Modern Leper”. The audience was bigger than you’d normally expect for a support act, and they were treated to Scott’s impassioned yelling of the final chorus (“Well, are you a masochist, to love a modern leper, on his last leg?”), joined by his brother Grant on drums who was happily yelling away too. The band then tumbled through “Old Old Fashioned”, with Grant again going, frankly, a bit mad. The reception was positive, if somewhat muted.

But if the crowd weren’t quite sure about the Rabbit after the two opening tracks, they should have had their minds made up by “Good Arms vs Bad Arms”. It’s a great song on the album and it’s even better live, with the rest of the band providing lovely backing vocals to Scott’s entreaties to his ex to “Keep her naked flesh under your favourite dress”. That song got the hairs on my arm standing to attention, I can tell you.

During “Fast Blood”, Grant’s attitude veered between frantic and laconic, which is quite a trick if you can manage it. There’s a lovely thick richness to their sound, with various band members swapping guitars, keyboards, odd pedal things and a lone bass. Not sure the sound guy was quite up to it, though, as the sound sometimes descended into swampiness2.

Then came “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”. As Scott introduced it, there were more than a few cheers from the audience, which got him looking up at the crowd, astonished. Slower than on record, it’s still best song you’ll hear all year. There’s a gorgeous Calendonian melancholy to it that perversely lifts the soul. 43 times in my case.

The last pair of songs – “My Backwards Walk” and “Keep Yourself Warm” – show the band’s darker lyrical side. Now, when I first posted about FR, I said that they were much lighter in tone than their compatriots The Twilight Sad, which prompted a comment from a lovely chap called Drew pointing out that their lyrics were somewhat darker than I’d realised. And indeed, he is quite, quite right. For example, “My Backwards Walk” starts off with Scott talking about how he keeps returning to a woman he shouldn’t return to, including the great line “These trousers seem to love your floor”. The song then ends on a far darker note of the repeated line “You’re the shit and I’m knee-deep in it”. I wonder what the massed hordes of Gomez fans thought about that one?

Even better, the last song has the great, bitter, twisted line “It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep yourself warm”. Oh, and then “I’m drunk, and you’re probably on pills, if we’ve both got the same diseases, it’s irrelevant, girl”. Charming words for sure, and part of the reason why they are such a cracking band. They say things that your brain might conjure up in dark, desperate moments, and chuck them on top of songs filled with tunes and hooks. It’s a combination many bands grasp at and by and large fail, but Frightened Rabbit succeed with aplomb. What’s better, they can do it live too.

When leaving the stage they got a huge cheer, and hopefully won over a fresh set of new fans. On collecting my bag, the cloakroom staff (and someone in the queue) asked why I was leaving. I told them I’d only come to see the support act, had to rush home to babysit parent3, and then gushed over-verbosely for a couple of minutes. One guy said “That’s quite a testament to how good they are, I’ll check them out”. Mate, do it. There aren’t many better bands in the UK right now.

Catch them on tour now round the UK, supporting Gomez (on some nights) and Modest Mouse (on others). One day, with any luck, they’ll be bigger than both of them. And if “Swim” is anything to go by, new album ‘The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’ (out next March) will be a real treat.

MP3: Swim Until You Can’t See Land by Frightened Rabbit

MP3: Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms by Frightened Rabbit

1 Even though it may seem that way, I’m not totally and utterly disorganised or anything. Honest.
2 Which, curiously enough, my friend S mentioned about the Monsters of Folk gig. Though she put it more along the lines of “I was going to punch the soundman because he was shit”.
3 A shame, because I wanted to see Gomez again. I love their singer, and the quote I once heard of “Somewhere, in the Mississippi basin, there’s a grizzled old blues guy who sings like Morrissey”.

Buy “Midnight Organ Fight” (CD/MP3)

New And Old Music – Color Radio and Canyon

Don’t you just love it when a new band come along who sound oddly like a band you used to love, but disappeared pretty much without a trace after doing just one proper album?

Those bands are Canyon and Color Radio. Canyon appeared in the early part of the decade, released one LP with a purdy lady on the cover:

The music was a narcotic, woozy variant of countrified America, the kind of thing that My Morning Jacket and Neil Young have traded in for years. But there was something else, an undercurrent of post-rock ominous tunefulness, and made them stand out from their peers. Sadly, they seem to have pretty much broken up – not officially, at least, but enough to not make any more records together.

