Wednesday, 12 October 2011


I was disappointed by the Spiritualized concert. The performance was, in a word, turgid. Great venue, great back catalogue but on the night the presence of a choir and string section seemed to drag the whole thing down, "Messy", was the wife's conclusion.

After about an hour and a half everyone shuffled off stage and ten minutes later I was relieved when just the band and three backing singers returned. The remaining thirty minutes or so were an improvement but I was still far from blown away. At times I looked around and a few people were slowly nodding along, those whose heads were still were not (judging by their expressions) caught up in ecstasy, just a bit bored.

I don't mind the whole repetitive thing - if it's built right I can listen to the same guitar sound going round and around, with minimal variations, for however long. But as another tune ploughed towards its end in a crescendo of feedback I was thinking "What is the fucking point in this?". And then, to be fair, there was one immense moment - in what can only be described as a blink of the ears the maelstrom of sound ceased and we were listening to the beautifully gentle Shine a Light. The change in sound was matched by as sudden a change from blazing strobes to a still deep purple light. That bit was great, but I'd expected a whole evening of such quality. A final consolation prize was a decent enough run through of Take Me to the Other Side, allowing me to tick off another Spacemen 3 track heard live.


  1. I'm sorry to hear that Artog, although you are not the only one to say these things about the RAH gig.

    It couldn't have been more different in Edinburgh but we only had the band and the two backing vocalists. Sound was crystal clear and very loud.

    It was a brave, some say foolish decision to have the set comprise of the unheard, new album, not even the Fall do the full set of new tracks. I thought it was brilliant but I always want to hear new material live.

    The encores were also excellent in Edinburgh with a blistering version of Take Me To The Other Side and quite a mellow, Oh Happy Day, well in comparison to previous renditions.

  2. I don't know the albums inside out and it only struck me a while into the concert that he wasn't playing any of his big tracks. But I'm all for hearing new stuff, and the sound in the hall was excellent as was apparent when they kept it simple. I just think that the arrangements for a lot of the tracks didn't work. You could see all the violinists and cellists sawing away but you couldn't hear a note of it. On a final upbeat note I was very impressed by his vocals, very strong all the way through.