Friday, November 09, 2007

Venue: 1st November 2007, King Tut's, Glasgow

In May Amiina played a handful of dates in support of pre-release of their debut album Kurr, a disc that at that point was only available at the gigs. With the album out officially, the Icelandic quartet return to the road for a month in Europe. Before the band played Mono, where they had played years before, and was the debut live performance for some of their tracks. This time they play King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, the line up expanding so that the four girls are joined by a guy on drums, and the soundman playing trombone once or twice.

November the first, the clocks just recently changed, its dark and miserable, and so am I. One of those nights where I feel like I could happily sleep instead of going out. But I drag myself out, doors open 8.30pm, I get there just before 9pm. Like last time, support is a single guy with a guitar, doing nice but not especially interesting singer/guitarist material. For his third last track he is joined on stage by two of the Amiina girls, for second last the other two girls switch places, with contributions from Amiina's drummer as well. The guests offer an enhancement to the sound, but it still isn't what I am after.

Amiina take to the stage about 10pm, play till about 11.20 or so. This time round I am more familiar with their sound having seen them in May and hearing Kurr - while before I had only heard the original 4 track EP. Lush melodic soundtracks to fairy tales, constructed from a multitude of stringed instruments - violin, guitar, harps and cellos. Mixed with keyboards, accordions, glasses of waters, and reception bells. The girls are multi-instrumentalists, and as the layers of sound dance around, so do they, carefully trading back and forth as they swap from point to point to play which ever sound suits that moment in time, taking care not to bump anything/one else. The sounds are as ethereal and delicate as last time, though the inclusion of a drummer adds an anchoring weight. Providing a density to the sound, without becoming overwhelming, which has to be a concern for this type of music.

Conclusion comes as before with the bleepy electro of Moscow Subway, and while they don't have the saw quartet, they do have a saw to play warbly oddness. With tour's end the girls are playful and giggly, adding to an infectious mood, which makes the listener feel lighter and easier than I had when arriving.

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