Wednesday, 26 May 2010

481 THE WEBB BROTHERS, I Am Kloot, Oxford Zodiac, Friday 26 January 2001

Set off for this early one in the snow! Yup, a seriously slushy snowstorm greeted us as we headed out onto the A420 to trundle over to Oxford. Poor visibility as well! The guy at the venue door had apparently "lost" our tickets, but let us in anyway (same surname, you see!). Wandered up the stairs where I Am Kloot were onstage, peddling their acoustic stories of doom and gloom. Not too bad really, but not gripping my imagination enough to pay serious attention. The sparse crowd felt the same way, given the fair percentage of them at the bar.

Took a stroll down the front of the venue for the Webb Brothers themselves, in a headlining role for the first time. Since their fine, swirling and vastly 60's influenced (no surprise there, given their parentage) set supporting Eels, I'd picked up their debut CD proper, "Maroon", finding it similarly moody, bleak and deliciously heart-cracking. So I was expecting a quiet, thought provoking set. What we got, however, was 5 enthusiastic Californians bounding onstage and pumping straight into a couple of upbeat jaunty, summery pop numbers, the second of which, "Summer People", was deliciously raucous. Hey, The Webb Brothers rock! They're upbeat about the shitty weather and relatively poor turnout, and also took the opportunity to diss new US President George W Bush ("fucking wanker!"). Yes! The moodier numbers, interspersed through the set, were played forcefully, coming across as wildly discordant, and were juxtaposed with some lovely 4-point harmonies. One early number, "Cold Fingers" was dynamic and swirling, and brought to mind The Gravy (!), especially Christiaan's rock'n'roll poses. The "sales pitch" before angst-ridden new single "I Can't Believe You're Gone" was also fun.

A couple of well-deserved encores rounded off an unexpectedly in-your-face performance from an evidently chameleonic bunch. On record moody, 60's influenced and introspective, but "live" jaunty, overt, bouncy and entertaining. Good gig, despite the snow!

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