The Magic is Obscured at Camera Obscura

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Camera Obscura at The Faversham, Leeds

Some performances are enthralling. They excite you and leave you breathless as a band bring surprises and come to life in a way that one does not expect. They take the 2D grooves and pits of the record and become sparklingly 3D. It breaks my heart that Camera Obscura are not one of those bands.

They filter onto the stage to start the set with Come Back Margaret and everything is a factor more fuzzed up than on any of the albums which have seen this Scots band carve out an appreciated niche in the world of the cynically twee.

The lack of pop polish lends a rawness that suits Tears for Affairs but on other tunes it sits uncomfortably with a lack of presence on stage. They are cramped onto a stage without filling it. They are lost voices which should be working into every nook and cranny of The Faversham.

They play new tracks which sound very much like the previous material but unlike - for example - the excited life given to New Directions by Jens Lekman these will sound better from CD in a few months time than they do tonight.

They fail to communicate the emotions that go behind songs like Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken or Razzle Dazzle Rose like a playwright who needs word to be read by actors but are warmly applauded for their efforts - they put all they can into performance - and but one cannot help but be left with the feeling that those efforts will produce magic in the studio that is not there tonight.

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, October 19th, 2008

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