Coheed and Cambria *****
Brixton Academy 17th November 2010
For once no travel troubles. No rain. No strikes. Got to Brixton in very good time to actually catch the support act. Wish I hadn't.
|Sorry, you're not a winner. Chugaluggalug.|
The musicianship is pretty much top drawer, the themes, er, all a bit sci-fi and concepty and the vocals; think Jimmy Krankie with a weird East coast burr. WIth a mahoosive 'fro. Nope, definitley don't get them.
A lot of people do though. And last night, a lot of people did. Ok, they weren't your usual hopefuls or fodder for the soundman to make the main band sound better that often accompanies the big boys, as they're biggish boys themselves; but there were a lot of terribly enthusiastic screaming acolytes hanging from the rafters. Sad. Very sad.
The real problem is; they're no good. All the songs go on too long. They are all pretty much in the same key and dynamic range (the PA must've been weeping as it got baggier and baggier) and they offer no light and shade. Just a train screaming at the same pace for the whole of the set. Exhausting and, to be honest, boring.
|Comic genius. I'll go fetch the keg of beer.|
The only relief for me came from the fact that Sanchez is the spit of Phineas Freak from The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, which overlaid a jaunty comic book based irony over proceedings.
So, they came. And thankfully went. But,what would Chino and the boys bring us?
Gifts from the fucking heavens that's what. 23 songs of power, aggression, beauty,
spine-tingling melodies, raw, shit-scary screams and growls and brilliant musicianship.
This really was a treat. And a privilege to behold. Chino's voice is a rare and unique weapon. Capable of driving even the stoniest of hearted oxen to shed a tear and to goosebump up like the last sad chicken in Sainsbury's. He then counterpoints the plaintive beauty with such venom and power it leaves one bowlderised, bedazzled and bleeding.
|Chino pulls out the trusty old SG.|
The baritone guitar work of Stephen Carpenter welds the whole thing together and pulls the heavy load like a massive chugging locomotive, but unlike Coheed and Cambria, there's subtlety, nuance, melancholy, space as well as testicle-tightening power.
The set was so perfectly constructed. Songs from the very first album sit so happily alongside brand new material. The balance is so deliciously concocted like a complex, multi-layered but ultimately irresistible intoxicating brain damaging cocktail. There are too many highlights to mention, but the sublime You've Seen The Butcher, Change and 7 words were just about as good as anyone could ever get live.
I really have been blown away by these guys. Jaw-dropping, masterful, beautiful, beastly and utterly, utterly brilliant. I am a very lucky man to have been there. Oh yes.
Here's a vid of the three encores ending with the mighty 7 words. Ears are still ringing. Enjoy...
More tunes soon, Bwoooar!