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Late Doors

Mark Lanegan

His old band The Screaming Trees passed me by and it was only  while he was in the awesome queens of the stone age id even heard his name. The brilliant album he did  with Isabel Campbell about ten years ago was when i  cottoned on to him as a fantastic solo artist. I say solo but in fact he always collaborates with others and his current guitarist whose name I have forgotten is as much part if his sound as he is.

His rich low end resonant vocals can be both sweet and coarse but always perfectly tuneful. They brilliantly project tales of melancholic sadness along with rueful resignation of classic Americana struggle , bringing you into a world rich in humanity. I find myself  taken over by them sat on my own listening. He has been compared to the inimitable Tom Waites, no mean thing of course but to me he also has a layer of Nick Cave mischief. Last year's ace album Phantom Radio saw him up the synth element as well and some of the songs had a Richard Ashcroft Vervey texture, maybe a Bunnymen groove as well. No more so than on a track called Floor of the Ocean which sounds like a Bunnymen record already. I love it.

Last night at the Beckett's University (The Poly in old money) stage he  appeared about 9.20 with just his guitarist. Just as well as it happens. A superb London Porter in the Hedley Verity had us tarrying their a tad too long.

Sometimes acoustic but last night he played 2 Gibson SG type electric guitars with finger picking sensitivity but also a  rolling contained thunder. It's a brilliant and perfect backdrop for Mark's brooding storm vocals that often have  a story telling narrative tone about them.

Three of four songs later the band joined them. Well the band less bass player who had been taken to hospital with appendicitis. It's to the guitarists, drummer and keyboard players credit that it was hardly noticeable. That and the immaculate sound system they have at the poly these days.

A good hours plunder of his immense back catalogue and a three song encore took us to 10.50, perfect. Not one for audience interaction he simply held his arms wide very briefly and shrugged a little in acknowledgement to a we love you mark shout from the extremely reverent crowd. I used to dislike this venue but lately i seem to have really warmed to it and last night was a perfect explanation of why.

Great balance and dynamic to the set including most of the latest album. The three or four raucous songs  and a couple of synth heavy grooves interspersed his default croon-noir and the whole gig was excellent. Even big Shaun was raving about it and bought a couple of unofficial cds from the merch desk including a brilliant one recorded at the Brudenell 2010.

If I was at home, I'd be at this all weekend.

I only heard of him by way of the Isobel Campbell collaboration but I'm a big fan from there on in. Great voice.

Great cover, suits his style
smiling badger

Really like some of his material. First got into him through his vocals with Queens Of The Stone Age.
His vocals on, In the fade are just brilliant.
Butts once kindly sent me some Cd's of some of his other material like the Isobel Cambell like has been mentioned. Also his Gutter Twins material which is pretty cool. Marc Riley on 6 music also raves about him and has been gagging to get him in for a session but hasnt had any luck as yet.
Great to hear that he is good live as is his studio material. Great report LD thanks.

The Bunnymen comparison is a fair one. 'Harvest Home' on the Phantom Radio album being a damn fine example. 10/10 Forum Index -> Pump up the filter
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