Blue Aeroplanes




live review



London Clarendon

JUMPING THE grooves of 20 years of rock and roll, the Blue Aeroplanes sound like everything you ever heard while simultaneously sounding like nothing you've ever heard. Watching them makes you wonder why this has not been done before, and then you realise that it has – but never in the same place by the same people at the same time.

The BA’s energy and racket is driven by a drummer, four guitars, and a pair of persons moving with frantic gestures across the stage. A chief asset is a refusal to ever let the audience relax either aurally or visually. It’s an input of intense proportion but one which stays miraculously just on the safe side of sensory overload.

Felt, in contrast, are dramatically static. They've been about in one form or another (often in repeating forms Deebank in, Deebank out etc) for some years yet none of the background shuffling seems to affect their external reality – the way the audience perceive them.

Because Felt are less a collection of people than a collection of songs. All of which carry a discernible spirit of Feltness refined and distilled into three or so minutes and recognised by a bristle of guitar chords – golden in texture and tastefully frayed at the edges – given meaning by a lyric seemingly dallying on the frontiers of some other dimension.

But while Felt believers and devotees al have their favourite example, the dysfunction of a unique sound is songs which sound the same. Felt's entire set (about 40 minutes) is a trail of discarded permutations in the search for the one magical combination which would have a sesame effect on the gates of perfection. So we're left with a succession of songs each not quite as good as the next one might be...

But never is.


mick sinclair

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