Only UK gig until Brecon in August [they’re in Amsterdam tonight, Zurich tomorrow, then off to America for the whole summer], so we were super-pleased to get tickets for this sell-out show. This version of The Shins is the one James Mercer put together for the deliriously good “Port Of Morrow” album in 2012. Five years on, they are touting a new collection of songs called “Heartworms” and the stage was kookily dressed up as the album cover replete with skull and giant flowers. After a glitch with the bass drum sound on the opening number “Kissing The Lipless”, the set moved into top gear and the band served up some well-loved tunes from the earlier [Shins Mk1] records, including “Saint Simon”, “Phantom Limb” and “Caring Is Creepy”, in thoroughly infectious fashion. The encore showcased a heartwarming rendition of their breakthrough song “New Slang”, followed by current album-closer “The Fear” and a banging “Sleeping Lessons” into which they shoe-horned a verse of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. A wonderful night at what I still think of as the Hammy O.
Broad. Mainly late-twenties/thirties/forties, some older like me and the missus, couple of family with young kids.
It made me think..
James Mercer is a damned fine songwriter and a great singer of his own work.