Wednesday, 6 January 2010

664 AMBULANCE LTD., The Cinematics, Bristol Louisiana, Friday 17 June 2005

Another trip to Bristol, braving the roadworks for the second time in 3 days; this time it's off to the Louisiana via the river (not literally!) and a cobbled street square - don't remember it being this difficult to get there! Also, had to use dodgy-looking off road parking (luckily OK) as the street was busy for this sold-out show, by our arrival at 8.45.

Straight upstairs to this recently renovated venue - they've smartened up the bar, taken out the gents loos and widened and soundproofed the stage, which seems to have actually reduced its capacity even further than the 120 it used to be. No wonder this sold out!

Support band the Cinematics were on promptly at 9 and peddled an innocuously zeitgeisty nu-Britpop noise, all Franz poses and staccato guitar slashes. Not bad, but in all waves there are leaders and there are followers. No prizes for guessing which this lot were...

We kept our place right at the front by default as this tiny venue filled up! NYC's Ambulance Ltd. - my favourite new music makers of this year - were on at 10. Having missed them twice before (Boston 03 when they pulled out, Suede in December 03 when we arrived too late), but having been mightily impressed by their record, a blend of hypnotic, absorbing slow-burn mood music and Stills-esque rockier 80's influenced stuff, I was up for this one.

They approached this set very methodically, playing the album pretty much in order! This meant that after the hypnotic instrumental opener, we were treated to new single "Primitive" second number in, and their best number, the "Winona"-esque absorbing drone of "Heavy Lifting" in short order thereafter. A delightful if short set of absorbing guitar noise which was capped by a couple of encores played before the band left the stage (too hot and too crowded to go off then return, said the pretty boy vocalist), this more than made up for missing them before - a mistake I don't intend to repeat!

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