Saturday, July 26, 2008

Toby Goodshank / Gary Nock and Band / Dizzy Spells Martian / Jamie Croft @ The Rainbow, Thursday 24th July 2008

Continuing my series of 'Nights At The Rainbow' (having polished off Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) I give you number four - Thursdays. It's a funny night, Thursday. Not quite the end of the working week for most of us, last weekend's just a distant memory. Perhaps this explains the low turnout. I daresay the weather didn't help although, thanks to The Rainbow's swanky roll back roof, we were able to enjoy the dying embers of the day (see, you don't get poetry like this from other blogs eh? You probably don't want to...but that's a different matter altogether I guess).

First up Jamie Croft. Another great solo spot (saw him back in May, supporting Bryn Christopher) and, despite having only heard most of the songs just once they'd lodged firmly in my aging brain. Which is always the mark of quality songwriting and a top notch performance. He has a wonderfully laid back style, eyes closed and lost in the song, you get the feeling that this is someone who is as happy strumming away to himself as he is to an audience. Which, for me, is the right way round. Lots of standout moments, but Supergirl, Dance With The Devil and I'll Save You Tonight were all pretty close to 'acoustic arcadia'.

Heartfelt, honest, stripped back, real, it what you want, Anti-folk captures something that a lot of more 'mainstream' music has lost. And Dizzy Spells Martian is a wonderful example of this. Like fellow Anti-folkster, Kimya Dawson, her performance is gentle, personal and deeply touching. It's almost like we're seeing inside her head. Like me it seems that Dizzy would rather like to live in another world. A much nicer world. And she brings to life one that I'd be quite happy to live in forever and ever and ever...have a listen to Come Along With Us (on her My Space page) and I'll see you inside that tree.

I've not seen Gary Nock without his band...but this was his first gig with one. Nice and tight, they'd clearly put in the hours and, after the stripped back performances of the first two artists, this came on like Led Zepp in a thunderstorm. Listening to his solo My Space stuff, and comparing it to the full band performance, I'd probably plump for the full band. Both have their strengths but he really seemed to buzz off having people to play with. It felt right, it looked right and by heaven it sounded right.

Last up Toby Goodshank. Toby (once a Moldy Peach) is a true star of the Anti-folk scene. Like Jeffrey Lewis he's an artist (in the drawing sense of the word) too, but unlike Jeffrey (and a number of fellow Anti-folksters) his voice is incredibly powerful and rich. Many of the lyrics have an equal depth to them, full of potent imagery that would give Phil Ochs and Decemberists fans something to get their teeth into. Take a listen to Bad Dream on his MySpace page for a classic example of what I'm banging on about. This was a simply stunning performance, the kind that you feel lucky to have seen and, like many of the Anti-folk themed gigs I've seen over the years, it goes right into my list of favourites. If you're in Bristol, Brighton or London over the next three days (26th, 27th and 28th) you must...MUST...go and see Toby and Dizzy. Give 'em a hug, buy the merch and give them the send off (these are the last few dates of their UK tour) they both deserve.

PS: A special mention must go to Greg, sometime member of She's A Kamikaze Machine and full time Theatre Of The Absurd (he appears to have cancelled his My Space page so I can't give you a link), for his two wonderfully spirited guest slots (he played with Dizzy and Toby). If he reads this, Noel Coward sends his love and Quentin would like his chair back!


NRG said...

Hey, Neil here, I spoke to you after the gig mostly about starting a blog. Got enough stuff up now that I don't feel entirely ashamed sharing it, couldn't manage to keep myself to just writing about music though (well I've not been to any more gigs yet and with the printers broken at work I had even less to do than normal today...)

Nice review, much better than I managed (well frankly I gave up) although I see you were rather kinder to the local support than I was...

theatreoftheabsurd said...

'Ello, its Greg 'ere.
just resurrected the ole myspaz, its
had it all hacked n nonced out beyond reasonable repair.
P.s, tell quinten to return my velvet blue cravat, or the chair gets it.
And I'm seeing noel for afternoon tea next tuesday, before heading to the Hare and Hounds for Bohemian Jukebox! X

Anonymous said...

Nice one Greg. I'll pass on your message. I think your cravat might need a dry clean now's got one or two suspicious stains on it...

Give my love to Noel.

The Baron said...

I'm not dare they!? Don't they know who I am?

Anonymous said...

we dug yr review of Antifolker Goodshank and thought y'd like tknow about this:

For Immediate Release: NYC Antifolk Star To Tour UK

Renowned New York City singer/songwriter Lach, the legendary founder of the Antifolk movement, will be bringing the "Calm Before Tour" to ten cities in ten nights in the UK this coming September.

In honor of the tour, BBC-2 Scotland will broadcast two specials on Lach as part of the series Real American Folk on August 28th at 8pm and August 30th at 10pm.

“NYC's living legend, riotously catchy!”-Timeout London

As a songwriter Lach founded the Antifolk art and music movement, which is sited as a main inspiration by hundreds of performers today from Beck to The Moldy Peaches to Regina Spektor.

"Lach is the mastermind of Antifolk like a Lower East Side rendezvous of Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. Like black snow, stalled subway cars and random violence, Lach is a Manhattan institution."- NY Times

The tour celebrates the release of Lach's latest album, The Calm Before. The new CD is Lach's most intimate, most acoustic album to date. For this production Lach pulled together a stellar combo featuring Billy Ficca (of the legendary punk band Television) on drums and Mike Visceglia (of Suzanne Vega's band) on bass, with added appearances from members of The Bongos, The Spin Doctors and Pere Ubu; an appropriate mix of punk and new-folk musicians that aptly characterize Lach's unique sound.

"THE CALM BEFORE: Every now and then something arrives in the Incendiary shed that just blows me sideways. Jesus this is good. There’s your nutshell review right there. Stick it on a poster, you can quote me if you like. I want to move to New York."- Incendiary Magazine

This is a great and rare opportunity to see Lach and find out what all the fuss is about.

" Lach - one of the originators, and one of the sharpest arrows of the New York Antifolk scene. A Lach show is rarely less than a face-ache funny, beat-punk-unplugged joy, and likely to send you home with several favourite new songs"- The Guardian UK

To contact us for interviews, review copies of the The Calm Before, press photos, etc. please call Fortified in NYC at 212-780-9083 or email at: Thank-you!


The Calm Before Tour September 2008
Mon 8- Cambridge - Portland Arms
Tue 9- York - City Screen Basement
Wed 10- Glasgow - King Tuts
Thu 11- Nottingham - Rescue Rooms
Fri 12- Manchester - Roadhouse
Sat 13- Bristol - Louisiana
Sun 14- Southsea - Fat Fox
Mon 15– Birmingham – Kamikaze! 444 Club at The Rainbow
Tue 16- London - Borderline
Wed 17- Cardiff - Barfly
Fri 19- Amsterdam - Paradiso