Midlake at Fiddlers, Bristol
It is always pleasing to patronise a new venue (‘Oooh! You’re a really great venue…’) and, although Bristol’s Fiddlers Nightclub was nothing special, it was intimate and served its purpose sufficiently. It seemed to be, if not in the middle, then on the edge of an industrial estate. I wonder what Midlake thought. They remain a very fine band, beardily intense but keen to please. Their melodies are mainly ‘growers’ and they managed to convey the sense of melancholia that permeates many of their numbers successfully on Wednesday. Although the latest album sounds very acoustic, in the live arena one realises the extent they utilise synths. I think we counted four. The ‘violin’ that I found so refreshing on Young Bride was actually played on a keyboard but, heck, I don’t mind. I enjoyed A’s appraisal that it was gratifying to listen to three blokes singing at the same time; the harmonies were splendid and skilfully offered. It is funny really how much one really gets into a band. I’ve steadily grown to admire The Trials of Van Occupanther so much recently that I had somehow convinced myself that the world and his wife/her husband had also discovered Midlake and I expected Fiddlers to be packed with awestruck uber-fans. Actually it was about half full but those gathered had a more than decent night of esoteric American softish-rock. I was tired the next day but buoyed by the memory of a fine evening.