Songs Competed Like Kids For Space


Set 5 2008, 0:36

Some of the greatest concert, album as well as movies (but that is for another blog) experiences come when the artist blows you away when you had no idea what to expect. I could name a few albums i picked out without hearing a single note which left me open mouthed when i finally played them at home. Likewise there have been a load of artists that were anonymous when they hit the stage and became heroes as they stepped off.

Elvis Perkins won me over exactly like this. With a sole spotlight shining bright he faced the audience and without saying a word began strumming the chords for ‘While You Were Sleeping‘. One by one the lights lit up as his band introduced drums, double bass and trumpet sowing the seeds to this wonderful song. What followed was a triumphant performance where brief joyous moments like ‘May Day!” were interjected by a reflective sadness producing mass goose bumps in the audience.

A simple online search will reveal that Elvis lost both parents in seperate yet equally tragic circumstances and the occasional melancholy that creeps into his music must stem from these events. His debut album Ash Wednesday is wonderfully sparse and laced with subtle chord progressions and hazy musings. Combining a Leonard Cohen-esque lyrical dark side and a less-is-more Bob Dylan structuring approach here is a man playing passionate folk-rock in the 21st century and making it sound very relevant. By the time he stepped off stage the merch stand had sold out of his CDs and an other audience was definitely won over. Thu 17 May – Willy Mason, Elvis Perkins

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