And now, from Mexico City via Chicago, come Color Radio, who deal in a narcotic, woozy variant of Americana. Not quite as woozy as Canyon’s, but fantastic nonetheless. Currently unsigned (believe it or not), they’ve just released their second EP “Be Safe, Beware”

Here’s two tracks from the record. The other two are just as excellent and the whole thing is very much worth your $5. Pretty damn fine t-shirts too. There’s a tour of the East Coast (of the US) coming up, so make sure to check them out. Hopefully someone will pick them up for support on a tour of Europe.

Speaking of listening to old bands again, I’ve got a right doozy of a band to post about next week. But next up will be the Frightened Rabbit at the Troxy review. Come back soon, and don’t forget to subscribe to the email updates!

MP3: Magnetic Moon by Canyon

MP3: Newest News by Color Radio

MP3: Be Safe, Beware by Color Radio

Buy Canyon’s “Empty Rooms” (CD/MP3)

New Music – Aerial

At the moment, I’m reading Tom Holland’s “Millennium”, which concerns itself with the history of Europe from the Dark Ages through the millennium (at 1000AD, not the one nine years ago). One of the fascinating little nuggets of information that he’s so good at peppering his books with was about the Viking invasion and settlement of northern England. Apparently, despite our perception that the Vikings were a smelly, rampaging horde of barbarians, they bathed once a week, wore eyeliner and took a lot of care over their hair. This, of course, made them rather popular with the local ladies, and so Englishmen befriended them to get make-up and hair-care tips! Now, I bet you never thought that Vikings were in fact a bunch of poodle-rockers.

And on that note, following on from my recent posts about Mew and Mixtapes and Cellmates, here’s another bunch of Scandinavians, who are rampaging over the North Sea carrying Fender Jazzmasters and copies of My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”. Whether they are going to run off with our ladies too is purely open to conjecture.

Aerial have the same effortless tunefulness that their compatriots deal in, and I’m really starting to wonder what’s going on over there. “All Refrain” is but two minutes long, brings to mind Pavement and Guided By Voices and Beulah and is a good two minutes too short. It’s from their new LP “Put It This Way In Headlines” (which is up there in the “Not quite understandable” stakes with “You Forgot It In People”) which is out right now.

Bloody hell, it’s a good song. Not sure about the Liverpool mug in the video though.

MP3: All Refrain by Aerial

Buy the album from the Nomethod online shop or from iTunes (no Amazon links for this one, I’m afraid).

Happy 25th to Let It Be (With High On Stress)

One of the overriding themes of this blog is the fact that, quite frankly, I’m getting on a bit. Yeah, sure, I’m not quite reading Q or Mojo yet, but I’ll be 40 in a few years and that mid-life crisis is going to start gnawing at my toes soon. If I start doing posts about my knees hurting or how I’m going to go out and buy me a Porsche, then you know it’s hit me right between the eyes.

In the interim I shall just do posts like these, in which I bemoan the fact that a great alt-rock record was released 25 years ago. 25 years! Sheesh, blimey, and so on.

Smoking Popes

But this one is a bit special to me, mainly because I only discovered it earlier in the year. During one of my jaunts through the Pitchfork 500, one song in particular jumped out, dragged me into a mosh pit, drank my beer and tried to get off with my missus. Yep, “I Will Dare” is that kind of song. So, of course, I went off and bought the extended version of “Let It Be”, and being something of a fan of The Hold Steady and the like, I’ve been rather enjoying it.

And it seems like I’m not the only one who’s still loving the record. Out in The Replacement’s home town, Minneapolis, there’s what looks like a top night celebrating the anniversary at First Avenue. Featuring a ton of bands, pick of the bunch being High On Stress.

Stress Live

Like their heroes, they’ve got that gift of mixing guitars, bass, drum and vocals, and turning out great tunes with that special magic touch. What is it with Minneapolis and great rock bands? Is it in the water or something? Anyway, here’s a video of them playing live with The Replacement’s own Slim Dunlap:

Here’s “Eyeliner Blues” from High On Stress and a couple of beauts from “Let It Be”, including a great cover of “20th Century Boy” from the expanded version. And if you live around Minneapolis, why not pop down to First Avenue next Friday night (27th November)? I would, but I’m off to The Gun.


