Sunday, August 12, 2007

Angus & Julia Stone @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh - 08/08/07

At the risk of sounding like one of those '100 greatest films ever made... ever' lists where No.1 is something like Hot Fuzz or Gladiator because no-one can be arsed to remember anything further back in time, i'm putting Angus & Julia Stone right up there at No.1 on my favourite gigs list after seeing them on wednesday night, and consequence be damned.

If you know anything about said extremely talented Australian duo you'll know that they're not known for being extroverts (too many knowns?). In fact Angus sometimes looks like he'd rather be anywhere else than on stage, and they walked onto the small platform at Cabaret Voltaire (imagine an elongated cave and you're there) in a grand display of meekness before kicking off with opener 'All of me'.

Sounding better live than they do on record, Julia's voice alternates between a fragile croon and powerful wail (that's meant as a compliment) and Angus's finger-picking ensures that every track has an incredible lilting melody to it. The crowd were very appreciative and gave a good old whoop and a holler after every song, and the location gave a real intimate feel to proceedings.

The set was peppered with tracks from their forthcoming new album, including new single 'The Beast', 'Horse and Cart', 'Bella', and a track that could be called 'Memories' but i'm none too sure. Highlights included favourites like 'Mango Tree' and 'Private Lawns', but the real surprise was their folk version of Chumbawumba's 'I get knocked down', which started off slowly before rising to a storming crescendo and getting the crowd all hyped-up on memories of John Prescott getting soaked.

For me though the best moment happened when they came back on stage for the encore and the bassist started the opening riff to 90s classic 'Everybody dance now'. Julia explained that they played the song at home while mucking about and practising and wouldn't be playing it as part of the set, but after some encouragement from the crowd they burst into a strange folk-dance version of the song with Julia screaming the refrain and looking at the drummer because she was too embarassed to face the audience. It was one of those off-the-cuff/you had to be there moments that makes live music so interesting.

So after all that waffle here is the video for new single 'The Beast', out on August 20th.

The Beast

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Debut album 'A Book Like This...' is out on September 8th. They're continuing to tour the UK as we speak so get some tickets and go along.

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