I first heard Low on John Peel in 1999. He played the sublime Venus from the ‘Shanti town Compilation’ CD in support of AIDs charities (also had a fab version of ‘Follow You, Follow Me’ by Red House Painters on it). It took me a while to track down that particular CD (no internet to turn to y’see) but I did find a version of it on a rather badly recorded live CD ‘One more reason to forget’. I got a couple more CD’s ‘Secret Name’ and ‘Songs For A Dead Pilot’ and their super-slow bass heavy burn got under my skin. It was their Christmas CD that really sealed the deal – Has there been a better Xmas song than Just Like Christmas a better version of Blue Christmas??…… I dont think so.
I first we got to see them in 2002 when they played at a church in Leeds which was an inspired/intense setting for their quiet/loud harmonising. I got to see them again at the Cockpit the night before Lee and I got married. Had a chat to Alan Sparhawk after the gig who was amazed that I’d managed to attend. At the wedding ceremony I remember stretching my hand out to have the wedding ring put on and noticing that I still had ‘COCKPIT’ stamped on the back of my hand….oops!
Tonights gig was at The Brudenell (“What a great venue” says Alan – we know!) and started with a set from The Fever Dreams who didn’t look old enough to out of school, but delivered a confident, low-esque performance with shades of the Cocteau Twins thrown in. Front man Paul Thomas Saunders seems destined for big things.
Low have lost none of their intensity and there was a hush and reverence in the crowd I’ve rarely come across. Alans had issues that he’s openly talked about before, which make him fascinating to watch, makes you listen more intently to work out the lyrics. You could have heard a pin drop at times. The sound was superb tonight. Alan and Mimis harmonies were crystal clear full marks to all involved.
Besides crowd pleaser ‘Canada‘ and a brace of songs from ‘The Great Destroyer‘ – one track stood out for me – don’t know it’s name but it started with 3 or 4 lone notes that rang out, were then repeated slowly, then built up into a 10 minute monster of a song! Hope to have it soon!
I have nothing but love for Low
Bob the Chiropodist