Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Support: Peter Broadrick
venue: The Arches, Glasgow, 27th November 2007

I hit town straight from work, grabbing a bite to eat. The ticket says that doors open at 7, it is closer to 7.30 when I arrive. Yet, I am the first punter to enter the hall, which is a bit of an odd experience. The same Arch I have recently seen Jello Biafra and Vieux Farka Toure is set up for the gig. Like Biafra the hall is set up for seating, the front half of the hall rows of chairs, the mid/entrance level has a handful of tables with candles on them, and at the back there is a stepped set of stairs. Other people come in behind me, ones and twos, as we spread ourselves across the first few rows of seats in front of the stage.

I've seen a lot of male solo support acts this year. Too many guys with guitars singing about nothing in particular, and making little impact. Peter Broadrick puts them to shame. A multi instrumentalist, using technology to help him out. He plays a bit of violin, has it looping away, then piano, with same result, and adds guitar. He builds each track carefully, layering the loops and instruments with his voice, harmonising with himself at times. Introducing toys, a piece of plastic pipe whooping above his head, a saw blade providing odd twangy drones. Performing a laid back and melodic set of quirky music.

After a short break, the American is back on stage, joining in with the Danish band Efterklang for their live performance. Apparently there are a couple of core members in the band, with the numbers made up on stage. So tonight Efterklang has seven members, 6 men dressed in peculiar white/grey trousers, baggy things coming down to a tight mid calf, with black shirts, the front man adding a little gold sequined cape to his outfit, purple ribbons at his ankles, while a blond girl in a red dress completes the line-up.

From left to right, the girl plays piano and sings. Behind her the long haired guy seems to have a table set up with electronic kit, which isn't really visible from sitting, at times he also plays guitar. Then we have the bass player, who at times also plays keyboards, resting on top of the piano. At the front and centre of stage we have the brass section, the tall, skinny guy with his trombone, trumpet and french horn. Beside him the front man, with his punky hair cut, little cold cape, providing lead vocals, though they all sing, with a half drum kit at his side. Behind there is the full drum kit, but by the nature of the band, the drummer also plays trumpet and sings. Next Broadrick, with his violin, guitar, and a flute. Leaving the lead guitarist at the far right of the stage.

In the UK Efterklang are signed to the Leaf label, a curious little label. Responsible for such eclectic bands as Asa Chang, Murcof and A Hawk And A Hacksaw. With that EFterklang's sound fits right in, upbeat, layered and distinctly eclectic. Part eccentric folk band, part state of the art electronica, combining the two into a striking and entertaining mass on stage. The brass gives a distinctive sound, particularly when the two performers are working at once, similarly the extra percussion gives the sound an extra punch. A chorus of voices always gives a band like this an edge, for me, 6 or 7 voices joining and building have a power to stir emotion, contrasting the more minimal and stripped sound of electronic blips and bleeps.

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