Power Acoustic Ensemble - Graham Coxon Live Review @ Barbican (City of London) - 28 Nov 2009
Eventful year it will have been for on-again/off-again Blur guitarist, Graham Coxon, who released his seventh solo effort, 'The Spinning Top', in May, touring the album extensively in the spring and still making time for headlining slots with his reformed band at some of the country's major festivals.
So, what better way than to end on a tranquil note with an all-seated concert at Barbican...? Last Saturday, saw him perform with his Power Acoustic Ensemble (comprising the mighty likes of Robin Hitchcock, Martin Carthy and Natasha Marsh, among other skilled musicians).
The evening, a preview of next year's Concrete & Glass festival (modeled on Camden Crawl festival, only based in the surroundings of Old Street/Shoredicth and with visual art added to the equation)_ for coordinating the live soundtrack on play with nature-loving projections courtesy of video director Chris Hopewell (Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand, The Killers)_ , didn't fail to captivate from the first note on, with acoustics that called for a willingly attentive audience (though used to the man's usually hyperactive riffs and growls) , as the ensemble opened with 'Look Into the Light', leading on to a pleasant delivery of sounds with charming percussions and dreamy backing vocals partly supplied by soprano supreme, Natasha Marsh. The first part of two, as Coxon announced he had planned an A- Side/B-Side repertoire of 'The Spinning Top' for the evening, ended with two sonically uplifting numbers in 'Dead Bees' and 'Sorrow's Army'.
After 15 minutes of an interval, which allowed some to dry the tears provoked by the music they had just heard and others to question Coxon's lyrical ability, Part II resumed with the low-key 'Caspian Sea', followed by two personal favourites of mine and Coxon trademark of self-consciousness/ loneliness in 'Humble Man' and 'Feel Alright'.
Though making no compromise and keeping the set acoustic (despite being hurled at for "Freakin' Out" earlier on ), Coxon conceded a generous encore, playing three songs from his 'The Kiss of The Morning' album , including 'Latte' and 'Live Line', and ended the show with a rendition of Davy Graham's 'Babe It Ain't No Lie.'
No lying there: this two- hour long set was acoustically powerful.
The Graham Coxon Power Acoustic Ensemble played:
Look Into the Light
In The Morning
If You Want Me
Brave the Storm
Far From Everything
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