(Gig poster courtesy of Nath Brudenell)
This is the first time at The Brudenell Social Club for me, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, it’s a very competent small to mid-sized venue, with decent acoustics, a good atmosphere, and perhaps importantly, fairly cheap, and very decent, beer.
Now to the important stuff, the music, first band up ‘Wot Gorilla?’ were impressive enough, though at times seemed to really lack the hooks to draw any real attention. They play a brand of twiddly emo, somewhat akin to This Town Needs Guns and with some equally impressive musicianship. Having listened to their music on Bandcamp, they’re a group with decent potential. Keep your eyes peeled.
Kevin Devine didn’t really get the attention he deserved. There was a small crowd gathered around him whilst the rest stood around talking, rather loudly, at the back. Their loss. Devine was imperious and very impressive, for just a man and his guitar he really knows how to grab an audience’s attention, be it through crowd banter, or through the expressive nature of his singing. Kevin Devine puts everything into every track, his voice seemed to get hoarser as his set went on, but that didn’t stop him belting out every last word.
To be fair, the crowd improved dramatically for Cursive, the floor space diminished very quickly and there was a sizeable group of people having a very good time (sometimes to the detriment of others watching, but, shit happens), and with very good reason. Cursive were excellent, playing a nice mix of new tracks and old classics Cursive are a band who after nearly 18 years of existence, show no signs of letting up. ‘This House Alive’ was a calm and understated opener, leaving no indication of what was to follow. Apart from a ridiculously slowed down version of ‘The Recluse’, Cursive rarely let up the tempo and passion demonstrated in second track ‘Big Bang’. The tracks from latest album ‘I Am Gemini’ seemed to have mixed reactions from the audience, though this could probably be attributed to a lack of familiarity. Set highlights included a rousing version of ‘The Martyr’ and both encore tracks, ‘Art Is Hard’ and ‘Dorothy at Forty’ – a song which has, to be honest, never sounded heavier. It must be said, the tracks from ‘Happy Hollow’ sounded immense, and absolutely huge. With each of their last five albums well-represented, there was plenty for everyone to get excited about.
Cursive are just one of those bands, they could release any old rubbish and their fans would lap it up. Besides when they have albums like ‘The Ugly Organ’ in their back catalogue, they will always have a fanatical following. Thankfully, they have the live show that their following deserves – energetic, note perfect, loud and packed full of every classic. Tim Kasher is a true showman, a man who it seems, lives every note of his music. I can only hope this is the first of many more Cursive gigs.
Youtube video courtesy of Andrews1317