Tracks Monkeys With Lasers


And So I Watch You From Afar @ Camden Barfly – 21/09
October 4, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: gigs | Tags: , , , ,

A most belated review but here we go..

As with many of the gigs I’ve reviewed on here, the Barfly was a venue I’d never been to before. Having forgotten to buy a ticket beforehand, I was a wee bit worried about not getting in so got there for the doors opening. I needn’t have worried and got in no problem.

It turned out, however, that the doors opened later than I thought they were going to so I caught both support bands and even have a drink! The venue part of the Barfly was a lot smaller than I had been expecting but was a good, simple layout with a good sized room and stage which was a relief after the Tallest Man On Earth gig earlier that month!

After my first pint, Scholars, the first support band, took to the stage, fairy lights and all! The first thing I can say about these guys is that they were bloody loud. But with that, they weren’t just full on noise but melodic with it and were more of an indie-esque band than their decibel level would have led you to believe. They mixed rapid guitar riffs with vocals that flirted on the edge of shouting but just about remaining in the ‘singing’ spectrum (maybe a vague similarity to Tubelord could be used here). This was mixed in with some solid backing on bass and drums and occasionally keyboards too.

I was quite surprised with Scholars as they were pretty solid for an opening act. They interacted well with the crowd (which admittedly wasn’t huge) and it was quite amusing seeing the lead singer jump down off the stage and sing in the face of someone who had no idea who they were. Worth keeping an eye out for.

Scholars at Camden Barfly

Check out some of their stuff on their last.fm page.

The second support slot of the night was filled by the newly reformed Jairus. I think it’s safe to say I wasn’t a fan. Every now and again they would have a moment where the song would be building with some well worked guitar riffs and drumming but often it would just kick in to noise with some average shouting vocals over the top of it. A couple of tracks I did enjoy but on the whole I wasn’t overly keen on the band and on a couple of occasions I felt myself drifting off and not really paying attention to what they were playing which is clearly not a good sign.

As I say, a was left feeling a little overwhelmed after their performance and, in my opinion, they should have opened the night. The few songs I did like got a bit samey quite quickly.

If you feel so inclined, here is their last.fm page.

There was no need to feel down though as I knew the insuppressible And So I Watch You From Afar would be up next! I was slightly worried though as at the end of Jairus’ set I turned around to see that I was pretty much stood on my own in the middle of the venue with a few lurkers hanging around the edge. But without 10 or 15 minutes to go, a swell of people appeared and the gig was on!

ASIWYFA finally took to the stage and kicked off with “S Is For Salamander” which was a real surprise. In fact this wasn’t the only ‘new’ (I’ve heard it plenty of times) song they played; the first few tracks of the evening were all new ones. This was a bit of a brave move I thought but they pulled it off well with a couple of the new songs being absolute blinders and it was great not knowing what to expect or when they were going to explode on stage. One of them, that I’m sure I’d heard before, was centred around the drums more than anything and this gave Chris a chance to show just how good a drummer he is.

There is little point reviewing the rest of the gig as I’ve seen them so many times before and they never fail to disappoint. They rattled through all of the big tracks off the album and the EP with “If It Ain’t Broke”, “Start A Band” and all the usual suspects being played. The traditional set opener, “Set Guitars To Kill” was one of the final songs they played but they closed the night off with the fantastic “Eat The City, Eat It Whole”.

The energy of the guys on stage was second to none as always and is why I enjoy seeing them live so much with the usual repertoire of jumps, leaning against amps, runs into the crowd and ‘face offs’ all taking place. The energy of the crowd was good as well which always makes these gigs great as well and it was the first of their shows I’ve seen where the crowd actually managed to get them to play a one song encore.

As always, I was blown away by the show. The new tracks kept the setlist fresh and they easily hold their own against the older tracks so the future releases are definitely ones to look forward to. It may have been a while since the show but I think I’ve only just about regained full hearing in one of my ears; remember to wear protection kids!

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