Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The child in a grown man's beard



Sunset Rubdown for me is a freezing winter's morning, walking from Docklands to Trinity. It's about 8.40, I've missed the train I should've been on, and taken a gamble on going to Docklands. By the time I get to college I'm late for my class, I can't find it anyway, and I have nothing else until 3 or 4. I walk up Grafton St. and have a muffin in Stephen's Green near the James Joyce statue. The soundtrack to the whole thing is Random Spirit Lover.

It's hard for gigs to compete with that sort of subjective, impressionistic association. Random Spirit Lover will always remind me of that day, even though it's not particularly notable. Any live show is going to have to work really hard to replace it.

Spencer is a big ball of some weird energy in person. He sweats ridiculously. Sometimes, when the music is getting to a climax, he stands up with one leg on the stool behind him while he bangs out the keyboard line and yelps. He's not the best communicator between songs, but there's no point in real-life talk when you can say what you need to say through animal metaphors and overwhelming wordy brilliance in-song.

I was surprised that some people weren't crazily impressed by this gig. To me, every song was like a set-closer. The Shut Up I Am Dreaming Stadiums and Shrines was the second song they played. It could've been an encore. The Taming Of The Hands That Came Back To Life was a good example of a song that is great on the album, but really, fully comes alive when that weird Spencer Krug energy is imbued live.

The rest of the band are on the same frequency too. Camilla Wynn Ingr's keyboards and vocals are about 5% of what makes Sunset Rubdown 400 times better than Wolf Parade.

...

OH SHIT!

Fuck, I said it. Fuck my 2005/6 self. Sunset Rubdown is a completely different level of band. They not only do what they do better, they just work on a different level altogether. The Mending Of The Gown is the best song of 2007 and possibly of the decade so far, despite what I said (or neglected to say) in December, and they ended the set with it. Then, solemn-faced, The Angry Threats Of Little Lord came out for the encore.

Why it wasn't the perfect gig
One or two songs were not very good.
Support band Speck Mountain said Dublin was in the UK.
Drunken Lout, shut up.

Apart from that, I can't fault it.

+++

2 comments:

The Indie Bar Kid said...

You got out at the Docklands station? You are a braver man than I, McDonald. Next time I have a tea party (erm...next week) you've to come via the Docklands station and bring your ticket to prove you did it.

I'm not sure what it was about the Rubdown that left me cold. Aesthetically and technically they were brilliant, but... I found it too difficult to inhabit the songs live as opposed to on record. The filler off the new album showed up live too. Plus they didn't play that Daytrotter song I like.

And I think there's a possibilty loud lout might be at Anseo. We. Need. A. Doorman.

Ian said...

Drunken lout nearly got laid out. Great gig though.