Mercury Rev : London Camden Electric Ballroom
The Rev with their finest album to date and a glorious new stage show...
From the moment they emerge - Grasshopper in heist-master shades, Jonathan with a Bambi-like smile - and lash into 'The Funny Bird', it's Mercury Rev are holding true to their promise not to disappoint us. Okay, there are moments when songs as wonderful as 'Opus 40' or 'Tonite It Shows' sound a little choked, a little cluttered, but in the huge cosmic scheme, their balance sheet is in the black.
For live, songs from their new album 'All Is Dream' are touched with the same intimate tenderness and universe-wide ambition that made 'Deserter's Songs' such a triumph. The psyche-stalking 'Lincoln's Eyes', eerie as folklore; torchsong 'Spiders And Flies' lighting a path to darker places; the dreamy lunar pull of 'Tides Of The Moon'. In the same way as Jonathan can go from faun-like crooner to childcatcher in the flash of a stagelight, so these songs shift from the lovely to the uncanny,
from smoke to mirrors.
So they took their time. So they toured 'Deserter's Songs' into the ground. Whatever success has done for Mercury Rev, it hasn't warped their velvet-curtain panache into hardened showbiz grit or mulched their rich emotions into multipurpose rock. They're still dreaming, still reaching for the light, and tonight, it shows.
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