So, having seen the National yesterday, that cleared the decks for me to ignore my clashing Anson Rooms ticket, and return to the Louisiana for this rearranged date, the previously scheduled date of which was the first "gig" Rachel and I tried to go to together since Logan's birth, only to get here and find it postponed! Having been party to just over half their truncated Editors support slot, I was keen to see the full set, as was Rachel, who said she'd left the recent Arcade Fire gig singing Kissaway Trail songs!
So we hit the road at 1/4 to 8, picking the convoluted route down cobbled streets to the Louisiana, parking at 1/4 to 9 and catching the last knockings of soloist Jacob Golden's set. He shared the shy, understated mannerisms of Aaron Perrino, but had a much higher vocal delivery which suited his stripped back, lovelorn lamentations. Not too bad really. Next up, The Autumns, were however a different kettle of noise - an incongruous bunch of beardies who played a mulch of pompous prog-rock and stomping glam noisily and ineffectively. With the tall vocalist's falsetto, they were evidently trying to be Muse and failing, so we repaired to the downstairs bar for a chat about band names, and a brief conversation with passing Kissaway Trail vocalist Soren. Popped back upstairs in time for the main event, taking a position stage centre in this crowded and hot little upstairs venue.
The Kissaway Trail squeezed past to take the stage at 10.15, kicking into "Forever Turned Out To Be Too Long" and "61". This Danish 5-piece paint stunning, shining musical dreamscapes on record, their self-titled CD fast becoming one of my 2007 faves, with wistful, ephemeral material mixed with plangent, euphoric anthems. However, the live environment really gives the material energy, dynamism and power. "Smother+Evil=Hurt" was shimmering and magnificent; "Close Up Far Away" was naggingly familiar (recalling a Sheila Divine number, methinks) and touchingly haunting; yet the real gem was "The La La Song", a thrillingly euphoric anthem and the jewel in this marvellous set. "The stars, the stars, the stars will guide us," indeed!
A simply stunning and powerful 45 minutes ended with another punchy rendition of "Soul Assassins", the double-finish taking me by surprise again! In terms of performance, this amazing set was as good as anything I've seen this year, and Rach remarked this was exactly the kind of set she'd wanted The Arcade Fire to play. I think we might have the makings of a very special band here in The Kissaway Trail!