Four words, GIG OF THE YEAR (so far anyway!).
The Slaughtered Lamb is a pretty intimate venue, seeing a gig there is like watching a band play in your living room and I managed to claim a nice spot just to the front right of where the bands perform.
Ohbijou were on first, delivering a sweetly sublime set, full of sumptuous vocals and all kinds of intricate sounds from a myriad of instruments including a cello, mandolin, violin, glockenspiel and synth . Their sound is a cross between indie and folk with a twist of pop and a dash of bluegrass. The vocals are without doubt my favourite element of their sound, singer Casey Mecija has one of those voices that you could listen to for hours and not get tired of.
The Low Anthem. I'll try to avoid gushing but this band was really something. If I tell you I went home and straight away bought a ticket to their show at The Union Chapel next month for fear it would be sold out after having witnessed such a fantastic performance, that should give you some sort of an idea.
The Low Anthem are from Providence, Rhode Island. They play a blend of folk rock Americana style and really deserve to be singled out from all the other bands who have tried and failed miserably at this genre. The Low Anthem are the real deal.
Singer Ben Knox Miller took to the stage, harmonica holder slung over his shoulder looking every bit the folk hero joined by Jeff Prystowsky on double bass and Jocie Adams on clarinet (who wikipedia tells me is also a NASA technician -if that's true, how cool is that?!).
Ticket Taker", "Charlie Darwin" and "Ohio" were delivered with such incredible sensitivity I had to remind myself to blink and breathe! They struck the perfect balance between quiet songs and racier numbers such as "The Horizon is a beltway" and "Home I'll never be" and then there was that hypnotic rendition of the old folk song "Sally Where'd You Get your Liquor" putting the vintage pump organ (apparently bought on ebay for £26 for this tour) to mesmerising effect. The last song of the evening was called "This God Damn House" and featured Ben whistling into two mobile phones creating a fittingly haunting reverb sound – whatever made them think of doing that I don't know but it was the perfect ending to an awesome show.
gushing! It was only after about 20 seconds "mid gush" that I realised one of them wasn't actually a band member but a fan who ran a convincing double for the clarinet player, Jocie Adams. Whoops! Don't worry though, I quickly found the real Jocie Adams and relayed my "gush" to her so she didn't miss out!
The Low Anthem are like a secret you don't want to get out for fear you won't be able to watch them in small venues any more. I loved them (if you hadn't guessed) and I'm pretty sure they had everyone in that room on Wednesday night captivated with full jaw dropping effect. Don't miss your chance to see them at The Union Chapel on June 23rd, that show is going to be huge and it will sell out. Tickets here. Their latest album 'Oh My God, Charlie Darwin' is available here on CD and will re-released in the US on vinyl June 9th (you might want to check around for release dates for CD and vinyl formats for different countries).
I recommend visiting their MySpace and listening to "Charlie Darwin", "To Ohio", "Ticket Taker" and "The Horizon is a Beltway", actually just try all of them!
Myspace: The Low Anthem
Here's a video I found of "This God Damn House" featuring Ben whistling into two mobile phones - the phone bit starts at about 3min 40 in.
This God Damn House by The Low Anthem live at Firehouse 13 Providence--