Not an auspicious lead up to a show – trailing down the blocked motorway to Birmingham, arriving just late enough to hear the last support band song (no, don’t know who they were), and having to go on my own like a sad lonely type, still…
Once I had extricated myself from the 30 foot concrete overhang position and its ear ripping bass levels I got to a place where I could just see then band, and more importantly hear them properly, things started to get a bit better
I must say the sound was not brilliant and the band seemed a little detached (or was that because stuck on the margins I wasn’t properly engaged?) but Bixby Canyon Bridge was a good opener. After a couple of songs that seemed frankly rather dreary they got back on track with a storming version of I Will Possess Your Heart and some welcome favourites from the Plans album and quite a few from Transatlanticism.
Off quite quickly they came back for a five number encore set that finished with a moving and triumphant version of Transatlanticism itself. So all in all a bit of a mixed bag including some rather uninspiring elements that seemed to expose the rather fragile and insubstantial qualities of some of their songs that I hadn’t really noticed on the recorded versions. However there equally were moments of great beauty and emotion when their fondness for building songs over long ‘ish stretches can result in powerful and affecting music
Photos coutesy of DCFC Flickr