St George’s, Bristol
St George’s – a former church – seems a fitting venue for Low on their Christmas tour of the UK. Weather was unseasonably mild and miserable. No snow but night falling fast…
Support acts Eric Koskinen (US folkie) and Harkin (Leeds folkie) both play engaging short sets with just their electric guitars for company. They return to stage to join Low for the first half of their set which is a canter through their own Christmas classics. All in black and concentrating hard; acoustics in the hall suit their noise. Harmonies and distorted guitar, brushes and bass. Intense and about as cheery as they ever get. After a break the band return as a 3 piece and blast through some favourites. Describing Low can make them sound a bit miserabilist but there is a kind of dogged and chilly joy to their performance that is quite hypnotic – I find myself holding my breath and I’m not alone in this. Once again I keep thinking of icy waste and deserts and lines from Robert Frost. Let’s go home…
“They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars–on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.”
Concentrating intensely. Big Jeff too.
It made me think..
Final live gig of this year for me – a good way to finish up. Live shows have enlivened what could have been an even more difficult year. The best way out is through.