Pop: Cave to the rhythm
GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI FONT MAYOR CAVES ESPLUGA, SPAIN
Friday 10 September 1999
The resulting record is Spanish Dance Troupe, a succinct and largely acoustic album which finds the cherished Welsh mavericks flirting with trad-country. Lest you imagine Radio Nashville, it might be prudent to point out that "Poodle Rockin'" features an atonal intro that Euros Childs barks, rather than sings.
The setting worked a treat. Had it been Shania Twain, you might have questioned the logic, but for Gorky's, a big cave 100km from Barcelona seemed right. The acoustics were surprisingly good, and fears about the imminent return of a colony of bats proved ill-founded. In the absence of John Lawrence, Megan - sister of Euros - took a more prominent role with her fiddle.
Conventional wisdom holds that Gorky's wouldn't know a soundbite if it chomped them on the backside but, six albums into their career, these notoriously shy beasts are starting to come out of their shells. Childs, still just 24, seems to have been liberated by Lawrence's departure. Normally boxed in behind his keyboards, tonight he shared electric guitar duties with bass-player Richard James and an unnamed session musician. The phallocentric possibilities of his second instrument lent him a much stronger stage presence.
The forthcoming single "Spanish Dance Troupe" was a mid-set highlight. Megan Childs' violin was reminiscent of Scarlet Rivera's playing on Bob Dylan's Desire album and, unusually for Gorky's, the whole thing swung. I wouldn't like to jinx them by suggesting that they're about to follow Catatonia, Super Furry Animals and The Stereophonics into the singles charts, but there's a definite air of new possibilities.
Whether peddling the pastoral psychedelia of 1996's Barafundle or drawing inspiration from Faust, T Rex or The Beach Boys, Gorky's have always tempered their ambition with a rare stamp of authenticity. What they've lacked, perhaps, is lyrical weight and maturity. Tonight, new tunes such as "Over & Out" and "The Humming Song" finally found Euros Childs with the man in his eyes. The latter, built around a piano intro as instantly evocative as "Let It Be", was a love-at-first-listen experience for the small, but enthusiastic crowd.
Any lingering doubts about whether the parting with Lawrence was amicable were quashed when they closed with "Sweet Johnny", an unhinged and exuberant pop song which Euros wrote for his former band-mate during the sessions for Gorky 5. They obviously miss him, but his departure might prove to be a blessing in disguise.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45
'Phallic symbols' found hidden in famous Pre-Raphaelite painting 'Isabella' by John Everett Millais
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
How did our legends really begin?
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
- < Previous
- Next >