Last night following a full-on two day printing marathon Ping* and I crossed over to Bush Hall to watch Elvis Perkins. The support, whose name escapes me, were an object lesson in mediocrity. I got that warning question ‘what is the point in this?’ flashing up occasionally. Basically EP did all the things they didn’t, so I hope they watched his wonderful set.
I got a general feeling of EP’s musical ability at every turn. He sings well and distinctly, he plays in such a way as you feel reassured he knows his own music, and that each time he gets out a song he reshapes it a little. The only issue is that he has several songs that are dazzling, and many others that are a bit less engaging, making me wonder how the less successful tunes got through the net. Perhaps he’s in an idiom I don’t quite get. But a lot of songs I found unengaging on his album were brought to life live, which suggests the recording didn’t do them justice. The band were amazing, really good support actors directing the energy in all the right places. They looked like they’d only just dusted the Wild West off their boots; they found their moustaches, and some of their instruments, out there for sure. ‘Ash Wednesday’ was the highlight; you could have heard a pin split in half.