Friday, 4 September 2009
Live review:The Cavalcade manchester 03/09/09
this was always going to be a hard gig to please me. not only was i going to miss the headliners, ohbijou, due to catching the last train home reasons(when i was at school, a lad in the year above missed the last train home from Birmingham after a carter usm gig. at the time, is seemed impossibly glamorous. nowadays, trying to catch forty winks at 4am on platform 4 of crewe station is my worst nightmare made flesh), but there was also a last minute venue change from the night n day cafe to nexus art centre, a Methodist cafe with NO BAR.
now i love the night n day. i know it has its critics(mainly those who don't like paying 850 pound for a can of lager and don't enjoy being in a venue that's so hot it makes the third ring of hell seem a bit nippy), but i love it. it somehow makes everyone in there more interesting than they actually are, and i adore its tatty, day dreamy charm. the nexus, was however, wonderful. with big sofas, candles, and little books provided to sketch/scribble in, it was so airy and comfortable it was like being in a womb. my favourite feature was on one of the plushest sofas. a huge teddy bear you had no choice but to cuddle if you sat there. and believe me no-one was complaining. and,considering its Methodist funded, the only religious thing i saw was a peace dove made out of a wire coat hanger. putting free gigs on a Thursday night for the kids of Manchester? that's more anthony h wilson than jesus h christ.
anyhoo, on to the music. first up was jacob cordingly from ok deadman, gamely playing a solo slot after his drummers dad was taken ill. obviously we all wish david's dad well. jacobs set was a risky affair. with covers of 'fake plastic trees' and 'hallelujah', it was risking a car crash in pretentious street. luckily, he was saved by an honest conviction in what he was doing and the fact that he looked like he could have been in coronation street circa 1987. quiet and accomplished , his set was well executed and well saved.
The Cavalcade were up almost immediately after. looking a tiny bit nervous and huge, sparse stage, they still played a set that stayed close to their recorded material,and in fact, sounding better for it. it must be difficult being chained sound-wise to a drum machine. its impossible to 'jam-out' or cut loose, but incredibly it aids the band sound. they sounded like their cd, but better. guitars chimed silver, the hushed, shy vocals charmed. the whole sound was politely tight, dreamy, and inspiring.
make no mistake,this band is fucking brilliant. Manchester and London may want a band like the cavalcade, but their are towns and people who NEED them. the same way people need(ed) felt or B&S or the smiths. people who try to keep their heads up in towns where its assumed you're gay because you don't like oasis, people who have a lifeline in their ipod, an island from the stress and misery of work or school. there are people who will see themselves in this bands music, and will feel release. i hate to put pressure on young, shy shoulders, but this band has the potential to be very, very special. they have a DUTY to play their music to as many people as possible. they joked in an interview i did with them that their ambition is to have 5 people who like them at every gig. but whats more important is that for every gig they play, a couple of people will be truly TOUCHED. their music is that good. their lyrics are that good. there are people all over this country crying out for music like this, a sane voice in the shit wilderness.
from the opening chords of 'meet you in the rain' i was sucked in. finding dark humour and warmth and empathy in the lyrics and music. as much as i (and, i expect, everyone who reads this)admire(s) the bands DIY attitude to touring and releasing, they need, no deserve, decent management and a decent label. if this band isn't as big as say, the Clientele this time next year, im going to want to know why.