High Llamas @ The Luminaire, 12th February
Last night I went to see the High Llamas, for something like the eighth time. I sometimes wonder what it says about me that while other people follow million-selling acts like U2, R.E.M. or Radiohead, I go along every year to see a band who's YouTube hits number no more than eight (I've just counted them) and wouldn't know a top twenty album placing if it was brought up to them on a plate by Brian Wilson himself.
Although we heard were a couple of songs which they hadn't played for a while, there weren't really any big surprises (which is good). I did discover a good new young band and a groovy new venue though:
- Soy Un Caballo are Belgian apparently. Gentle, wistful, and sounding a bit like a French language cross between Fleet Foxes and the Kings Of Convenience. Nice.
- The Luminaire, in swinging downtown Kilburn, is an "intimate" venue with a crowd capacity of a whopping 300. Bands play on a small stage in front of a red velvet curtain which put me slighltly in mind of Twin Peaks. As an indication of where they're coming from, there's also a seating area out of sight of the stage where a notice wards off noisy punters: "We're a live venue, not a pub. If you've come to chat with your friends while the bands are on, you're in the wrong place". My sentiments entirely...
One of YouTube's top eight High Llamas songs of all time then:
Mary Hansen, former member of Stereolab, sang on this track. It was recorded two or three years before her untimely death. I think she does a good job. R.I.P.