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Small line-up pulls it off live

REVIEW - BROADCAST
Koko By Michael Howard


BIRMINGHAM five-piece Broadcast recently downsized to just two members – drummer James Cargill and singer Trish Keenan. Latest album, Tender Buttons was completed by the two of them and is not surprisingly, a stark stripped down piece of work.
But where the album is all tinny drum machines, cheap Casio tones and cool detached sing-song vocals, the augmented live group adds substantial flesh to the skinny song structures.
The surreal Black Cat and metronomic Bit 35 get a fearsome thrashing from the drums/bass/keyboards line up. On latest single America’s Boy, Trish’s deadpan vocals coolly allude to American soldiers and the Iraq war.
Musically Broadcast carry their influences lightly, there’s plenty of Stereolab and Can but the uninflected vocals married to the dreamy, hypnotic music invoke a surprising sense of innocence and wistfulness.
Much of the set was a run through of the album and the band hit a steady groove of vintage distressed synths, drones and crisp drums – a big cheer greeting the signature, super catchy Come On Let’s Go. As they embark on a long tour, there’s a sense that the band are still testing the songs live.
But the gig really lifts off when someone finds out that it’s Trish’s birthday and the whole venue sings Happy Birthday, causing the band to loosen up and lose some of the froideur, finishing with the rousing I Found the F‚ and a mesmeric 60/40.

Demo of the week – The Pigeon Detectives

DOTW had a bit of a break last week, a trip down to Brighton for a walk on the pier, some candy floss and a donkey ride.
Happy days. But who could have imagined the dismay such a holiday would cause back in north London? Grooves fans were panicking, ringing our offices and demanding to know how we expected them to cope without their weekly dose of student-rag style fringe bands reviews.
Phew! Everybody take a deep breath – we are back – and we continue with The Pigeon Detectives, one of the fringe scene’s genuine talents. Perfect fodder for indie fans who like to jump up and down as if it’s 1995, this band’s crunching guitar is simple but effective.
Their new rough and ready demo – recommended by a guy I met at the Dublin Castle in Camden Town – is a hurtling thrash of Britpop that you could imagine the silhouette girl on the iPod adverts dancing crazy to all night long.
Opening track I’m Always Right is the band on top form, choppy riffs, surfed by sing-a-long vocals. But it’s just one song from a collection by the Detectives that deserve attention.
You Know I Love You is wonderfully infectious without ever curdling in your head, while the stuttering blues rock of I Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye – at this level – is just as satisfying.
They play the Dublin Castle on Monday night – it should be well worth popping along to see if their live act is as good as this mighty fine demo.
More info at www.thepigeondetectives.com but remember, when they are on the front of the NME, that increasingly tedious music magazine, you read it here first.
n Send promos to Demo of the Week, 40 Camden Road, Camden Town, NW1 9DR. Send information to rosley@camdennewjournal.co.uk.

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Restraint pays off for pianist

PREVIEW - Ivan Moracev
Wigmore Hall

THE Wigmore has a real treat this week as it welcomes Czech pianist Ivan Moracev for a lunchtime concert on Monday.
He is the antithesis of the piano school Glenn Gould School, rather than be demonstrative, Moracev maintains his cool at the piano stool, lending his performances a restrained, dignified quality.
He has been particularly celebrated for his performances of Beethoven, his clinical command of his sonatas is impressive, Schubert and Debussy – he seems particularly suited to the impressionistic style.
So on Monday, recorded for Radio Three, Moracev will be performing Schumann’s Kindeszenen, Debussy’s Pour Le Piano and Chopin’s Nocturne in C sharp Minor, Nocturne in D Flat and Ballade number 1 in G Minor.
The concert begins at 1pm.

Sheehan to sing pop with clarity

PREVIEW - Kim Sheehan
City Temple

FOR those seeking a somewhat mindless but entertaining couple of hours, they could do worse than head for the City Temple Church in Holborn Viaduct on Tuesday for a concert of “classic songs”.
It won’t please purists to see Andrew Lloyd-Webber sharing the billing with Puccini but Kim Sheehan is a consummate performer and has a wonderful, clear voice.
Tickets are a charity driven £25 – it is raising money for Cancer Research and ties the Royal Marsden Hospital and Breast Cancer Awareness Week – and the price includes wine and nibbles.
For more information ring 020 7935 1805.

Triumph for any season

CD REVIEW - Vivaldi

Hyperion

RESPLENDENT in a beautiful box with a picture of the Doge’s Palace by Canaletto, Hyperion has released Vivaldi’s entire canon of sacred music as part of its 25th birthday celebrations.
Featuring 10 discs and 19 performers, including counter-tenor James Bowman and mezzo-soprano Ann Murray, and the King’s Consort and its choir, it is a magnificent production. Much of the works were recorded at St Jude-on-the-Hill in Hampstead Garden Suburb – a church with haunting acoustics.
That there is 10 discs to enjoy at all is something of an achievement given that little of Vivaldi’s work was said to have survived in the 1920s. He was a prodigious composer and astonishingly ground breaking – hearing these recordings it becomes hard to exaggerate the scope of his influence. There are 13 hours of enjoyment here and it is as thorough an investigation into any composer that can be found. A significant achievement.

Get yourself in tune

IF you fancy a sing song yourself but have little time for regular practices go to St Benet and All Saints Church, Kentish Town, to join in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem
Raising money for starving and diseased children in South Africa, anyone wanting to join in is asked to got to the church at 5.15pm for a rehearsal. The concert begins at 7.30pm.

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