Sunday, March 16, 2008

Slow, Hush Arbors and Jack Rose

The sky’s weeping steady tears, that tapping sound on the shoulders reminiscent of a crackling 78’. Walking through town, the water’s everywhere trapping light in a wavy symmetry, as the previous night of quiet music folds on round, divining colours from the grey dreariness...









An optimistic Mark Kozelek could be a good comparison for the main voice of the first act Slow, and the carefully measured music that glinted behind them had a sure softness of touch that bordered on perfection. Loose bass plucking, wavering e-bow slivers, unhurried percussion and ghostly female vox/harmonium interlocking around those lightly reverbed vocals, which seemed to be leaking from somewhere else. Their music was pristine and dare I say it faultless – a gentleness best appreciated through closed eyes.







The oddly constricted vocals of Hush Arbors Keith Wood had an eerie dronic quality, like a golden malt rolling over his sparkling guitar work. New album tracks and old favourites alike oozed a disquieting warmth that curled my toes, the two tunes off his Under bent limb trees release being particular high points. The words seemed to tumble after the medieval sensibilities of Where the black bear hides in the sky... the lines ‘cock crows thrice my darling, when shall we get married?’ turning over and over... Where as the strum / motifs of ...pasture now springs with herbs, was like the foreshadowing of seasons caught in the repeated fret work – resurrectional imagery flickered on through...







In contrast, Jack Rose’s playing was completely instrumental, taking the tunes on a journey, his head cocked for the most part, intensely focused on the next cue from his own handiwork. Each track was ended with a downward finality that signalled applause, his playing so riddled with changes in pace that could have easily have been marred by the audience jumping the gun. Never seen the man play before and it was marvellous to witness him mingling so many styles together, clipping the highs invisibly while his fingers seemed to be elsewhere.

Found myself filling a few pages of my current sketchbook, the pen jumping around to both Keith and Jack’s playing, opening up ideas / suggestions… the end results will probably bear little relation to the source material or the intimacy of the evening.

3 comments:

The Great Baarsini said...

Oooh I'm going to see Jack Rose and Hush Arbors play here next week but I'm still not sure about both of them. I have seen Jack Rose before and wasn't that impressed but I'm not a fingerpicking fan.

Tom Carter last week was bloody brilliant though! (not sure if I told you)so it's not that I don't like lone guitarists... For a while I thought it was that.

Other bad thing about this is that Pelt may have split up because Jack Rose isn't that interested anymore... AND I WANTED TO SEE THEM LIVE!!!...

Hope this finds you well ;)

FreeCT said...

sad that i missed Jack Rose a while back!
keep up the blogging

Cloudboy said...

Hiya Baars

Always had a liking for guitar players myself even when i was a hardened industrial / noise junkie... especially if the sound's song based - guess DIJ where responsible for that, but equally people like Joni Mitchell were just as bigger an influence on bending my ear...

think there were rumours that Pelt were getting back together for some ATP show, but i guess Mr Rose is happy doing this solo stuff for the foreseeable...

This sonic sanctuary night was really special - incredibly there was only 25 people to witness it, but i believe paul's mate did a soundboard recording of the evening which i may be able to get hold of...