I am bereft. Just before arriving at 26 Leake Street, I receive a text confirming what’s been on the cards for a short while.
A great man, the Grandpa to my son, has passed away.
I didn’t see John much in the latter years of his life. My memories are of a kind, busy man; a witty cynic who had an enduring curiosity for life. He tried hard to convince me about the jazz he loved though I was never sure at the time.
I sit at the back of the Leake Street railway arch on a communal bench and have a private moment. A tear falls.
Shattercones might have to forgive me in this circumstance that I don’t give them my full attention. I see enough from this distant vantage point to know that they’re a band I’d typically like. It’s very Dirty Three; fiddle-led murder ballads played by quiffed men in suits. Their songs build into thrilling, orchestrated climaxes. The higher, arched ceilings in this venue perhaps moot and muffle the overall, intended effect. Regardless, I note their name and resolve to check them out again in months to come.
Fake Turins are headlining tonight. So impressed was I by this sprawling collective when I first saw them (here) it was a no-brainer to choose to see them again a couple of months on. If anything, and this is the highest of praise, they’ve got tighter and more urgent since that initial gig.
They’re really going for it tonight. When I last saw them, I observed that backing singer, Alex, might have been an expert in some sort of throat singing. Tonight, you can be left in no doubt that his contribution to Fake Turins is considerably greater than that. His harmonies carry the extended jams into different directions; at times, he becomes the tick making this clock tock.
Their Lead singer, replete with red hair tonight, still conducts the rest of the band a bit but the need to do so appears reduced. Each member of this consortium knows their place and there’s a comfort as a whole in the sound being produced. It results in an astonishing array of rhythm; at times, an euphoric, gospel-based rush.
It’s the drummer’s birthday. Fake Turins draw attention to this and celebrate accordingly. They’ve got kazoos and cowbells; they know how to party even if the audience remain mostly seated and reserved.
I’m glad I persevered with tonight. Fake Turins provided an ounce of cathartic release just when I needed it most.