City and Colour, Royal Albert Hall, London
Wednesday 27 April 2011
"I always hoped that someone would listen, but I never thought all of you would," says the Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green (a city and a colour, to explain his recording name), as he thanks the crowd for listening to a song he wrote when he was 17, "Like Knives".
As he stands on a Persian rug, sporting a suit and a string bow tie, only the the old-fashioned sailor tattoos that creep up the 30-year-old's neck serve as a reminder of his alter ego, as guitarist and vocalist for the acclaimed "post-hardcore" band Alexisonfire. That is a role that will almost certainly never see him headline a sold-out Royal Albert Hall, and Green's surprise at life's twists of fate is evident throughout the show.
Green is a big name in his native Canada but "Like Knives" is a rare treat for fans at any end of the planet. Showcasing his signature blend of deep vocal tone, gothic lyrics and soft acoustic strumming, it sets him up for a similar yet much more mature highlight, "Oh Sister", which is from his forthcoming third album, Little Hell. Due for release in June, it will be followed by a tour in the autumn and is likely to provide his true coming-of-age.
"I have a favour to ask," says Green, donning a harmonica before providing one of many half-comedic, half-philosophical interludes in his pre-amble to "Body in a Box". "I was hoping, just for this one song, we could put all of our cellphones and cameras away... I feel like nowadays everyone is trying to remember it so badly that they forget to actually experience it... and I don't know if we need another shitty version of this song on YouTube."
Dirty electric guitar riffs and tapping cymbals give a mostly acoustic show more grit when two band members take the stage, generating an American blues rock style that fans of The Black Keys would appreciate.
It is apparent that many fans are in attendance because of Green's previous musical history (references to Alexisonfire are whispered constantly) but few can claim Green's success in making the transition from screaming rocker to soulful solo act – he even covers Adele's "Hometown Glory".
With a Canadian Juno award, three full-length albums and this show to his name, Green is already impressive. He looks set to build on his achievements this year.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners