Saturday, April 5th, 2003
Coming In From The Cold
An impressively packed house braved one of the freakiest ice storms we’ve seen in ages to catch The Delgados kick off their North American tour in support of Hate. Openers Aerogramme were remarkable in their blandness. By halfway through their set, I was more interested in watching people walk up and down the stairs at the back of the club. They had some interesting musical moments, but torpedoed them with unnecessary screaming. Oh, I see. You’re emoting. Thanks. And that’s all I have to say about that.
The Delgados came on just after midnight, touring again as a nine-piece with a string section, flautist and keyboardist accompanying the core quartet. I think last time through, there were 11 of them, but I may be wrong. What I found most remarkable about the show was the sound – they had brought their own soundman to handle the board, and the result was by far the best live sound I’ve ever heard at Lee’s. Everything was perfectly balanced and audible, from the strings to the vocals, which is essential for a band with a sound and lush and dynamic as the Delgados. While their between song banter was scattershot and increasingly incomprehensible as the night wore on (boozing, don’t you know. Scots, y’see), it was forgivable thanks to their innate charm, the fact that it was the first night of the tour and they’d already gone through the horrible injustice of losing ALL their guitar pedals that day and having to run out and replace them, and because as soon as they started playing, they were all business. Each song was note-perfect and awe-inspiring (except when Alun botched the opening to “American Trilogy” and called for a do-over, but he’s allowed) and for myself at least, there was a certain je ne sais quoi throughout the show that elevated it from good to great that was lacking their last time through in November of 2000. The first great show of 2003.
I took a handful of photos – have a look here.
np – The Delgados / Peloton