Tag: <span>Carling Academy</span>

Just home from the Sigur Ros gig at the Carling Academy. Not quite sure what to make of it to be honest but let’s get one thing out of the road first.

I left early.

I have never, ever, ever, left a gig early before.

So I’m trying to figure out if that means that it wasn’t a great gig, or whether it just wasn’t the right gig for me.

When I bought the ticket for the gig I spent sometime listening back through the Sigur Ros albums I have, enjoying the subtle tones and instrumentation, the changes of volume and pace, and realised that this could be a very special gig. The emotional range of the music is quite broad and due to the nature of the language used is entirely open to interpretation so whilst I couldn’t quite picture how they’d convey the rich textures and tones of their music, it’s fair to say I was quite excited.

However, somewhere in the maelstro of sound that was swirling round the Carling Academy tonight, something got lost and, as yet another barrage of noise hit me I decided to leave.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad gig, far from it. When they got it right the music soared and swayed the hearts of the room, but if I’m honest those moments were too frequently lost amongst the next wave of distorted feedback. It’s a shame really, cos this should’ve been a wonderful gig.

I’m not discounting the fact that it might’ve been me, that perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood, or perhaps I’m not as big a fan of Sigur Ros as I thought. Certainly everyone else seemed to be having a good time.

Maybe next time.

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Last night I stood in a crowd of people, rapt and in awe of a band that, frankly, can’t get much better (although I’m sure they’ll prove me wrong).

I’m not going to write a review per se as SwissToni has already done an excellent job, but I did just want to capture some thoughts about last night.

1. It’s the subtle things that make you realise this is a slick outfit, well seasoned. Guy Garvey comes on stage wearing a jacket. As the first song starts up he takes it off and lays it down. At the end of the evening, as the last song winds up he puts it back on. End of show.

2. As others have touched on, part of the charm of the band isn’t just the lush melodies, or heart wrenchingly beautiful lyrics, instead you are drawn into the gig by a frontman that feeds off of what he sees before him. He reacts to gestures and shouts, and whilst he will have a set of stock questions there is never the feel that he is reading from a script. He is as much there as we are, all joined in the same glorious moment.

3. And what moments. I realised last night what it is that has just a pronounced impact on me when seeing Elbow live, it’s that I’m rarely ever so THERE, so in the moment to the total exclusion of everything else around me. I’ve never experienced that at other gigs, always finding myself realising my feet are sore, or that I’m thirsty or ‘did I lock the car?’.

But not last night. Tears trickled down during the sadder songs, and during Mirrorball you could’ve stripped the place of the rest of the audience and I don’t think I would’ve noticed, so complete was my attention on that moment.

Amazing, brilliant, wonderful. So many words yet I find myself struggling to put my thoughts into words. So I’ll steal some from SwissToni:

very few bands can convey such a broad emotional palate so effectively. They deserve to be cherished.

Seriously, go read his review he captures most of my thoughts perfectly.

A few final notes.

Acknowledging the fact the band will be back for an encore, Guy Garvey challenged us to sing “We Are Sailing” and if we did they’d come back out. I’m not sure if there was anyone in the hall that WASN’T belting it out at the top of their voice and I’m certain the big grins on the faces of the band members were genuine (even if they were of the ‘what a bunch of fabulous nutters’ type).

And lastly, during Mirrorball, Guy broke into a small smile whilst pointing right at a couple that were embracing, lost in their own thoughts. I hope that little smile was at least a small payback for him for providing us with a wonderful, wonderful night.

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Joe's Head

Carling Academy, Kings of Leon, ears still ringing.

Great gig from a very good rock band. The band was as tight as the lead singers trousers (which I’m pretty sure were painted on) and they paced the set perfectly. Similarly to Faithless, I wasn’t as taken with their second album – in comparison with their first that is – so it was a pleasant surprise to find that I had a few pauses where I realised that the song I was enjoying so much was from that self same second album.

From start to finish they were spot on. Loud, racuous and the epitomy of a good rock gig. Their songs are much harder live and all in all I’m a lot more impressed than I thought I would be.

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