Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Richard Swift, The Borderline, London 24th Feb 2009

Where did all the Americans come from tonight? After bemoaning the fact no one danced and that he'd have to tell 'the folks back home' Swift asked how many Americans were in the audience and as turned out nearly everyone was. It might have only been the few locals in the crowd who understood the irony.

Swift's support came from First Aid Kit who delivered a duet of sweet Joanna Newsom vocals, tributed the ubiquitous Fleet Foxes and 187'd Dylan. Also supporting were the polished and stripped down Leisure Society looking like credit-crunched-banker-folkers and professionally surging through some of the worst titled songs ever opening with Pancake Day But seriously, Leisure Society did put in a great effort as support, lilting rhythms flecked with flute and an array of stringed instruments.

Swift himself was clearly carried on a wave of self-confidence. Every step and line calmly assured and flanked by his band with a similar sense of confident stagecraft. As the current catalogue of Richard Swift crosses musical genres the set swayed from the slower jumpy numbers saturated with LA smog into coarse swamp rock leaving the crowd with no particular pace to follow. Perhaps the boldest move on Swift's part was to leave us on a down tempo one song encore which unexpectedly pulled the gig back from a dissappointing sub-Al Green end.

I'll post some pics when I find them.

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