Goldheart Assembly roughing around England, being sharpened to a shine

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Goldheart Assembly at The Live Lounge, Blackburn

Each member of five piece Goldheart Assembly look as if they have dropped out of being the coolest dressed man of a specific time period other than a quiet Saturday night in Blackburn. They sound out of time too too mixing a bit of pure pop with some Seventies Americana but this is Lancashire on a weekend night, Oasis are playing in a massive field twenty minutes down the road and the audience at the excellent newly opened Live Lounge is sparse.

Goldheart Assembly are "London's Fleet Foxes" of course because anyone who strums an acoustic is the Fleet Foxes of somewhere but the band wear the comparison well and march through the opening numbers impressively building a big sound, loud and whittled from stone.

They weave narratives through their songs in the finest traditions of storytelling bands and the collection of touchstones like Fleet Foxes and Big Star are valid. R.E.M. circa Reckoning might be another.

Goldheart Assembly live in Blackburn

The locals are impressed proclaiming them the best band to have played a Blackburn pub for some time – makes a break from counting holes one supposes - and Goldheart Assembly kick up a notch with the more up tempo Row Sixteen. They show an impressive range of work – perhaps a result of being in essence two rival bands who merged. Perhaps that is why Blackburn and A Day In The Life seem fitting.

The old Americana is punctured by a high Cockney accent and more echo is added to vocal which is already the rich sound is so drenched in reverb. They sound best when harmonising and which is not the case on Oh Really! Which is not their best but is catchy recalling The Animals. It is 79p - we are told - and buying it will enable them to fill the tour bus for tomorrow's trip to Middlesbrough. From Whitehaven to Blackburn to Middlesbrough the band are paying dues in the provinces, sharpening a style which will stand them in good stead.

They finish with a slice of sixties pop that you know to dance to but struggle to recall a name for but not after taking a request from "anyone who has come down just to see us" and the request is for single So Long, St Christopher which is a gem rough around the edges but pure and heartfelt and enthralling at the core.

It encapsulates the band.

Written By Michael Wood Saturday, June 6th, 2009

Permanent link to Goldheart Assembly roughing around England, being sharpened to a shine

This post is about

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “Goldheart Assembly roughing around England, being sharpened to a shine”

  1. Ria Wood Says:

    I’m think I’m rather developing a liking for bands that have duo (or more) vocals, for example Pete & The Pirates. I really enjoy the extra richness, clarity and emphasis it can bring to the lyrics through harmonies, etc. In the case of Goldheart Assembly, I enjoy that the main vocals are provided by each “faction” that has fused together to make the group. I also appreciate (in the Lennon-McCartney way alluded to in the review) that these two halves can provide a varied and diverse whole – keeps it fresh and interesting. I don’t know enough about or heard enough yet of Goldheart Assembly to be able to discern which tracks are “Jim’s” and which are “John’s” as can be distinguished like with Raconteurs, etc but I look forward to recognising the unique motifs of the individual member contributions in the future.

    We saw Goldheart Assembly as a 5 piece and with 4 of them contributing to the harmonies, the vocals more than matched the warmth of the music they created. I especially enjoyed the Hammond organ and it’s use to evoke the 60s music I love so much like The Spencer Davis Group et al but also pathos and introspection for slower tracks like So Long St Christopher which I found quite reminiscent of Okkervil River. I’m not sure which member was missing from the line up of our gig and what instrumentage they bring but I look forward very much to seeing Goldheart Assembly again (hopefully in Yorkshire this time), and also to their forthcoming releases.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>