Peter Broderick, St Giles Church, London
Tuesday 19 October 2010
Peter Broderick is a precocious but not yet wholly formed talent. The 23-year-old was plucked from obscurity in Portland, Oregon to the relative spotlight of the Danish experimental rock band Efterklang. Broderick left everything behind to move to Copenhagen, with a restlessness also apparent in his own music. Piano instrumental albums bashed out in an hour were joined in 2008 by a considered LP of guitar-based songs, Home. Virtuoso, singer-songwriter, sideman or star? The acclaim for his new mini-album, How They Are, and the reverent attention from the crowd packed into this beautiful 18th-century Soho church suggest that Broderick doesn't need to decide.
How They Are is a stopgap before a promised magnum opus, put on hold when an injury kept him on crutches. He'll finally tour the UK with a full band for that. For now, we get his usual one-man mixture of the raw and technologically treated. Sometimes he leaves amplification behind to march up the aisle, yodelling to the rafters. His choirboy-high, sweet voice sounds purer this exposed, in a church so intimate he could leave the electricity off. On "Not at Home", though, he loops and layers his instruments, becoming a solo orchestra whose music is so technologically vulnerable it can be pierced by mobile-phone signal static from the crowd.
Solo piano pieces such as "It's a Storm When I Sleep" are similarly thick with splinters of detail amidst swift, rolling virtuosity. His songs, new features of a young career, are gently associative, poetic vignettes. On "With a Key", they conjure mystical arcadian bliss in Oregon's backwoods. "Sideline" sums up his observational, gently humorous world-view. It lacks the precision to grab your heart, like his as yet undefined, inquisitive career. The fans studiously attending every note seem ready to follow him, whoever he turns out to be.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Watch X Factor's Chloe Jasmine Whichello in her first 2006 audition: 'She's every parent's worst nightmare'
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'