Saturday, February 17, 2007

Post-rock died when the first post rock kid said "post-rock's not dead"-

So I went to see Micah P Hinson last night in the unfamiliar surroundings of a former warehouse and current art gallery. In Liverpool last night, and t'was a mighty fine night indeed.Firstly the venue resembled a large garage (something noted by the young Texan when lamenting the venues no smoking policy) and there was no stage. Aesthetically it looked great, though as the crowd grew in size, the visibility of the acts slowly disappeared from view.

The opening act, The Twighlight Sad, slowly picked up their instruments and chatted quietly whist the crowd gathered with curiosity clutching their plastic pint glasses with anticipation. Naturally, for those unenlightened to their work, with a name like The Twighlight Sad and from their appearance, I assumed it to be delicate, thoughtful shoe gazer type loveliness; but received a rude awakening when the first thunderous chords came out on full assault from the P.A. I noted that the audience moved back a step or two- driven back by the sheer force of the volume. Even before the barley audible vocals could be heard from their intense looking front man, there was no way that this band could have hailed from anywhere but Glasgow, sounding not unlike Mogwai or Aerogramme only played faster and harder, less predictably and backed by a monster of a drummer; who's aggressive pounding and continuous stomping of his bass drum had my teeth-a-rattling throughout. Despite the sparseness of the songs which were led by a delay pedaled guitar (with the delay set for two hours) the singer kept himself busy, spending a large portion of the show on his knees face the drummer, occasionally smashing the ride cymbal with a splintered drumstick, and occasionally rocking back and forth banging his head on the floor. A compelling sight to accompany the excellent sounds.

To me post-rock died when the first post rock kid said "post-rock's not dead"- however these chaps have quickly rekindled a long since dead love for this form of music.Micah P. Hinson, was a different kettle of fish altogether of course, and was only backed up by banjo/lap steel playing drummer and a harmonica (ist?), one half of The Opera Circuit who provided the musical accompaniment fro his latest release. His Southern charm warmed the crowd, introducing himself and this songs in a long since forgotten tradition; humble, gracious and informative.” Hello Ladies and gentleman, my name is Micah Paul Hinson and I come from Abilene in Texas, America. I hope you enjoy the show. "Since I last saw him nervously perform at SXSW 2005, he has followed up his highly acclaimed (though not highly enough in my opinion) debut 'The Gospel of Progress' with a collection of sparse demos recorded before his debut’s release 'The Baby and The Satellite’ and the more recent '...and the Opera Circuit' and delved from this impressive back catalogue, even throwing in Richard Hawley cover version to boot, not without a full explanation as to his choice of course.Adding a little more drama to his songs by slowing down introductions changing the tempo, was further testament to his now slick stage presence, which if you consider his age is can only be attribute to the vast amount of shoes he's performed at over the past 3 yea, touring and supporting just about anyone who could accommodate him.

Despite his reservations regarding the England's impending smoking ban, and the fact that no one really laughed at his 'jokes' it was clear to see that he was enjoying himself, so much so he and his Opera Circuit decided that they didn't need microphones and stood amongst the crowd performing acoustically on a couple of numbers, facing each other a clearly loving it. After nearly two hours, and after some of the less perseverant audience members had slinked off home, he closed the set with his 'epic': 'The Day Texas Sank to the bottom of the Sea' with it's opening lines "here's all that I have to give, I'll admit it" eloquently befitting.

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