The Sleeping Years and The Bowerbirds- Crawdaddy Sept 08

September 28, 2008

Was in a bit of a strange situation Friday night in that I didn’t have a ticket for any gig and actually had a choice of where to go.  It has been a head wrecking sort of week and thought about going to Adebisi Shank who has a great post rock that I love but I just didn’t think my head was in the right place and that I wouldn’t have the energy for the sweltering masses.  So I went up to Crawdaddy and after seeing NOBODY outside I went in for a quick drink in The Odeon to rethink but thankfully there were a few people about when I came out.  I don’t mind going to gigs by myself but am beginning to dread the really quiet ones where the band has a great reputation and tunes and yet nobody turns up for them- you feel like you should be buying multiple copies of their cds just so they break even for hopping across the water!

Anyway- onto the tunes

The Sleeping Years were on first and I was quiet surprised- I thought it was only going to be a guy with a guitar but my heart skipped a beat when I saw a woman come out and take up the cello.  The oboe and cello are two instruments that will have me hooked in a heartbeat and I think their inclusion in any music is a bonus.  The guy is Dale and what an excellent voice he has- a bit lighter and less husky than quite a few of the other singer songwriters I have been listening to of late and really just a pleasure to listen to.   There were quite a few around to hear them which is great for the first act and amazingly they were quiet which was excellent so you could hear every nuance.

The Bowerbirds were up straight after- have been seeing their name in the blogosphere quite a bit of late but with all the other music recently I only had time to listen to their tunes a few times.   They apologized for their lack of a proper drum- in its place they had a small blue plastic bin with wheels which it turns out did the job quite nicely for the majority of their songs.  The only time they had to stop was at the last song since he it was just creating a bad vibe for the lead singer Phil- at that stage I was picking up some extra vibrations which I think were coming from the wheels.  Great playing by Beth and Mark on the bin anyway along with Phil on the guitar.

I don’t remember all the tunes that they played but they did start with the excellent Dark Horse and end with In Our Talons.  They didn’t have a set list themselves so they were really just picking what they wanted to.  They had Olive Heart in there as well as two new ones- Bleed(s?) is the only name I remember though and is a good tune. I have to say that While the lead Mark has a great voice it is when Beth and Mark join in and they hit the harmonies that the group really shines.  Unfortunately not every song has the harmonies and some of the tunes were a bit on the slow side so they lost part of the audience towards the end and the chatter started.

A great set though all in all and if you want to check out their tunes you can stream them from their official site.  You should also check out their Take Away Session over at the excellent La Blogotheque where you can view/download them.  Great video over at Pitchfork as well for In Our Talons- YouTube of it below.

The Sleeping Years- Setting Fire To Sleepy Towns– music kicks in after about 30 secs

The Bowerbirds- In Our Talons


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