Alternative music reviews

January 31, 2009

Sam Amidon/Doveman/David Thomas Broughton – Hedge, Whalley Range,

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Local folk collective Hedge host tonight’s three acts in Whalley Range’s St Margaret’s church which is good for atmosphere and acoustics. Nominally 3 acts, but they interweave and collaborate to become three themed sections of a collaborative evening. Sam Amidon’s tales of guns and death in America’s early years are set against Doveman’s jarring other-worldly keyboards. The effect is disorientating, so that he’s half way through a song before you realise it’s a cover of Tears For Fears ‘Head over Heels’.

Doveman’s set segues seamlessly through a set of disparate covers (Neil Young, Bertold Brecht, Crowded House and Tom Petty), keyboard-driven, but with Sam on guitar & banjo (and an “interesting” take on the chorus of ‘Free Falling’…) and DTB assisting on drums.

With DTB taking the stage, all attempts at genre categorisation have long since given up and gone home. Building elaborate backings with voice, guitar and effects loops, it sounds like Jake Thackeray backed by a Gregorian choir. At times seemingly angry, frustrated, withdrawn, you get the sense that no-one’s ever sure which direction the set is heading. It seems we have a new candidate for the position of Great British Eccentric.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get more bizarre, the three encore with R Kelly’s ‘Relief’ – complete with a wry deconstruction of the lyrics. It wasn’t Rock n’ Roll. But I liked it. Oh, yes…

Review by Big Dave

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