Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bodies of Water @ Cargo, 14 October 2008


I don’t want to start a review feeling sorry for a band, but lastTuesday night at Cargo there was something lacking. It was nothing to do with the band’s performance, which was superb. It was the audience. Not even their enthusiasm for the band, just the number of people. Cargo’s not even a particularly big venue, but there were no more than 30 people in there, which dampened the atmosphere somewhat. I know it’s the first UK tour for Bodies of Water, and they’re relatively unknown here, but surely more could have been done on the promotion side. There wasn’t much info to be found anywhere other than Cargo’s own website, and I didn’t even know who the support band were until I asked the singer after their performance.


Speaking of which, the unknown support band turned out to be a Danish duo called the Choir of Young Believers, and they were very impressive. It’s not often these days that I’ll attend a gig where I see a support band that I’ve never heard, or even heard of beforehand. And it’s a pleasant surprise when they’re good.

Their set on Tuesday night was performed as a duo comprising COYB main man Jannis Noya Makrigiannis and cellist Cecilie Trier. The songs were slow and measured, with Jannis’s electric guitar and vocals beautifully complemented by Cecile’s haunting cello and gorgeous harmonies. They reminded me of a less dark Low, and their half-hour slot glided gracefully by. I bought their debut album This is for the White in Your Eyes off their manager afterwards, and it’s a fine piece of work, though I wasn’t quite expecting the much fuller, orchestrated sound present on record. It seems that COYB are a bigger outfit than I thought, and it’s likely that resources reduced their touring band to two. On hindsight, this was a very good thing because, although White in Your Eyes is a decent album, I much prefer the stripped-down torch songs from last Tuesday night.


This was Bodies of Water’s first London headline gig, and I was full of anticipation. Ever since succumbing to the wide-eyed euporhia of their debut Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink last year, I’ve thought that they’d be an amazing live band. But it's been was almost a year till I've got to see them in the flesh.

With such high levels of anticipation, it would be easy to be disappointed, because anything less than mind-blowing just wouldn’t do. Which is why the small crowd was annoying – a packed arch at Cargo would no doubt have generated an electric atmosphere. The other little disappointment for me was the lack of material from Ears Will Pop. But that’s a minor gripe – BoW had their new album A Certain Feeling to plug, and boy did they do that well. I haven’t warmed as much to the new record as much as I’d hoped, until this gig. The songs from A Certain Feeling came alive in new ways, with the band’s enthusiastic everyone-sing-at-once style, and songs that seemed to contain three or four songs in one, shifting tempo efforstlessly and thrillingly.

Even though they were nearing the end of a long tour, the folks from LA still managed to muster smiles, humour and good spirits throughout, even broken guitar strings near the end couldn't stop them from coming back with a spine-tingling set closer of These are The Eyes. They seemed to have some sound problems on stage, but I didn’t notice. A brilliant gig, though I'll be hoping for more people next time. As we left, my friend said that if he could put together his ideal band, it would be Bodies of Water. For a moment at least, it was hard to disagree.

mp3: Bodies of Water - These are the Eyes
mp3: Bodies of Water - Even in a Cave

BoW myspace / website

mp3: Choir of Young Believers - Action/Reaction
mp3: Choir of Young Believers - Hollow Talk

COYB myspace

Buy Bodies of Water albums from Rough Trade or download from emusic. Buy COYB's This is for the Whites in Your Eyes from their myspace.

11 comments:

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From Australia's Official Dictionary: The Macquarie Concise Dictionary - ugg boots / Australian 100% merino sheepskin lined boot. Also called ugh boot , ugg boot.

Did you know that Australian Sheepskin Ugg boots have always been called Ug, Ugh or Ugg boots and have been made in Australia for almost 200 years? "We always called them Uggs, Smith says, "long before it was a trademarked brand." Brian Smith, Founder UGG Holdings, Inc. Los Angeles Magazine October 1st, 2001

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The original Ug Boot. "Ug," (also spelled "Ugg" and "Ugh" in Australian dictionaries) is not a brand name but an age old generic term for this style of Australian-made sheepskin boot. In Aussie slang, the Ug name is short for "ugly." In terms of comfort, however, the Ug Boot is a thing of beauty. The softness of the Australian Merino sheepskin produces a boot with a snug, cozy, form-fitting feel that’s more like a sock than a shoe, yet it’s rugged enough for outdoor wear. The fleece lining has the astonishing property of providing year-round comfort. In cold weather, the plush fleece provides an insulating layer of warmth by trapping your body heat, much like goose down does. But in the heat of summer, the natural fibers of the fleece actually cool your feet by wicking away perspiration.

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By the 1970s, in Perth, the largest city on Australia’s West Coast, Ugg boots were being manufactured by several small companies in the area. Perth has much the same climate as Southern California and is also a haven for surfers, whom Aussies call "surfies." And it was the community of surfies at the great surfing beaches at Margaret River near Perth who first adopted Ugg Boots as their footwear of choice and made them a symbol of the Aussie surfing lifestyle.

Ug Fever Spreads

From the beaches of Western Australia, Ugs were soon seen on the feet of East Coast surfers from Brisbane to Sydney. And it wasn’t long before some of these surfers -- the ones who traded their surfboards for skis in the winter -- found that their Ugg Boots were just as at home in the ski resort areas of the Snowy Mountains as they were on the warm sands of Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

It was Aussie surfers, traveling the world in search of the perfect wave, who first introduced their mates in Southern California to the pleasures of the Ug Boot. Ugs soon became a cult fashion among those L.A. surfers who could depend on a buddy ‘down under" to send them a pair of boots.

Ug Essentials

Today the Ug "secret" is out. You’ll find these versatile ugg boots to be in fashion on beaches from San Diego to Santa Cruz and in ski resorts from Tahoe to Vail. And today, you don’t have to "know someone" in Australia who will send you a pair, since there are now a number of companies importing boots of this type. But, if you want the genuine article, you do have to know what you’re looking for because, no matter how they spell it -- Ug, Ugg or Ugh -- there are several importers with look-alike products that fall short of being the real thing.

If you want genuine Ugg Boots -- well-made boots with all the qualities that made the original so desirable -- you’ll want to make sure that.....

The boots are made from 100% Australian Merino Sheepskin. This will ensure your purchase is made of the finest Sheepskin hide avaliable.

Please Note:

Beware of very cheap imitations... quite a few boots on the market are made of cow suede with sawn on sheepskin inner fleece off cuts.... Don't take the chance and purchase these boots.... the external cow suede does not breath like 100% sheepskin does and will leave you with a smelly sweaty boot... But I must say these boots do look like the real thing but just don't cut the mustard when compared to authentic ugg boots
What do you think after you reading this UGG Boots history? Just hope you’d like it, see you next time!

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