Saturday, 1 November 2008

Fleet Foxes impress at Space 2

Anyone that has read my previous blog will know my thoughts towards the Fleet Foxes. Their original style, note perfect harmonies and baroque melody lines seperate them from almost any artist or band around today, at least any popular ones.

Before entering The Custard Factory's Space 2 last night, I had a very good idea of what to expect after listening to them periodically throughout the previous week. The Fleet Foxes are a band Birmingham should embrace. They have an understated creativity, and originality that Birmingham is now becoming recognised across the country for, as well as a dry sense of humour, that reared its head intermittantly throughout the evening.

Last night was a sell out and it was easy to see why. The Fleet Foxes have a very English quality, not just in their music but in their performance and stage manner. The lead man's first words to the audience joked about why the English don't celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and Bastile day. Although it wasn't the funniest banter i had ever heard, it was certainly a refreshing change to the bizarre historionics and drivvling irony that stained fellow American Amanda Palmer's performance a month ago, granted that the Mr Incredible look alike may have been responsible for that abominable display of jokesmithery.

Their performance was assured and confident but without the hint of pretention or pompositity that so often can bring down a band with an innovative twist.That statement is saying something, considering the group's guitarist played his instrument with a violin bow only ten minutes into the performance, bringing back memories of Jimmy Page at his height, and more absurdely the ingenius Spinal Tap parody that followed (although that involved playing a guitar with a violin).

Their music intrigues me into knowing who there influences are, such is the variation in the music. Medievil harmonies weaving in and out of folk melodies spread over thumping, at times almost rock and roll, beats, decorated with a bit of Neil Young, a trace of the old blues standards as well as the occassional late 70's prog rock device; all of which were delivered with precision and conviction.

The Seattle fivesome could become a metaphor for the bulging and burgeoning creative realisation currently going on in Birmingham, and it is fitting that last nights performance was delivered in the home of Birmingham's creative industries.

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