Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Crippled Black Phoenix, Nice N' Sleazy's, Glasgow, 21/10/06

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Crippled Black Phoenix, Nice N' Sleazy's, Glasgow, 21/10/06

Crippled Black Phoenix really caught my attention a couple of months ago, when I found out Mogwai bassist Dominic Aitchison was involved in the line-up. On closer inspection, listening to some of their tracks, I found a collective that were making truly unique sounds. I posted a preview a couple of months ago and the band donated an mp3 of "Goodnight, Europe", you can read it here.

I have been patiently waiting for CBP's first album, this will now be released at the start of 2007 at the earliest. My disappointment of having to wait subsided, when the band decided to undertake a modest tour of four gigs dotted around the UK , one of them in my town of Glasgow

Now for the good news, last night's performance was truly wonderful and met just about every single expectation. The music sounds very promising on record, but I was wondering how they would recreate it live. They managed it with no fewer than 9 members, that somehow squeezed onto the tiny stage in Nice N'Sleazy's. Two guitarists,a drummer, a celloist, two multi-instrumentalists (way at the back of the stage), two vocalists with distinctively contrasting styles and of course Dominic Aitchison on bass.

There was certainly plenty to look at onstage, and some serious facial hair too, in what was only CBP's 2nd performance. The rumored light show didn't materialise, but the quality of the sounds more than made up for it. It was brooding and epic for most parts, with a real sense of calm too. I especially enjoyed the vocal duelling between frontman Joe Volk and the other singer at the side of the stage.

At some points the band seemed as if they hadn't quite come to terms with the material yet, but this is to be expected in only their second performance and the first one involving Dominc Aitchison. Tuning up and soundboard issues aside, once the band got going and locked into their hypnotic grooves there was no stopping them. "The Whistler" was a highlight and reminded me of a darker, more experimental Pink Floyd, with paticularly intriguing vocals.

It is hard to put your finger on CBP's sound, its certainly unique in the fact that its slow-buring but also melodic. I have not came across a band with such a mystical, enigmatic sound before. A sound that is the product of each members diverse musical background.

I am not quite up to speed with the song titles as of yet, but can tell you the band finished with "Goodnight, Europe" and a spellbinding version of "Sharks and Storms". Crippled Black Phoenix have an aura about them that suggests that they are a special band, on this evidence they certainly showed that the album will be one of the more interesting releases next year.

It's worth pointing out that the band are offering a free download of "Goodnight, Europe" here. It is the mastered version and is of much better quality than the version hosted here a couple of months ago.


At 23 October, 2006, Blogger iworkatinitech said...

Way to rub it in! Glad to hear they sounded good live...I'm really hoping they do a US tour! How did you get to hear the album already?(I mean I still want to see Mogwai again and would love to see Portishead)

At 23 October, 2006, Blogger Micky67 said...

I've just been listening to the various tracks on their myspace site, so around 5 or so were quite familiar

At 26 October, 2006, Blogger iworkatinitech said...

I can't wait to hear the whole thing. I'm also very interested to hear the Zidane soundtrack.


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