Friday, 7 May 2010

Live: Deerhunter / The Fresh & Onlys @ The Cockpit, Leeds. 5th May 2010

Deerhunter are personal favourites of mine, Cryptograms and Microcastle are never to far from my stereo, so when they swing through town it’s a must. This time they come to The Cockpit a venue I’ve not ventured into for a gig for around four years, maybe more. As venues go it’s not really my bag and Deerhunter have always gone down a treat at probably my favourite venue for bands in Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club. But they’ll bring me out on a muggy night midweek whatever... They’re doing a quick tour as warm-up for their slot at the ATP festival and slipping in the odd new song into their sets, which should wet your appetite if like me your hoping they whip out an album at some point this year, fingers crossed.

Support comes in the form of The Fresh & Onlys from San Francisco, a band I’d only stumbled upon a few days before when wondering about who else was playing. They sound a bit countrified in a blue grass meets noisy garage rock or psychedelic punk kind of way on myspace, and in the flesh that was toned down a bit and sounded more like straight up US bar room rock: A spaced out, pretty melodic yet raw set of tracks. They left me intrigued but not overly excited.

Deerhunter came out loud and in full effect, oceans of noise, layers of atmosphere. Really living up to the ambient-punk tag, I’ve seen them chat about, more than ever. The crowd either seemed detached or tired due to the midweek slot or the massive sounds the band created, meaning the band and crowd found it hard to connect. This didn’t stop it from sounding awesome though, they just did things a little more laid back, prolonged and spaced out, in almost Krautrock jam-like freakouts. This really stood out on ‘Nothing Ever Happened’ and the encore, which culminated in some serious noise, and looping feedback after a brilliant sample/speech from god knows who. The rest is a haze of feedback, bopping, Bradford’s English accent impression and talk of the election…

oh yeah and more music, echoes of ‘Helicopters’ a new track you can hear online now via the Marc Riley show on 6music... A Patti Smith cover or mention of one, maybe not? They just said something about her on stage. A post-punk funked-up dubbed-out INXS meets Jay-Z’s ‘99 Problems’ version of ‘Rainwater Cassette Exchange’, you bet. Some of these may have only happened in my head… Like the one that I thought sounded a bit like ‘Under The Sea’ from The Little Mermaid film minus steel drums and comedy Lobster. It really did have a washed out aquatic vibe going on though, ummm. New track, probably ‘Fountain Stairs’ if forums are correct and the appearance of an old track from Turn It Up Faggot, ‘Adorno’, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard any of that era’s material live until now so that was a bonus. ‘Little Kids’ and ‘Cryptograms’ sounded as fresh as ever as did the beautifully catchy ‘Cover Me (Slowly)/Agoraphobia’. All in all Deerhunter brought it and brightened up my Wednesday night with some ambient-punk bliss, they remain one of the leading lights in my indie world.

Leeds set list/picture thanks to Lewis, check out the cool story behind it
Intro / Cryptograms / Never Stops / Fountain Stairs / Little Kids / Rainwater Cassette Exchange /
Cover Me (Slowly) / Agoraphobia / Operation / Hazel St / Nothing Ever Happens / Helicopter / Vox Celeste / Adorno / Encores: Dr Glass / Calvary Scars

…Before I go, grab some Deerhunter goodies over at their blog, Micromix 26 a selection of killer tracks from Chris Bell to Sun Ra. And the too good to pass up: Carve your Initials Into The Walls Of The Night, an early limited CD-R which just features Moses and Bradford playing with tapes as an early incarnation of the band in 2005.

Download: Deerhunter – Micromix 26

Download – Deerhunter – Carve Your Initials Into The Walls Of The Night


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They sound a bit countrified in a blue grass meets noisy garage rock or psychedelic punk kind of way on myspace, this is something really good because the sound is incredible.m10m

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