Somehow, it’s been a week since I went to probably the best gig I’ve been to all year. And somehow, I’ve not yet got round to writing about it.
Iron & Wine
Last Sunday, not deterred by the disappointing Davey Graham gig, Josie and I ventured over to St George’s in Bristol once more, this time to see one of our favourite bands, Sam Beam’s Iron & Wine.
The signs from the beginning were better than last week – no tales of legendary unreliability, no sightings of the artist drinking enthusiastically in the bar beforehand, no driver stealing nervously out onto the stage, guitar in hand…
In fact, the whole thing was completely different from the start, Beam having assembled an eight-piece band, including two members of Calexico, guesting on pedal steel and other guitars; and straight away the sound they made was quite beautiful, not to say breath-taking at times.
The best of Beam’s songs are really quite moving affairs, and he has a strikingly soft voice that adds to this; and it was a shame at times that you couldn’t hear it as well as you can on records. I didn’t worry about that too much because the beefed up, almost funky band he’d put together made each song a really good listen with the sheer scale of their sound. I loved the different arrangements and the variety of different guitar, keyboard and percussion styles they used. It was a bit of a feast really.
I attempted to record the whole evening, but in typical cack-handed fashion managed to lose most of it. I do, however, have three tracks from the evening which I think are worth hearing – although there is a bit of crackle on the second one…
Altogether a really great evening, and if you get the chance…. (but you don’t need me to tell you that, eh?)
House by the Sea (Live at St George's)
Upward Over the Mountain (Live at St George's)
Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Live at St George's)