Friday, 22 June 2007

Prima Pt. 2- The Fall & Beirut


The below post was actually published on 19th June, not 13th. Though that's when I started working on it... Oh.

Anyway, today's post concerns the best double-whammy I saw of the festival. It was a combination that never should have worked and yet it did because they were so different that any kind of imitation or similarity would be a disadvantage. I bring you-

PART TWO- The Fall and Beirut


Yeah, so Beirut got bummed to pieces when his/their (does the name refer to the music Zach Condon makes, or also his band? CONFUSION!) music first appeared and I suppose a good few readers will at least have read about it if not already heard the album, Gulag Orkestar.

There are two things I found remarkable about their performance at Prima-

1) Even though there's only one album so far, they have a glut of other material to play alongside it. There's other compositions and oddities but there's also a range of Balkan and non-Western music for them to draw on. His voice handles the various languages and dialects like each were his mother tongue, so it's pretty amazing to watch.

2) Zach Condon can sing and perform perfectly despite clearly being as drunk as a stoat between songs.

It was starting to darken in Barcelona as Beirut took to the stage, and the stage itself was right next to the sea. There was a large open flight of stairs leading down to the coast from the rest of the Forum site, meaning the stage could be easily seen from the top of the area. Looking back and seeing a wall of music fans was a pretty amazing sight.

And then he played stuff like this-

Beirut- Mandaccordian (live)

Beirut- Ederlezi (live)

The Fall

The Fall are evil. Menacing. One of the few strands in common they have with Beirut is that it's not what Mark E. Smith sings, it's how. Maximo Park were due on later playing the very same stage, and an initial glance had me fearful. There was no way those genteel Geordies could follow this, but fortunately the schedule allowed time for Beirut's Eastern European party.

Like Beirut, there's been a lot written about the Fall, albeit over many more years. To truly understand this band, you need to see them live. I am kicking myself for not seeing them in Edinburgh or Glasgow a few months ago. Mark E. Smith OWNS the stage, the twin-bass attack is monstrous. The stage lighting was a willing co-conspirator, dazzling the dusk crowd as their ears fell prey to the cavalry charge of noise.

I cannot profess to know much about their recorded output, but everyone must hear Blindness. It was one of the highlights of their set. I can't pick between either Beirut or The Fall as my favourite band on the second day, two completely different acts. Equally awesome.

The Fall- Blindness

Part 3 coming soon.

1 comment:

jill said...

moar updates pls