Komedia, 25 August 2010
Whilst a barrage of torrential late summer rain pelts down onto the gritty streets of our fair town, Komedia is keeping its collective self warm with conversation, whiskey and some of the most soulful, captivating folk music perhaps to have ever graced these shores. Providence’s prodigal sons (and daughter) The Low Anthem may not yet consider themselves as lofty in status when compared to contemporaries such as Band Of Horses or Fleet Foxes, yet their rootsy, blues-driven Americana offers up something far richer and more rewarding in many aspects. Superlatives utterly fail to do justice to tonight’s performance.
Led by the dulcet vocal tones of frontman Ben Knox Miller, the entire room remains totally silent as the band stroke their instruments, producing the softest yet spine-tinglingly poignant musical statements you could imagine. “Ticket Taker” documents a life spent singing for meals on the wide open road, as does the relatively upbeat “The Horizon Is A Beltway.” Never a dull moment passes, as the band frequently down tools to swap positions, each member offering up something totally unique and bringing their own element to the songs.
From Jocie Adams’ soothing clarinet playing and eerie bowing of crotales through to Miller’s pump organ and harmonica bothering, this lot really do cover the entire folk music spectrum with aplomb.
The most humbling moments though arrive when the whole band crowd round a single radio microphone, allowing the audience to fully appreciate those gorgeous vocal harmonies and plucked violins on the likes of “Charlie Darwin.”
How this band aren’t selling out the Royal Albert Hall is unknown, yet in due time they will perhaps exist on that kind of playing field. For now though, the lucky few in this particular room finish the evening shaking their heads in amazement.
Words by Oli Robertson