Thursday, August 18, 2005

Summer Sun

Yo La Tengo at Koko, Camden Town 16.8.05

The bloke who yelled ‘Louder!’ had a point I suppose. Purposeful art-house lo-fi hepsters such as Yo La Tengo should really play it soft. The mumbles, the gentle backing tones and the understated riddims were certainly what I alighted at Mornington Crescent in high hopes and expectation for. The cognoscenti should have been ejaculating a polite, ‘Quieter!’ It didn’t quite work out that way. I respect the London gig scene, I really do, but there were too many art threats, too much tourist trade stalking the splendid and beautiful former Camden Palais. And they didn’t stop talking.

Heck, they chatted over some rare beauty. ‘Everyday’ trotted elegantly by, all muffled mentions of Kate Moss and crossing your heart and hoping to die. That was lovely. ‘Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House’, all wit and knowingness stood out while ‘The Crying of Lot G’ was a melodic gemstone as was the sun-bleached and tender ‘Little Eyes’. Amid all the quaint and studied objets d’art, the occasional sleet storm of noise terrorism cascaded towards the music fans and the tourists. The fans were challenged and appreciated the need for a bit of sturm und drang to counterbalance the gentility and sophistication. The tourists just carried on chewing the fat. Shame.