Shearwater project a vision amid a swelling atmosphere More

Live Review

Written By Michael Wood Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Black Diamond Bay supporting a joint headline of Clinic and Shearwater at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

This does not really work - this double headlining of curio Doctor dressed bassists Clinic and Austin, Texas atmosphereist Shearwater - but it is a noble experiment and one that serves the Brudenell Social Club well on this the final week before the influx of new students.

The aim hangs with that expectation - in a week's time countless eighteen year olds will bring a glorious newness to Headlingly in Leeds which serves as their City locked village but tonight those of us who are more permanent residents enjoy something more mellow.

First though - before the offshoot of the Okkervil River family tree that are Shearwater take to the stage - come Black Diamond Bay who style themselves as Electro-Folksters. They are fun in many ways most of which they probably do not intend to be. A chorus that runs "We'll stop carrying knives/if you stop bombing the fuck out of countries you don't like" is always going to run into criticisms for being a little too fourteen year old discovers politics but the singer - who dances purposefully - and his two backing singers who cut a Human League thrust - seem to really mean it and being earnest will always win points with me.

Besides at one point Black Diamond Bay make a noise thus: Bewoooewp! We really will always be together in electric dreams.

Clinic take to the stage dressed as Doctors and it almost seems like a bad joke when they tell us that the lead singer is ill but it seems that it was not and normally they have lyrics between the funked up sound which was pleasing enough.

More pleasing though are Shearwater who are a much more post-rock beast than the aforementioned Okkervil River with whom they share members playing out what sound to be a thousand different takes on soundtracks to Hitchcock's The Birds with last album Rook concerning itself with themes such as an avian conquest of the world of man.

It stirs the blood and focuses the mind with sharp picture framed lyrics picking out moments and freezing them. Auteur Jonathan Meiberg's rich, near pain near dread voice warns through the tails with the band and Clinic switch between two sets which breaks the atmosphere Shearwater create but leaves enough of an impression of a band with a vision and the ability to project it.