Blackswan EP Launch at Branch Cafe, Godalming
As reported by shitrockjournalist
*Disclaimer - all bands got two reviews, one less serious than the other. Both are presented here.
"Fuck man, it doesn't look like a venue."
"Of course it's a venue. They have a drum kit."
"Shit man, every Starbucks has a drum kit these days."
"Ah come on man, this is better than Starbucks, I've only seen one laptop so far."
"Alright man, point taken. People here too. You sure we're really at a gig?"
"Look, they have booze too!"
"Oh shit, really? I guess it is better than Starbucks…"
Slow Clinic (1)
Just a boy and his guitar. Well, that and a pretty sweet pedal board. A moment's introduction and then a tone that begins to swallow the room. You listen close and hear clicks of pedals and picked strings, a child watching a puppet show. He's seen the wires but it doesn't matter because he's in another world now. He feels himself lifted, watching himself at play, staring, amazed at how one man can generate those sounds. Patiently he waits his turn to applaud.
Changing Colour (1)
Guitar and drum. Stiff Little Fingers fans? Unconfirmed. Bassist just showed. Ignore that cultural reference. Drummer with brushes, bassist slinging some funk. This kind of sounds like Jamiroquai if Jay Kay wasn't such a colossal prick. Are those tea towels on the drums as mufflers? How amusingly British, despite the American sugar sweet pop sensibilities. I reckon these boys would be good to have a few beers with. They seem too clean cut for a good spliff, but you know, I could be wrong…
Defined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb as a rare and unpredictable event, much like actually being able to buy the new EP, Black Swan, or to be accurate Blackswan. Two piece. Two young handsome chaps with guitars. No drummer. No bassist. Not tonight anyway. Ok, let's go. Full disclosure, on my 3rd G&T. Full house for the boys. Starting with a non-EP track on the launch night. Bold move. Bold voice though. Imagine Americana shot through with a little more soul. Couple of whoops and cheers before the first song is over. Culmination of over 10 years of jams and writing, with the help of Postmaster Studios, old jams and songs find new life through these acoustic shamans.
Slow Clinic (2)
Knowing that an artist cares deeply about an acoustic space and its properties is an interesting thing. As tone swells phase in and out, muttering among the audience provides unintentional percussive accompaniment. Ice placed into a tumbler, pouring of liquid gives further disjointed rhythm. It is amusing how even those being egregiously inattentive lend something to the performance. Only the untimely ring of a mobile phone, swiftly muted, seems out of place. It may be a slow clinic, but it is an interesting waiting room.
Changing Colour (2)
So Disney decide to do a teen movie set at a beach house. These guys are the prom band. They wrote the whole score. It's catchy and fun, music to smile to as you try to place musical references. A hint of Michael Jackson before he went completely insane. Just in a vocal flourish here and there, you know, but it's present. A real happy ending of a band. No. Not like that, you pervert.
So headline act, how about this EP? You've quite a following with your sad tinged songs. Well, I shouldn't put it like that, it gives the impression you're nothing more than mopey Morrissey fanboys, and if you were, you'd have no fans. Morrissey? Nobody wants that. No. There's joy here too. Vibrant, life affirming, like rock music fucking well should be. This could have been a different review if I'd been drinking whisky, but the tunes still would have been good, you'd still be reading an advert for the new EP. Two guitars and a great voice. It might be simple, but it's done really fucking well.
Slow Clinic - for fans of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Jesu, Sigur Ros, pick a good post rock band and go.
Changing Colour - for fans of: Jamiroquai, Sublime, chilling in a beer garden with a cold beverage while the summer sun beams down
Blackswan - for fans of: Clayhill, Dana Immanuel, Tracy Chapman, Joe Henry, meaningful conversations at a house party at 2am after the prick with an acoustic guitar has stopped playing Wonderwall and handed it over to someone who knows what they are doing
Like every shit rock star, this shit rock journalist had to end with a fucking advert!