With a new single and a follow-up to their well-received "Secret Name" album on the horizon, London's lo-fi lovers turned out in force on a cold evening to see Low play in the Union Chapel's expansive warmth. The seated venue, while packed full right up to the balcony managed to retain the cosy intimate feel the band seem to prefer.

The support band, Sodastream, made a good start to the evening. They could easily have been written off as a samey pared-down imitation of Belle and Sebastian, if it wasn't for the more unusual sounds created by their double bass player. Comparisons with oldies like Nick Drake seemed appropriate on hearing the singer's dreamy vocals accompanied only by a folky acoustic guitar, but the addition of double bass (the only other instrument on stage) gave them a more unique sound. The bass playing made up for the lack of percussion, and experimented with some unusual sounds, bowed and picked. This added most of the interest to the band's plain but pleasant sounding songs.

I couldn't pretend Low's set was anything less than flawlessly lovely. Their music seems created to bask hushed listeners in warmth and calm. This is the band who have come to define the "slo-fi" genre with their beautiful slowly enunciated songs, understated powerful guitar patterns and heavenly vocal harmonies. We were treated to all the best songs from their last album, "Secret Name" - the glowing melodies of 'Starfire', the quiet beauty of 'Two-step' and the sleepy warmth of 'Immune'. Older songs such as 'The Plan' sounded equally lovely, alongside as yet unheard material from their forthcoming album. Playing live, they allow themselves to build more noisy guitar sounds into the quiet, minimal slow structure of their songs, which adds even more weight to their sweet and dreamy harmonies. The new single, 'Dinosaur Act', adds a surprisingly catchy edge to the band's lo-fi charm, and sounds good live. The trio even cover 'You Are My Sunshine' and make it sound heavenly with their slow vocal arrangement. When they reappear for an eagerly demanded encore, they have time to play a couple of requests and a Joy Division cover for the fans who by now are huddled up sitting cross-legged in the aisles in front of the stage. When the lights go on we all leave in a dreamy daze, hoping they'll play again soon.











Related Links:



Commenting On: Union Chapel, 10th November 2000 - Low








ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment
 


First Previous Next Last