MP3: Eyeliner Blues by High On Stress

MP3: Sixteen Blue by The Replacements

MP3: 20th Century Boy by The Replacements

Buy “Let It Be” (Extended Version MP3/CD)

Buy “Cop Light Parade” by High On Stress

Am I Live? Yes – Mew at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Going to a concert whilst wearing a suit is an interesting experience, especially after previously being at a do at the Polish Embassy (yes, really). Ignoring the puzzled glances from my fellow gig-goers at the Shepherds Bush Empire, I settled into the capacity crowd, sadly not at the front. What, you think I’m going to get creases in these trousers?

Mew, in case you didn’t already know, are one of the most adventurous rock bands around these days. Their songs blend heartstoppingly brilliant bits with slightly more tedious bits. Their best songs blend heartstoppingly brilliant bits with even more brilliant bits. If you get bored at any point, you are safe in the knowledge that in a minute or so they will change the tempo and the key, and probably everything else they can think of. Sometimes their songs go from strange to utterly fantastic gradually, so you are suddenly aware that a tune that had only moments earlier made no sense whatsoever had become akin to the music played at the gates of heaven.

Jonas with Tele

Having seen them live before, I kind of knew what to expect, so my main concern was whether their new material would stand up to the live treatment. And my other main concern was, do they still have the freaky videos?

To which the answers were yes, and oh sweet Mary mother of Jesus, stop it with the mouths.

Kicking off with “Intro/Reprise”, they soon kick into gear with “Hawaii”. What shocks you immediately is their ability to translate their hugely complex songs into a live performance. Jonas’s voice is a truly wondrous thing; crystal clear and pitch perfect. And they are loud. Properly, knee-shakingly, chest-tremblingly loud, almost up there with The Twilight Sad. Which is good, as I don’t have to listen to the people behind me wittering on. About halfway through, the screens behind the band suddenly flash to life, showing men dancing around with deer’s skulls. It’s really quite odd. And up go the hairs on my arms for the first of about fifty times.

Scary Dancing Things!

Scary Dancing Things!

Next up comes a sequence of songs that a less talented band would have broken up and scattered throughout the show, but Mew have such utter confidence in the strength of their material that they can joyfully play four of their best songs in a row without worrying about keeping folks interested. Those songs are, of course, the New Order-esque “Special”, “The Zookeeper’s Boy”, “Am I Wry? No” and “156”.

“Special” kicks off with a down and dirty guitar riff, far rougher than on record, and during the song everyone starts clapping. You can’t beat a bit of audience participation. “The Zookeeper’s Boy” is played with a backdrop of dolls, with toy animal heads with human mouths, singing along. It’s really quite, quite disturbing. And odd. The song ends with four of the band singing counterpoint1, and it’s really quite, quite astonishing. I was at this point standing there with my mouth hanging open. I can only hope there wasn’t any dribble coming out.

Then the opening riff to “Am I Wry? No” starts, and the place goes, as they say, mental. Now, this being the first song of theirs I ever heard, it’s got that special place in my heart, and I love it when a band can translate everything you love about the song on record into an even better live version. I had to stop myself singing along (not that this would have mattered, frankly). And “156” is stripped down – yes, Mew can strip songs down, believe it or not – until about half way through when the guitars come in and tear through the ominous quiet of the first half.

Scary Children!

Scary Children!

After that, songs came thick and fast, and unfortunately I don’t have an accurate set list (despite those marvellous people at the Mew Forum). “Introducing Palace Players” has such a bizarre, discordant riff that it makes me wonder how the guitarist introduced it to the rest of the band at a practice. “Hey, Jonas, it’ll sound much better when you start yodelling over the top, honest”. I would dearly love to walk past a guitar shop and hear some spotty teenage axe hound trying to play it. Maybe that’s why this lot aren’t selling out the O2 like Muse – whilst the latter also make hugely complex, ornate music, you can still just about knock out one of their riffs. This lot? No hope. Still, I’d much rather be here than at the O2.

There was even an exceedingly odd moment with a talking bear thing. I really have no idea what the hell was going on – see if you can make sense of it yourself.

