Saturday, March 24, 2007

Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm MiddletonThursday night i went to manchester with ad to go and see malcolm middleton. The one time guitarist with arab strap was promoting his third album, and i enjoy his music. Combining a rare gift in lyrical astuteness with a superb guitar playing ability. Most of his lyrics tend to be down beat and self loathing, covering failed relationships and sadness. He sings how he wishes he could have a run of happiness and then he could put away his guitar, as he would have lost his depression induced inspiration, and just go and get a job like 'normal people'. Despite the sombre nature of the lyrics, they are delivered with wit and sly self mocking accompanied with upbeat melodies. In fact, I think Malcolm is one of the best guitarists I have seen, effortlessly moving from complex plucking melodies, to riff driven noise. He makes guitar playing look simple. For the most of the gig he was backed by an able posse of musicians, including Jenny Reeve, who also supported. I'd seen Jenny a few times as part of the live band touring with arab strap where she would play violin. This evening she performed as 'strike the colours' and showed that she was also an accomplished guitarist and decent singer, and then later as part of malcolm's band she added keyboards to her reportoir.

I was also able to tick off another blogger in my 'i spy' book of bloggers on my blogroll. I came across being felicity whilst searching reviews for an arab strap gig at the leadmill i went to ages ago. It was a good review and i left a comment, she returned the comment and thought that she could discern the back of her head in one of my photos of the gig. Read a few more of her entries and enjoyed them and so she was added to my reading list. When i arrived at the gig with ad we found a couple of spare seats and sat at a table whilst i looked around the audience to see if i could spot her. Well it occured to me that i didn't really know exactly what she looked like having only seen glimpses in photos. Looking around the venue i spotted a good candidate sitting near the front. But how to find out for sure without it being embarrasing for both parties if the answer is a negative:
'excuse me, do you write a blog?'
'a what?'
'a blog, i thought you were someone whose blog i read'

thankfully it was and we had some good conversations using the gift of speech, as opposed to using these new fangled electronic medias.

Photos of the gig, on my flickr page, and a clip of Malcolm performing 'Monday Night Nothing' on youtube below:

1 comment:

felicity said...

excellent review and good photo's/video. definitely a gig to remember, i think i fell in love with malcolms songs all over again.