Monday, 15 March 2010

Grizzly Bear, The Roundhouse, Camden

The Roundhouse in Camden is amazing, isn’t it. It is though, isn’t it. I haven’t yet been to a bad gig there and I’m starting to think that this has less to do with the bands and more to do with the majestic awesomeness of the venue. How can you not be inspired and moved when staring up at those huge Victorian pillars. It is the St Peter’s Basilica of music venues.

The service last night was delivered by Grizzly Bear, a band from Brooklyn who defy definition. Some call them lo-fi folk, or anti-folk but I think that’s a massive over-simplification. They soar from blissful harmonies to full on bass and noise, the later being pretty non-typical of folk.

The real beauty of Grizzly Bear is in their vocals. Those boys can really sing. Of course singing isn’t necessarily a barrier to producing good music (just see Dylan or Hendrix) but it is nice to hear a band that do it so well. Their vocals have a choralistic quality, which when amplified across the Roundhouse’s amazing acoustics, creates the nearest thing to a religious experience I am likely to ever have.

And its not just vocal skills where the Bears excel. They bring on stage with them a variety of instruments and use a range of effects creating a glorious ethereal dimension. For a couple of songs they also added Victoria Legrand from support band, Beach House, adding an extra dimension to the already mutli-layered musical experience.

As far as gig going goes its near on perfect. If there is an after life then I certainly hope that Grizzly Bear will be in it with me.

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