So, on went the wonderful songs, and the bonkers videos. Wolves, lampreys, more dolls with animal heads, and the guitarist dancing around with a mask on was a real eye-opener. “Silas The Magic Car” was a gratefully recieved quieter moment, and I was struck by just how great this lot sound singing together. Take that, Fleet Foxes! “Repeaterbeater” swooshed by like a train filled with mutant guitarists. The icy ferocity of “Snow Brigade” shook us to the core, and then the band left the stage. But we all know what was to come next; well, at least those of us who’d seen them before.

A Cat!  Playing A Violin!

A Cat! Playing A Violin!

On came Bo Madsen to play the “Comforting Sounds”, and Jonas sauntered on just in time to start singing. Then, as his singing reached the climax, the rest of the band came on, and anyone in the venue who had even the slightest doubt about Mew being absolute masters at this lark had those doubts thrown into the skip outside. The starfield behind the band suddenly changed to more animals, but this time they were actually cute little things, all playing violins. Look, a teddy with little round glasses! A bunny with a twitchy nose! A strange corpse skull thing! I was struck by the thought that this is possibly the best gig-ending song I’ve ever experienced.

All I have to say about Mew is this. They should go on tour with someone properly, massively huge, like U2, or Coldplay, or the aforementioned Muse, as they would blow the headline act totally and utterly out of the water. Whilst I wish huge success on all the bands I love, I really wouldn’t want to see Twilight Sad or Tindersticks or whoever play Wembley Arena or the O2. But Mew could just fill a place like that with a song like “Comforting Sounds”. And whilst their music is complicated and sometimes bizarre, so are Muse, and I know who I’d much rather go and see. Please go and see them for yourself and find out what I’m on about and why I have written this huge article. You won’t regret a second. Except the bits with the mouths. Stop it with the mouths, will you?

MP3: Silas The Magic Car by Mew

MP3: Comforting Sounds by Mew

MP3: The Zookeeper’s Boy by Mew

1 At least I think that’s what it’s called. They all sing different bits, not like a round. Oh, you know what I mean.

Buy “Frengers” (CD)

Buy “And the Glass Handed Kites” (CD)

Buy “No More Stories” (CD)

Note: All photos courtesy of kind people posting them on Flickr.

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Hatherley’s Done Well?

I still remember the fuss when Charlotte Hatherley joined boyish Irish indie-popsters Ash. “What’s that girly doing up there playing guitar?” whined all the indie-boys. “Ooh, wish that was me” said all the indie-girls. “Couldn’t give a shit, me, as long as she can play guitar like a mean funky devil” said I. And lo, upon seeing Ash at the Reading Festival, it was pretty bleedin’ obvious that she could. Watching her lay into the riff from “Walking Barefoot” was wonderful; one of modern rock’s great riffs, if flows and twists, all melody and yearning. The fact that she channelled the insouciance of prime Chrissie Hynde as a 19-year old was pretty damn cool too.

Whatever You Do, Don't Go Throwing Paint On That Tele, Eh?  Oh.

So it’s nice to see her continuing her solo career with great songs like “White” and “Alexander”. The former is a slice of Wire-y, Elastica-y, Blondie-y post-punk goodness with added slinky chorus for good measure. Great video too:

And new single “Alexander” is what The Sundays would have sounded like if they’d actually got round to having sex:

Now, Charlotte has gone on record to complain about file-sharers and the like, so I’d like to give something back by saying, please go and see her live at one of the following shows:

17 Nov 2009 The Masque Liverpool
18 Nov 2009 Frog and Nightingale Chester
19 Nov 2009 The Brudenell Social Club Leeds
20 Nov 2009 Twisterella Blackburn
21 Nov 2009 Lennons Southampton
22 Nov 2009 The Railway Inn Winchester

And buy her record too, please. It’s the least she deserves.

MP3: White by Charlotte Hatherley

MP3: Walking Barefoot by Ash

Buy Charlotte Hatherley’s “New Worlds” (CD/MP3)

Buy Ash’s “Intergalactic Sonic 7” (CD/MP3)

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London Grizzly Orchestra

The concept of a band playing their material with a full orchestra has a long and not necessarily glorious history. When the band has songs that make the most of a full orchestra, it can work rather nicely. Think of Elbow’s show this year with the BBC Concert Orchestra, or Tindersticks playing at the Bloomsbury Theatre. But just bunging strings on top of basic meat and potatoes rock just doesn’t cut it, as many bands during the Britpop era discovered, to their (and our) cost.

