There was more to country music legend Hank Williams than boozing and a difficult marriage, y’know
London Islington Union Chapel
Never mind the band, just check the quality of that masonry...
As the quietly extravagant Mynci 2000 tour rolls into London, it's hard not to conclude that Euros Childs and his ever-expanding magical band have found their, well, spiritual home. A nice bit of medieval revivalism here and there, pews to rest those weary pilgrim limbs, sweet and in-jokey programmes for everyone in lieu of prayer books. And, of course, a band who've long since found the true path of righteousness since their early stereotyping as pubescent wizard's apprentices.
It's been the best part of a decade since Gorky's began, time enough to often take their enduring excellence for granted. A fatal mistake, given the gentle epics their live gigs have become. Tonight they number seven, including producer Gorwel Owen on keyboards and fx and the sainted Norman Blake on guitar and backing vocals, easing himself back into the spotlight before Teenage Fanclub's much-anticipated return around 2005. There are two sets, too. The first, broadly acoustic affair, taking in a swathe of quaintly lovely new songs, B-sides, arcane gems like 'Gewn Ni Gorffen' and even Robert Wyatt's 'O Caroline', emphasises how Gorky's these days are much more comfortable with a low-key, lustrous music that largely steers clear of the jerks and quirks of their younger days.
It's old, wise stuff, really, easily damned as 'mature' by those of one-dimensional mood. But there's a richness, a harmonious warmth at the heart of Gorky's that gets stronger by the year. An intuition - in 'Desolation Blues', or the psychedelic honky-tonk of Gene Clark's 'Out On The Side', or the final, rousing 'Let's Get Together (In Our Minds)', which recalls The Band, no less. The young people, they grow up so quickly these days; sometimes, though, it becomes them.
Antony of Antony & The Johnsons is now Anohni, and she makes relevant, uncringey protest music
Thomas Cohen moves on from the death of his wife, Peaches Geldof, with a compelling and sophisticated solo album
Drake’s fourth album sticks to his trademark murky sound – but his downbeat introspection remains gripping
Australian psych maniacs King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard have transformed into a mad metal band