Thursday, September 02, 2010

The slippery, scintilating sound of eels

Went to see Eels last night at my favourite rock venue, Brixton Academy. It was a cracking evening - though it started slightly bizarrely with a ventriloquist!

E's band, however, were tight and loud (much louder than I was expecting!). I gather E is not a big fan of live performance and it shows a little in his awkward manner when speaking to the audience and a lot in his tendency to play everything slightly faster than on record. But there were some great moments, terrific versions of tracks for the new record (which I think could be seen to be a classic Eels album), great selections from the back catalogue (one of the most impression in recent  rock) and a blinding cover of Summer in the City.

E writes beautifully, his lyrics are often simple but profound and suffused with a world-weary wit. Sometimes last night the subtlety was squashed by the speed of delivery but it was still possible to appreciate the light and shade in his songs. A great gig.

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