Oh, Jamie

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28 avr. 2010, 16h14m

I went to see Jamie Lidell last night. He's been one of my favourites of the 2000s although, really, that's based entirely on his first album, Multiply, and subsequent gigs of his I went to in late 2006 that were, frankly, spectacular. Oh, and the great remixes/reworkings album we picked up in the Tower Records going out of business sale, called Multiply Additions, which had great live versions, remixes, and a glorious cover of Game of Fools by Mara Carlyle. The first time I saw him was also in Bowery Ballroom; he had a mac on, sang Game of Fools to a stuffed crow that the frankly scary warm up techno guy had been using as a prop, and messed around and twiddled with electronic thingamijigs to make amazing sounds, using only beats and his voice. We then ended up persuading about 16 people to go with us to see him at Webster and he was, frankly, fantastic yet again. Swirling beats, vocals, ad libs, and excellent use of samples (What's the Use over Guilty Conscience remains one of my favourite mash ups ever).

Then the second album, Jim, happened. Straight up soul. Fine. There are a couple of tunes I like, but really, what I had adored about him was his soulful stuff with electronic meshing, so that he sounded like no one else. And his live shows to support that album continued with the vague tinge of disappointment.

Last night, it was clear that it's going to be hard to meld those elements together. There were girls literally with their fingers in their ears during the weird, tougher stuff from the first album (particularly The City). They didn't like his beats and weirdness where he did a medley of When I Come Around and A Little Bit More (always my favourite). But they sang their hearts out to the cheesier soulful stuff from the second album. And the stuff off the third sounds like... a mashing of things that he's tried to put together, but I'm not sure how much it'll work. But I liked Telephone, or whatever it's called, for it's heavy bass and driving drumbeats. I just don't know if it's going to work going forward. Which makes me sad. When do you let an artist go? Answers on a postcard, please...

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