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Slow music in slow time

You've heard of the slow food movement. Now let me introduce you to the slow music movement. Its members don't know they're part of it, but they all have one thing in common: exquisitely crafted albums that appear years apart. Kraftwerk are one such band, and the UK's main proponent are the superb The Blue Nile.

The Blue Nile at Somerset House

They played a rare concert last night, one of a short series that recaps nearly 25 years of craftsmanship. It wasn't a big gig, in fact, compared to our last concert at a festival in Spain it was positively minute. But it was people who loved the band, who loved their music, and who'd managed to fight London's broken public transport infrastructure to reach the courtyard of Somerset House.

The Blue Nile at Somerset House

The concert ranged widely through the band's four albums, and introduced one new track (as well as a distinctly Blue Nilish take on "Strangers in the Night"). The atmosphere was electric, with an enraptured audience hanging on every perfect note.

A walk across the rooftops
Heatwave
Over the hillside
Saturday night
She saw the world
Stay
From a late night train
Easter parade
Happiness
The downtown lights
I would never
Runaround girl
Family life
Stay close
Sentimental man
Tinseltown in the rain

Headlights on the parade
Strangers in the night
Tinseltown in the rain

An excellent gig, and one which bodes well for further concerts (and more albums).

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
zotz
Jul. 14th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
Robert Wotsit was on the Today program the other day - the morning after the Glasgow gig, I think. He said he thought they might well do one more record. It is possible he wasn't being entirely serious at that point, but it was hard to tell.

I'm waiting for another Sundays album, personally.
blue_condition
Jul. 14th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
Heh. One of the most spine-tingling hours of my life was spent outside the Sheffield Leadmill in about '91. Throwing Muses had just left the building to go for a pre-gig dinner (so we got to meet Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donelly and Leslie Langston), then we heard the Sundays soundchecking inside. Harriet's voice was truly magnificent - if anything better in the soundcheck than in the gig, as she used to suffer from pretty awful stage-fright IIRC.

I think she's settled down in the country with Dave Gavurin to make babies and live the slow life.
zotz
Jul. 14th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
I was at the Glasgow concert on that tour. Wheeler was certainly on form for the gig. Didn't get to meet any of them, though.
blue_condition
Jul. 14th, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Wow. A favourite band of mine for over 20 years. Would've loved to have been there.
ramtops
Jul. 14th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
They've been playing Runaround Girl for at least 2 years at gigs! Not so much "new", as "unrecorded".

perlmonger and I are very much looking forward to seeing them in Galway tomorrow night.
marypcb
Jul. 15th, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
I think they played it at Drury Lane but I think there is more of it, or they made more from it, this time... I think you will enjoy

Paul was relaxing - altough he started out by saying he could see everyone and this made it worse (you can't see me, though, right?), about song 3 he commented that 'this wasn't nearly as bad as he'd been thinking and he needn't have worried' and he got *chatty* and almost flirty with the audience by the end. It's lovely to see how protective the audience is of him...
megadog
Jul. 14th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
I envy you. The Blue Nile have been one of my favourite bands ever since acquiring their A Walk Across the Rooftops CD [on Linn records; I still have it - one day it will be worth silly money to crazy CD-set-completists] back in 1984.
natf
Jul. 14th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I must admit to never hearing any Blue Nile (or, if I have, I did not know that was what it was).

Other Slow Music:

Pink Floyd.
Jethro Tull.
Joni Mitchel. (sp?)

...and a few others in my album collection. ;-p
zotz
Jul. 14th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure it counts if you start at a reasonable pace and then slow down. Really you have to start out spending five years on each album and then get e v e n . . . s l o w e r . . .
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )