Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Review: Joan of Arc + Love of Everything
OK, I admit it: my expectations for Joan of Arc were always going to be too high. Joan of Arc - musical love of my late teens and early twens. Joan of Arc - poster on my wall when I was already way too old to have band posters on the bedroom wall. Tim Kinsella - subject of girl fantasies.
So despite Baths being in town last night, despite DD/MM/YYYY hitting Berlin again, I headed over to Bang Bang Club to see Kinsella & Co play. I made the right choice.
Unfortunately, I missed local heroes mOck, but I am sure they played their post-HC 90s sound beatifully as I have seen them a few times before. You should check them out next time they play, if you are into 90s guitar music. You'll appreciate them.
Love Of Everything is actually the current bass player of Joan of Arc, Bobby Burg, with a drummer. They had already commenced when I arrived and I stumbled into their set but was immediately soaked in the atmosphere. Mr Burg is a very smiley lad who captures the audience with his personal presence as much as his voice which is a bit reminiscent of the late John Lennon. The voice, mind you, not the music. Their sound is pretty standard 90s post everything indie, but with sweet lyrics and yeah, that voice. Very sweet.
It appeared Bobby Burg was well aware that people had come to see Joan of Arc, not Love of Everything, as he referred a couple of times to the fact that Joan of Arc weren't to take long before their set. He is in Joan of Arc after all. And indeed, I was almost a tad nervous before JOA came onstage.
Well, they started their set with a couple of songs that didn't impress anyone I don't think. Just fuzzy guitar indie-rock. Where is the math? Where is the jazz? I read people's faces: I wasn't the only one who was disappointed. Whether this was a coincidence or a clever trick - we'll never know. But after a little joke from Mr Kinsella, a Sean Penn in his young years lookalike, the Joan of Arc as we know it emerged. A beat, jazzy guitar sounds, sudden turns within the songs, improvisation and still indie-rocking all along. And as the set progressed, the band amazed the audience more and more with complex and danceable sounds as well as their witty words and jokes. Finally, as an encore, they even played a song from the first album. The set had gone from "really, this is it?" to "oh my, please don't ever stop playing!". The only slight disappointment I like to mention is the fact that they had chosen to tour in a classic drums/2 guitars/bass formation - the special effects à la Effectron, Vibraphone or Wurlitzer were definitely missing a little.
So yes, my expectations were probably too high but Joan of Arc were actually able to meet them. How about that.