The valiant failure of Jens Lekman

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The Blow and Jens Lekman at The Deaf Institute, Manchester

The Blow are not really a band but one would hate to make Khaela Maricich suffer the tag of performance art. Innovative, perhaps to a fault, Maricich's spares vocals over a dance beat accompany a kind of storytelling which veers between believability and fantasy and is all the more entertaining for that. Tonight she relates how she wrote songs for an actress turned singer in New York and the relationship she had with that would be performer and in doing so plays with the notion of the construction of performance. Gradually reducing her attire from baggy top to leotard the affect is a little bit like a confessional Jane Fonda workout video.

It is entertaining, and in its way far more enlightening than one would expect.

The affect of Jens Lekman is always provoking. The Swede folk-popster pours his heart into his performance and seems to bleed emotion from the stage. Tonight he has a full band and a couple of Saxophonist - I may be alone in questioning the merit of the Saxophone in pop - picking out the melodies of his often soft, reflective tunes. As always Lekman is a joy to listen to throwing a few new tunes into the mix alongside staples of his set - would he ever not do Black Cab? I do hope not - and seems to breath a uniqueness into each performance.

Lekman continues the gig over the road at another bar after curfew at The Deaf Institute, and then goes onto the street trying to elongate the still moments his songs attempt to encapsulate. Night falls, the attempt fails, but valiantly so.

Written By Michael Wood Monday, August 2nd, 2010

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