Wednesday, September 13, 2006Busy doing nothing
Love Is All played a second London show in as many days last night, this time a headline show at Kings College. The gig was a promo for the Iceland Airwaves Festival (give me £500 and I'll go!) and had Tilly and the Wall and Icelandic teens Jackobinarina also performing. So all very good value for £9! Jackobinarina were interesting, big-framed Nordic boys playing slightly psycobilly tinted rock music. They introduced one of their songs by saying "We love British bands like Coldplay and James Blunt..." to which the audience laughed and then they said "This song is called Nice Guys Don't Make Good Music", winning the sleepy Tuesday evening crowd over. Their performance was explosive, all of them severely "rocking out" even though the music wasn't necessarily as explosive. The singer and keyboard player ran into the crowd and started moshing. It made me think about what it must be like growing up in such an extreme place as Iceland, where there is only 4 hours day light for 4 months a year, no darkness for another two months, geysers, glaciers, insanely high taxes. wildernesses...it must be amazing and strange. I want to go there.
Tilly and the Wall were up next and left me a little cold. I like that they are all friendly and love eachother and are happy and can tap dance, but it was a little bit too happy-clappy and shambolic. It felt like more people were there to see them than Love Is All, which I find a little sad. I liked Tilly and the Wall much more when I saw them with Architecture in Helsinki in Berlin in May, but they do have some really nice songs.
Love Is All played last, but it wasn't quite right. Kings College has a very wide stage which doesn't suit the size of bands who play there. I like it when bands are on top of eachother, tangled in the intensity of their music and their call and responses. LIA's music is a chaos of sound and it's hard to re-create that chaos when they've got so much space on stage. At the previous night's Trash show it was there and it was so amazing, but last night's venue did not suit the band. They played a longer set, including Turn The Radio Off, one of my favourites, but the atmosphere and the sound...yeah. Moreover, people seemed to be there largely on "Checking out" duties, only a few people really seemed to feel it. I hope that people did not have their impressions tainted by this show and will continue to listen to the album and realise that Love Is All are a band to believe in!
I will start a campaign against medium-sized bands playings Kings College. Not only a rival of my university, UCL, but a not very atmospheric place to see bands. It feels like a 70s new build student union because it is a 70s new build student union and setting is very important. Yes indeed.