Sunday, 21 October 2012

BROTHER & BONES + CRAZY ARM + THE ADVENTURES OF... LIVE REVIEW


BROTHER & BONES + CRAZY ARM + THE ADVENTURES OF... @ THE WHITE RABBIT, PLYMOUTH -18/10/12

The White Rabbit, Plymouth, putting on yet
another great line-up
Mime artists. Not a lot of call for mime artists these days so they need to find other ways to put imaginary bread on their imaginary tables for their imaginary children. It turns out that three of these out of work mimes have decided to form a band by the name of The Adventures Of... and they do make quite a visual impact. So it’s slightly disappointing when they start making a noise, just like mimes shouldn’t, and it doesn’t grab the attention quite as much as you their image does. Don’t get me wrong, this trio are excellent musicians and consummate performers but it’s just that their songs don’t do anything to rouse the senses or grab you by any part of the body at all. Ones to watch but now that they have the style sorted they might want to spend some time on the substance.
                Plymouth’s ‘band most likely to succeed’ favourites, Crazy Arm, take to the stage next for something a little different to their usual rasping, visceral, folk-punk. Tonight the 6-piece are showing of their (slightly) mellower side by treating the audience to a acoustic versions of some of their old songs, some new material and some covers. One of the more hauntingly passionate songs from their last able was a cover of Peggy Seeger’s ‘Song of Choice’ and this got the full 12-string guitar and fiddle treatment which was a real treat. A range of instrument changes and multi-textured songs being reformed in front of the audience’s eyes and ears was a real delight but it all seemed strangely lost on an audience more intent on taking pictures of each other in funny poses or playing on the House of the Dead arcade machine. Can it be true that we are entering an era when a generation of music fans doesn’t have the attention span to cope with half an hour of songs that aren’t played exactly as they were on the CD? Never fear though, a rousing duet of Cash and Carter’s hit ‘Jackson’ saw Darren Johns and Vicky Butterfield revel in the role of Westcountry and Western superstars. The new acoustic album is being recorded as I type and on this evidence it should be hotly anticipated by us all.
                Following an aborted attempt last year, this is the first gig Brother & Bones have ever played in Plymouth and it’s long overdue by all accounts. The 5-piece’s brand of folk’n’roll seems perfectly suited to a venue precariously balanced between sea, wilderness and the city centre. Storming in on to the stage with ‘Hold Me Like The Sun’, ‘Your Revolution’ and new track ‘I See Red’ the crowd are stunned by the power but also swept up in to the tribal rhythms and chorus’s that everyone seems to know. New versions of old songs like ‘On The Run’ as well as current versions of new songs like EP title track ‘For All We Know’  get the crowd whipped up in to something approaching a frenzy. It is the strangest thing though, for a Thursday night with only £2 entry fee and two fantastic bands there is an overwhelming sense of apathy among the young crowd. At one point, I noticed a guy spend about 10 minutes trying to take a picture of himself with a badger mask on and only succeed in blinding himself with the flash. Sometimes it’s best to focus on the music and not look around you but sometimes it’s flippin’ scary when take a step back. Motherflippin’ scary.

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