Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Nail Shot Up Like A Bright Red Snowflake.

Low perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire' - Koko - London 26th July 2006.

It is quite difficult for me to review a Low gig. They transcend beauty you see. As far as live music goes the Minnesota trio are just about Goddam perfect. This was the seventh Low gig I have seen and as usual I wasn't disappointed.

Low have been missing for a little while. Bass player Zak Sally left last year and Alan Sparhawk had some anxiety and depression issues that necessitated a bit of a break from touring. And Mimi Parker fell pregnant.

But now Low are back with new bassist Matt Livingstone who fits in with Low's somewhat geeky image. Zak Sally is a brilliant bass player but a geek he is not. Far too cool for his own good that man. Anyway, as part of the Don't Look Back series of gigs, where artists perform one of their seminal works in its entirety, Low were asked to play their fabulous album Things We Lost In The Fire.

If you like your music played at breakneck speed and like to fling yourself about the dancefloor in wild abandon, then Low are probably not for you. The kings of a sub-genre called (by whom I don't not know), Slo-Core, they produce music so achingly gorgeous and meloncholic in brings a smile to your face. They play slow, real slow, a wall of guitar noise, solid bass and steady rhythms which is intermingled with the sweet two part harmonies of Sparkhawk and his wife Parker.

Things... is probably their greatest moment and to hear it all start to finish was a treat. The venue was like a sauna by the time they hit the stage but once the opening Chords of Sunflower started nothing else mattered but the stage. To be fair Low don't do a lot on stage. Sparkhawk jokes with the crowd now and again but there are no guitar hysterionics. Just a wall of quite beautiful music. It doesn't pound you into submission a la Mogwai, but rather it just sweeps you away like the tide.

After completing Things... we were treated to a couple of old B sides from the single releases from the album and then the best version of (That's How You Sing ) Amazing Grace from Trust that I've heard them do. This was down to the fantastic sound quality at the gig and Sparhawks effects peddles. The mixing desk was manned by the recording engineer from the Things... sessions. The final song was the seminal Two-Step from Secret Name which had been, rather annoyingly, called for all night by some fans.

This was a wonderful gig and made the thought of the journey home to Southend in sweltering heat all that easier to bear.


Blogger emmy hennings said...

I am very jealous of you, Marmite Boy, very jealous indeed. Seven times?! I've only seen them three. But the two Sydney Low gigs out here recently were totally blinding. If you care to read my rather lengthy and unhinged post on it, it's in the June archives of my blog [
fangrrrl_archive.html] under the title 'I could live in hope'. (despite having the Post Pages function enabled, or so I thought, my archived posts don't seem to have their own file path.)

I was discussing with someone the other week this whole Things We Lost In The Fire gig - I think we were curious as to why that album was chosen. My own pick for the perfect Low album that should be played live from start to finish would without doubt be Curtain Hits The Cast. My companion went with Secret Name. But as you point out, when those first chords of 'Sunflower' kick in, it's hard to argue.

10:36 am


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