A blog on gigs, music, art and London.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Kurt Wagner at The Borderline

I went along to The Borderline last night for a Club Uncut event which featured Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner headlining.

Any visit to The Borderline (arguably London's finest live music venue) is a great occasion but to see an established name (and personal favourite) was to prove particularly special.

The line up was pretty strong, with 12 string guitarist James Blackshaw opening the evening with his ambient, warm, acoustic panoramas and Welsh singer-songwriter (and Neon Neon collaborator) Cate Le Bon, who played an assured, folk-influenced set.

However it was Kurt Wagner who was the star of the evening, delivering a perfect set of new songs from forthcoming new Lambchop album OH (Ohio). He seemed to arrive late, wandering down the steps from the main entrance into The Borderline, carrying his guitar (I love it when artists enter venues in this way, just like any ordinary punter). It wasn't long before he started his set from the bar, walking through the crowd singing 'Give It' his recent collaboration with X-Press 2 in a cappella style, before climbing on stage to huge applause.

He then sauntered into his quietly-intoned, crepescular songs, all exquisitively expressive and seeming never to overlook even the most microscopic of details. Delicately played guitar lines provide the musical backdrop. The way he can extract emotion and meaning from almost every line he sings really is something else, even more so when his vocals can sometimes barely rise above a whisper. Naturally, his trademark baseball cap was worn all evening.

He concentrated (I think) exclusively on songs from the new album, finishing with a truly beautiful cover of 'I Believe In You' by country stalwart Don Williams. It appears to be included on the new record also which is excellent news. After the gig I spotted him at the bar talking to Allan Jones, Uncut editor. The forthcoming Lambchop gigs at the Union Chapel in November should be rather special.

Sometimes words really aren't enough when trying to describe just how brilliant gigs can be......

No comments: