Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms
October 7, 2009
The most fascinating thing about watching Yes Giantess live is the way their synth player Chase Nicholl discos about the stage. He dances like your Dad’s just seen Jarvis Cocker and decided to steal his moves. Then there’s the singer Jan Rosenfeld, charming as anything, who jerks around like Donald Cumming from The Virgins’ little brother.
Jan’s keyboard broke tonight, leaving him feeling awkward but looking completely natural. They weren’t knocked back by losing one of their “trademark” three keyboards onstage; it didn’t hamper the sheer wall of beautiful electro-pop noise emanating from the four lads.
Local Natives were the fan’s choice; there was so much buzz about them after their set. Matt Frazier played the keyboard and a drum at the same time, showing a level of multi-tasking most blokes reserve for texting as they walk.
Their songs ‘Airplanes’ and ‘Sun Hands’ got the crowd dancing along to their unique brand of indie vocal music. Matt swapped instruments with the guitarist Ryan Hahn at the end of the set, proving the four lads are incredibly gifted musicians. The drummer from Yes Giantess joined them to jam on their closing song.
Marina was unwell tonight. After being sick before she got onstage, she managed only three songs before leaving, in tears, midway through ‘I’m Not A Robot’. Repotedly, she was then sick again before being taken to hospital.
Marina shouldn’t have feared sounding bad; she didn’t sound poorly at all, which is a true testament to the quality of her voice – despite leaving the audience understandably disappointed.
Golden Silvers were at the risk of being overshadowed by the quality of the American bands and the drama of Marina’s illness. Moments into their set I forgot all about Marina’s truncated appearance until Gwilym Gold, the band’s singer and keyboardist, told the crowd how disappointed Marina was to leave the stage. The audience seemed to understand as they cheered and applauded her.
Opening with ‘Magic Touch’, and playing through their gorgeous set list, including their hit ‘True Romance’, they had the audience singing along. They played a few slow songs, which doesn’t normally work live, but Golden Silvers pulled it off spectacularly. The band sounded even more stunning live, the juxtaposition between up-tempo and slower songs keeping the audience on its feet. They saved ‘Arrows Of Eros’ for last which sparked a final dancing frenzy in the crowd.
My favourite thing about Golden Silvers was that they delivered each of their songs perfectly and didn’t wait backstage for the ego-inflating cheers and pleads for an encore. They played right up to the curfew, then hung about with the other bands (minus the hospitalised Marina) signing merchandise and chatting to fans; all the talent of rock n roll with none of the ego.