I went to see The Devoted Few launch their new album last Thursday. I wanted to write up a more detailed review – but I’ve not had time over the weekend.
Warning – I know that at least two of the band members read this blog on occasions – ordinarily I’d tone down the superlatives for a band I know people in – but I couldn’t be bothered this time round. So pretend I’m writing about some other band 😉
As always, it was an awesome show! Although it wasn’t as tight as some of their performances that I’ve seen of late, any looseness was more than made up for by the massive energy that whole band exuded. Barry saw air (for the first time ever I think!), Dave was throwing his guitar around madly (or showing off his wrist-band – one of the two), Ben was manic, Skye was dancing like no-one was in the room. There was a great energy – definitely a band having a lot of fun on stage. (The only other criticism of the night I would have was that the volume of the mix was too high – which made for some difficult listening in the bigger passages.)
But what was the biggest blast for me was the sense of adventure created when the band took some risks with arrangements. Playing “Misery Loves Company” for the first time was one of those moments – the album version is a very subdued and subtle, electronica driven, piece that, IMO, would not have worked live. However, the band’s treatment of the song – taking a slow-burn approach, building to an emotion charged crescendo (particularly vocally) at the end was really inspiring.
But the highlight of the night, for me, was the reworking of “Sleepless” into a pseudo-dance “remix”. What struck me was just how much I could hear this version on the radio or at a club. The re-worked keyboard part worked realy well and melded perfectly with the Kaos-pad replacement of the main guitar riff and tight drum work. The only bit that didn’t strike me as fitting the new approach was the quieter middle section – which was left the same length as the original. With this treatment I think this should have been kept a little shorter to tighten up the overall arrangment. I’d love to hear this version recorded and released as a b-side (or even as a single in it’s own right).
Overall it was a great gig – I had a blast – some new stuff for those of us that have seen a few gigs and an energetic performance of the ones we know and love. And a fitting ending with the, truly, drunken choir concluding “Your Face Burnt a Hole…” Definitely a band on their way up – I really hope that their momentum continues into the future – any success is well deserved.
Update: as always, great photos over at Amy’s.