Seattle, The Crocodile

Passionate and intense, [a]Godspeed You Black Emperor[/a] are back...

Warming up for their upcoming jaunt to Japan and the UK, Montreal's Godspeed You Black Emperor kicked off a quick-stop, five-date West Coast US tour with not one but two shows at Seattle's Crocodile Cafe.

The nine-piece from Quebec - who will unleash their latest, keenly anticipated post-rock opus 'Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven' in the US this week (next week in the UK) - performed a special early show at 6pm for the benefit of fans under the age of 21 (Fans under the legal drinking age in the US are often forced to miss out on concerts by non-arena acts due to restrictive licensing laws which (unlike the UK) prohibit them from even entering the premises, never mind boozing).

Godspeed's passionate 'matinee' performance - followed three hours later by an equally inspired set for their more, er, 'mature' devotees - was arranged by Crocodile promoters (and the band) for the benefit of the city's younger music fans. And while plenty of them seized this rare opportunity to go to a club show (including a smiling six-month-old baby and a couple of toddlers, all escorted by black-clad hipster parents), the extra performance also gave fans over the drinking age an added opportunity to catch the multi-instrumental instrumentalists in a more sober setting.

After a smoky opening set from Mecca Normal's Jean Smith, Godspeed's hour-and-a-half long performance mainly took in new, unintroduced (none of the nine band members had a microphone) material from the intense forthcoming double LP 'Lift Your Skinny Fists...' which each drew polite but enthusiastic applause from the rapt and appreciative crowd.

Godspeed round off their US dates with shows in San Francisco tonight (Monday) and tomorrow, and in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Canadians then depart for Japan, before arriving in the UK for four consecutive shows at London King's Cross Scala (November 19-22) and two at Manchester Planet K (November 23 & 24).

Kevan Roberts

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