Shearwater/David Thomas Broughton – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, February 23
It was a bit of a blogger’s convention, almost. Fresh from Mother India’s Cafe, Mrs. 17 Seconds and I were barely in the door of the Captain’s Rest, before we bumped into Jim AKA the Vinyl Villain and Comrade Colin, who used to write the very much missed And Before the First Kiss. They also introduced me to Lisa Marie from Last Year’s Girl, so this was very much the place to be last night.
I love the Captain’s Rest, being as it is so small and intimate that it makes Sleazy’s look like the Barras. It might be snowing in Scotland today (just for a change), but downstairs at TCR it was like being in a sauna. You can literally see the white’s of the performers’ eyes, and as the night wore in, the moisture on their heads.. And performer is what I would describe David Thomas Broughton as. Whilst he has some interesting ideas, it became like an endurance test far too quickly. Mrs. 17 Seconds remarked that it was ‘like watching someone else’s nervous breakdown.’ She’s a very perceptive lass, my wife.
As is her comment about Shearwater: that they are the missing link between The Doors and Antony and the Johnsons (which is more spot on than my previous thoughts about them being the missing link between Nick Drake and Muse). They mix the psychedelia of the former with the melancholic beauty of the latter. The freshly released The Golden Archipelago pciks up just where its’ predecessor Rook left off. Already it is clear it will be vying with the Unwinding Hours for album of the year and leaving the likes of Vampire Weekend standing. Jonathan Meiburg’s voice is as strong live as on record, if not more so, and the time he has spent as an Ornithologist has clearly added something distinct to the band’s work.According to Comrade Colin, the band have covered Talk talk’s ‘the Rainbow (from the pretty damn peerless The Sprit Of Eden album) live, and it just makes sense on so many levels. Songs like ‘Black Eyes’ ‘Castaways’ and ‘Meridian’ sound phenomenal live, though the biggest cheer of the night is for ‘Rooks.’
The band look like they’re having great fun on stage, and the drummer whose name -most appropriately, I might add – is Thor, also plays a mean clarinet. Bassist Kimberley Burke plays string and bass guitar and watching her and Thor interract while they both tackle the xylophones is a treat to behold.With every single one of them swapping instruments, it’s a joy to watch them interract as much as to listen to them. See them live on this tour if you get the chance. I wish I could see them again soon…
Shearwater -‘Black eyes.’ mp3
Shearwater -‘Castaways.’ mp3
Shearwater -‘Rooks.’ mp3
David Thomas Broughton myspace/Shearwater myspace