Saturday, 22 November 2008

Just Like Christmas?

Koko Camden
19th Nov 2008

To Koko with PB to see Low . Now I am wary of this but it was labelled “Christmas Concert”, I’m only wary as I like to keep discussion of Yule to December but I imagine that they wanted to be home for Xmas and so toured the UK now.

We got there at the start of the support who were called Ida and who both agreed where strange support as they were very similar to Low almost like a cover band. They had guitarist, a fiddle player and a harmoniumist and singer. They played very pretty precise folky acoustic numbers very similar to a none electric low songs. They weren’t too bad and the crowd listened intently I just think some variety was needed. One of the reason they were supporting it turns out is that they formed part of Low later in evening.

After a short break Low came on much like Granddaddy without us noticing.
As an intro Alan Sparhawk started to dedicate the gig to john Peel and the Obamas but got interrupted by a loud mouth in crowd. That being said Sparhawk has the slowest discourse in the history rock whole seconds go by between words giving pointers to their slow contemplative style.

Big mouth Strikes again
The first 40 minutes of the gig was recent material played as a 3 piece guitar, bass and drum and cymbal. Which was excellent with good range of songs from across their lps. Then Ida and another drummer joined them for the trance like Shots and Ladders followed by the Christmas portion of gig to great effect. I’ll even allow them their reggae tinged up beat number (as it’s that time of year) they did a new song called Come Santa which was marvellously mad (and almost metal) in that they made Santa coming seem like threat. After this another loud mouth in the crowd shout out his complaint that Low weren’t the low he knew which was strange as the gig was much like every other I’ve seen and that it did say Christmas show on the ticket any way he was well put down by the band. Anyway they continued with the Christmas songs including Just like Christmas their stone cold classic.

As to why Low work is the way that Sparhawk's and Mimi Parker's voices harmonise and meld to form a continuum, it has a slight stark hymnal quality (which isn’t surprising) and which really like the sparse and the dynamics of the songs bring them alive thus saving them from falling into shoegazing introspection.

Highlight for me: was Canada, Shots and Ladders and One perfect Gift.

Anyway especially after Lambchop the other week Low where excellent it might not have been just like Christmas but it was certainly a good advert for advent.
I wrote a bit about miserable Camden pubs but PB beat me to it!

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