Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Broken Social Scene - live

Going to gigs is certainly a very good use of time, and yesterday evening I enjoyed a performance by Broken Social Scene, at the academy 2 in Manchester. Not quite sure what to expect, having listened to their most recent album a few times, and reading that over 20 different musicians were involved in it's production, I was left wondering how such a record could be performed live. About 8:45 five blokes ambled onto the stage, no big music build up, and they seemed to pick up their guitars and start tinkering away with no apparent direction, whilst the lead vocalist welcomed the audience. It all seemed a little disorganised, like they didn't know what the first song they were playing was supposed to be. Finally they kicked in, and were joined on stage by two guys playing trumpet and sax, building a crescendo of noise that started to sound like I expected from their record. The band were then joined by a female violin player, who I must admit was very attractive (there's something about girls in bands...) and she was amazing, no static playing from her, she was dancing round the stage adding the violins unique sound to the mix. In fact it was quite something that there was no injury caused on stage, with numerous guitars being wielded around, dancing violin players, and a trumpeter tentatively weaving his way through the melee to reach a microphone in order to add his notes at the required time. It was really a site to behold. Thinking that the stage could not possibly accommodate any more musicians, on walked another girl to add some vocals. Her hair was buffooned out in some strange arty/alternative chick way that just seemed to work, and in my opinion the music just got better and better, causing plenty of dancing and nodding of heads in the audience. Talking of the audience, just in front of us was a little guy, with girls hair, doing this crazy dancing, hands waving in the air in some kind of cross between the zombie dancers in the 'Thriller' video and the girl in Psycho defending herself in the shower from the knife wielding Norman Bates. Then most annoying was a couple who were chain smoking through the entire gig, which was really effecting my enjoyment of the performance - I was just hoping that at the same time the government were going to ban smoking in public spaces. (Which, much to my delight, I heard was the case on the news on the way back - hooray! Why do we have to wait 18 months for it to be implemented though....)

Back to the gig, song after song continued, and I was enjoying working out where all the various sounds were originating from, with so many guitars and effects pedals in use, this augmented by two drummers (one of which dotted around from percussion, to guitars, to vocals and sometimes all three in one song!) and the amazing array of sounds emanating from a little Korg keyboard too. They even played a song from the new album that is in a more hip-hop vein (though there were no guest vocals from k-os) and I was intrigued at how such a sound could be achieved with no drum machines or sequencers, brilliant. Unfortunately, for me, the band began to fade during the last 30 min or so as they seemed to play quite a bit of self indulgent art school jamming, noodling away on guitars, with no real direction, but this did allow the lead sing to foray into the audience, where he walked around hugging everyone in sight! All told a great night, and I was even lucky enough to be the beneficiary of a rose. Well, the stalk anyway, being valentines, a number of roses had been thrown onto stage, and towards the end of the gig these were thrown back into the audience, one escaped through numerous flailing hands to drop right into me. Unfortunately it's impeded trajectory had resulted in the flower being knocked off during it's flight, leaving me with a prickly stem in my hand!

Oh and I think I've managed to take a couple of good photos this time, a bit of fiddling around with the camera and i discovered that setting the dial to the little running man icon, seemed to reduce any blurring. If they are good I'll post some later.

broken social scene

broken social scene

broken social scene

Broken soical scene, violinist

you see, she is lovely.

There are more pics on my flickr page

No comments: