The End of the World is also ostensibly a live album, recorded "on the eve of Valentine's Day at The End of the World club in London 2012".
Hence, perhaps, the odd, creepily synthetic nature of the applause, compared to Stephen Coates's song introductions. The band describe the performance as being a set of "pre-Apocalyptic junkyard blues" about dreams and dreaming, but while they share certain instrumental sonorities with Tom Waits – piano, reeds, horns, double bass, and sprays of vibes – there's no equivalent fervid squalor to their arrangements, which instead remain firmly within the confines of cabaret club and cafe, while Coates's croon has none of Waits's gravel-gargling quality. But there are clear comparisons in the wordless yodels and curlicues of koto-like twang that decorate "Over the Hillsides". The slow waltz "Epitaph for a Dream" is particularly impressive, with its trilling mandolin and its flute describing a vaguely Arabic-flavoured figure, while Coates affects that sinister megaphone-vocal effect used by the Tiger Lillies, as he celebrates how he "tamed you in tears, trained you in violence, cloaked you in blood, chained you with silence". Elsewhere, "Black Birdies Come" is a brief, floating instrumental of piano and violin.
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