Friday, June 13, 2008

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan at St Georges Rd Church, Brighton

It certainly was the oddest venue I've been to. Literally the church just up the road. 

St Georges Road Church, Kemptown
Bloody bins overflowing - typical of Brighton.

Fortunately there weren't pews but actual not-that-uncomfortable chairs.  But it was still a church with us parishioners faced forward toward the band who gigged in the bit that is normally reserved for the harvest festival layout and stuff - You can tell I'm clearly not a regular church goer, right? 

I was concerned that a church would make for a shitty venue, but then I guess religious types have been swearing by churches as the go-to venue for donkeys... turns out for once they were right; the sound was actually terrific, and despite the my initial thought that the place would be bit echoey this really added to the atmosphere.

They even served booze from a little table at the back, with the menu consisting of two types of cans of larger, bottled water and wine; red or white. Like a works do picnic. I know god goes all giggly for wine but does he dig Red Stripe larger as well? 

Very civilized. In fact, my chum that came with' said it was the most civilized gig he'd ever been to, and I agree. Everyone was seated for a start - I have never been to a seated gig before, I normally would consider this crazy behaviour, akin to moshing at an opera. But the truth is, the last few gigs I've been to this last month or so, have been murder on my pins. Sitting for the 90+ mins the pair performed was a pleasure. 

The audience was made up of Brighton's most middle class, mid-30's 'but-still-think-they're-with-it's' (of which I am most definitely one), and they were as well behaved and respectful of one-another as you'd expect from such a motley bunch. Absolutely inappropriate at a gig, of course. If I'm not being constantly jostled from behind, having beer spilt on me, idiots in front pogo-ing into me and at least two occasions of me giving someone the evil-eye prior to some confrontation, I don't feel like I've been to a proper gig. 

Regardless of this I thoroughly enjoyed the night. 

I am definitely getting old. 

Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell have put out two albums so far and an EP. The first album was the well received 'Ballad of the Broken Seas', and their latest collaboration is called, 'Sunday at Devil Dirt'. 

Their music is a mix of country, blues and rock. Most curious indeed, and very reflective of their musical backgrounds. 

Isobel is an occasional solo artist. She started with uber twee Scot rockers Belle and Sebastian as cellist, keyboard player and occasional singer. Since then she's put out a couple of country-esq discs. She was a breathy singing voice, almost dreamlike at times. 
Mark is a former grunger. He was (originally) the drummer and then singer for Seattle grunge band Screaming Trees. Since they split he pursed a solo career and regularly collaborates with one of my favourite bands, Queens of the Stone Age. I saw him about a month ago with one of his side projects, The Gutter Twins (where he sings with former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli). 
Campbell and Lanegan are a combination that really shouldn't work, but it does. Lanegan's deep growling vocals, and Campbell's serene breathy singing voice, almost dreamlike at times, combine in such a beautiful way...

Here's a little taster:

It's noice isn't it?


garfer said...

Twee? Don't say that in Glasgae or ye'll get chibbed.

Actually, most of them would agree with you. Student bedsit material, but none the worse for that.

Trump said...

These two are a great collaboration. I loved ballad of the broken seas. She's very goodie two shoes, he's a bad boy. At least, that's what you'd think. Likened to Sinatra and Hazelwood, you can sometimes see the similarities.

There is something a bit odd about sitting down for a gig. Way too civilised.

Herge Smith said...

I've been to Glasgae I didn't say anything - too fucking scared.

Belle and Sebastian are the epitome of student bedsit material, but as you say it's not bad at all.

Trump - sitting down for music is odd. And they are a great collaboration; think lanegan is a bad boy.