Thursday, 9 September 2010

361 SPARKLEHORSE, The Unbelievable Truth, Reading Alleycat "Live", Friday 14 November 1997

My first gig after becoming a dad to Evan saw me leaving the one month old (today) sprog at home with his mum, and tromping down a wet motorway with Tim, thence to indulge in my passion for Yank guitar bands (a passion from whence Evan derived his name, of course!).

Hit the venue at 1/4 to 9, midway through The Unbelievable Truth, who were delivering a set of easy on the ears melodic guitar rock, not unimpressive and almost Big Dish-like (remember them? That's going back some...). They went down well too, so perhaps a name for the future?

Tim and I took front centre positions for the arrival of the 'Hoss, at 1/4 to 10 (early one for The Alleycat!), amongst an ever-increasing and expectant crowd. Mainman, the very tall Mark Linkous ambled onstage, thankfully showing no ill-effects from his temporary paralysis of a couple of years back, and, accompanied by an all-new band (featuring a highly mobile double-bassist!), played a thrilling set of angular, dusty and breathtaking Americana. A very varied set too, with a number of impressive, rockier newies thrown in to accompany the more hushed numbers from LP "Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot". Highlights were the eerie "Spirit Ditch", accompanied by soap bubbles (!), a lump-in-the-throat "Saturday", and the meandering yet absorbing encore "Hammering The Cramps". And, oh yes, finally a live rendition of the anthemic "Someday I Will Treat You Good", brilliant despite not quite as soaring as on record. Nevertheless, over an hour's absorbing mood music, from a unique band, sharing their vision of a sad and beautiful world with we privileged few.

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