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   Wednesday, July 06, 2005  
'This is really amazing for us,' said Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis as she took in the sea of arms and ceiling-to-floor throng at Koko in Camden last night. 'First time we played London there were only this many there,' she explained, her arm gestures attempting to describe a not-very-many-at-all-type scenario. For the record, Jenny, 32 people were in the room that night at the Dublin Castle - this blog was there and counted. And now look!
Thinking back, they're not really doing anything differently, having just glossed up their (recorded) sound a bit and drawn some of Blake's folk-twang tendencies (The Elected) and Jenny's soulfullness into the band's quirky, super-melodic indie-pop template on latest album, More adventurous. And it's this record, their first to get properly released here, that's brought this good-natured multigenerational crowd out to NW1 tonight.
It was a 'Sixth-former, his girlfriend and his dad' type of turnout, exemplfying RK's broadening appeal (a demographic which has obviously excited Warner Bros, the band's new home). That they'd disposed of their two most exposed songs (current single It's a hit and the one before, Portions for foxes) within the first 3 numbers was testament to the band's surging confidence. Most of More adventurous got played, Blake's scatchy acoustic ode to Elliott Smith, Ripchord, amazingly getting the biggest audience participation response. A bit of an irritant on the record, here it turned into a good old trumpet 'n' tambo-enhanced clapalong.
Once again, the band never dug any deeper into there history than Execution.. which is strange since most of Takeoffs & landings still stands up really well. Jenny and Blake came out for the encore, both plainly stoked by the tiers of cheers before them. They did a stripped down version of their most lyrically connecting song, A better son/daughter and then it was all hands stage front - the guitar tech and Pierre's little daughter (see!), Blake on ukele, Jason drumming on a mic stand - for a campfire rendition of Pete Townsend's Let my love open the door. An engaging enough end to proceedings but, to be honest, reallyrather would have much preferred if they'd concluded as they had at the Dublin Castle, letting rip with their only real out-and-out shitkicker [technical term, sorry], Spectacular views...

...and Blake, the return of the 'tache is so not a good idea...

Such is Rilo's momentum that we're now going to have to wait 'til early next year for Jenny Lewis' M. Ward/Mike Mogis-produced solo album. Is she really going to call it Rabbit fur coat?!

And The Pipettes' debut album isn't going to appear this year, either. The girls 'n' guys have signed to Memphis Industries, home to The Go! Team (Mercury Prize nom. maybe?) amongst others. This blog has sourced some pics and sounds if you're still in the dark about them, and The Pips join a fabulously feminine retro-pop line-up (The Priscillas, The 5678s) at The Dirty Water Club on August 1...

It's acutally been something of week of weeks for reallyrather: Rilo packing them in at Koko, Sufjan Stevens' Come on! Feel the Illinoise! picking up 5-star, 'album-of-the-year' type reviews in every paper & mag you open and The Be Good Tanyas' Purcell Room show last Sunday. Once a voice in the wilderness banging on about these folks' greatness, reallyrather cannot deny an inward paternalistic glow standing amongst the throngs at their sold-out shows.
It was about nine songs into the Tanyas' set on the SouthBank that this blog realised that blimey! they still hadn't played anything from Blue Horse, their debut (and most popular) record and surely the main draw for most of this sell-out audience. Thing was, I hadn't noticed because everything else to that point had been just so good. The £20 tickets having at last bought the girls a touring drummer and upright bass (hurrah!), the trio's arrangements were satisfyingly rounded out. Chinatown was mined early, Junkie song exemplifying their singular contemporary folk-blues stylings with choice electric slide from Trish and Sam's harmonies setting off Frazey's weary lead vocal perfectly.
In between songs from their 2nd release came several newer numbers none of which were announced but all of which were encouragingly excellent. 'We're over those songs,' said Sam at one point, responding not entirely jokingly to shouts for tunes from Blue horse. Dogsong was the first to turn up, with Don't you fall and The littlest birds following on. Just how jaded they are with the likes of the last-mentioned is hard to tell since Frazey and Trish's naturally wan expressions give little away. And though by now they must have played a couple of hundred shows, they're still charmingly bumbling between songs. At one point Sam popped behind the modest amp stack stage right to whip off the leggings she was wearing beneath her dress which actually wasn't hers 'it's mine and look, she's ripped it already,' bantered Frazey, again not entirely without feeling. Seemingly oblivious to the formality of the surrounds (and conventions of slick concert-giving), they chat just like would if they were sitting around in your house. Best of all, they play like that, too...

'I think the sound of the records came from not really knowing what we were doing, and even though we've probably got better at using the equipment now, we still record in the same way. Just trying different ideas and instruments out until we stumble into something that sounds good, or just makes us laugh.' Substitute 'cry' for 'laugh' and it could be the Tanyas talking. Except it isn't, it's Jof from The Boy Least Likely To interviewed recently by Pitchfork. Catch them at the Water Rats Aug 17...
The Boy Least Likely To / interviewed
   posted by SMc at 4:13 AM |