Grizzly Bear are about as far from meat and potatoes rock as you can get. Now, as I’ve posted about them about 100 times this year, I don’t really need to go into describing their extraordinary music again. So, dear reader, on with the review without any more guff from me.

Concrete (and grass) jungle

First things first. Isn’t the Barbican a freaky old place? It’s like a strange concrete oasis sat in the weird bit of London between The City and the West End. At first sight it looks like some nightmarish sink estate in Bradford or Loughborough, but then you sneak a look in an estate agents window and see that a one-bedroom flat goes for £500,000. Half a million! Sheesh. Then you notice the lack of litter and graffiti, and the nice little signs directing you along the raised walkways. Indeed, after a while you start to think it’s like running round a level of Quake 3 but without the monsters shooting at you.

Look, No Graffiti!

And the actual Barbican centre itself is really quite nice. I like venues where you can have a sandwich, a slice of cake, and a nice sit down.

Sorry, enough with the guff.

So, what do Grizzly Bear sound like with the LSO? Well, let me put it this way. Every time I go to see a band, there’s a little, totally unscientific test I carry out. It’s pretty simple and there really isn’t a way I can easily replicate it. But it works and frankly I can’t think of anything better.

It’s this. At what point during the show does the hair on my arms stand up? Music is a visceral thing that affects people in all sorts of ways, on an emotional level that no other artform can match. I got it about thirty seconds into the opener “Easier”, which says a great deal about how beautiful those opening moments were. “Cheerleader” was simply stunning, a much softer proposition than at Koko, with Daniel Rossen’s guitar stabs toned down to suit the occasion. Hairs still raised, then.

Then came “Southern Point”, and the drawbacks of playing with an orchestra come to the fore. The complexity of the song, mixed with a presumable lack of rehersal time, made the song a bit too cluttered and ineffective. It doesn’t help that Daniel Rossen’s guitar has been moved further down the mix, removing the brutal dynamic of his playing.

Normal service was resumed during “Central and Remote”, with the orchestra again providing beautiful backing to one of the band’s more dynamic numbers. Better still, the jamjar lights surrounding the bands started circling, matching the rhythm of the song, to hypnotic effect. They made me think of fireflies lighting up a tropical night. The coda to “All We Ask” was astonishing, with a subtle backing to the band’s vocal harmonies.

But the highlight came with “Knife”, and on their best known song the band and their new friends pull out all the stops. Whether it’s because the song is so well known, or whether it just suits the orchestral treatment, “Knife” was an absolute triumph (dahling). From gently plucked strings echoing the staccato guitar line near the start, to a soft swell of violins building behind and above Chris Taylor’s beautifully treated vocals, the song was a glorious demonstration of everything that this band can do with an orchestra.

Both “Two Weeks” and “While You Wait For The Others” were played sans orchestra, presumably to give them a bit of a rest. They spent their time smoking cigarettes, playing poker, and scratching their names into their chairs. Oh ok, they sat back and enjoyed the songs (especially the conductor, who looked like he was having a whale of a time).

The set came to an end with the trio of “He Hit Me” (Ed Droste in wonderful form), “I Live With You” (really quite pleasantly noisy), ending with a wonderfully understated “Foreground”. A standing ovation ensued, with the band returning with a decent version of “Colorado”, which, as it isn’t exactly my favourite song, I was glad to enjoy more than I expected.

So, was it a success? By and large, yes. Some songs, like “Knife” worked so well they totally overshadowed the songs that didn’t, like “Dory”. And the song selection was a bit odd too; the aforementioned “Dory” isn’t one of their best songs in any way, shape or form, yet a song like “Marla”, which would have worked beautifully with a full orchestra, was bafflingly left off the set list. But as the band themselves said, this opportunity doesn’t come along very often, and I’m so very glad that the hairs on my arms stood up. You can’t hide an emotional response like that, and you can’t hide from the fact that Grizzly Bear are one of the finest bands this decade – with violin-toting buddies or without.

On another note, isn’t the Twilight New Moon soundtrack looking interesting?

MP3: Two Weeks (Live) by Grizzly Bear

MP3: Slow Life by Grizzly Bear (featuring Victoria Legrand)

Buy “The Twilight Saga : New Moon Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (CD/MP3)

Buy “Veckatimest: Special Edition” (CD/MP3)

Note: live photos courtesy of various posters at Songkick.