Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: The Disclaimers at Spikehill, Brooklyn NY 2/6/09

Supposedly it’s a big blogosphere faux pas to review too many shows by one band because it smacks of fandom. Well, dammit, we ARE fans of the Disclaimers. They’re one of those killer bands whose songs are so catchy and so intelligent, and who put on such an intense live show that everybody wonders why they’re not famous. Woops, that’s 80s thinking: it’s been a long time since a major label signed a good band (last time we said that about a band, their independently produced cd got a great distribution deal – here’s hoping lightning strikes twice). This band has everything: tunes, tight musicianship and two charismatic frontwomen in Naa Koshie Mills and Kate Thomason. Thomason set the place on fire last time out; last night was Mills’ turn to steal the spotlight, immaculate in a two-tone black-and-white pencil dress and coordinated stockings (black on the left, white on the right), in addition to a real flower hair accessory to match her co-lead singer and also a big ostrich feather. She also sang and played violin, trombone and keyboards, a pretty good average for somebody who was so under the weather that she had to go off mic and clear her throat when she wasn’t crooning in that effortlessly breathy style of hers.

 

The rest of the band kicked ass too. Keyboardist/guitarist Dan Sullivan didn’t have his Leslie pedal with him, but he still wailed when it came time for his solo in the best song of the night, the scorching, sarcastic janglerock anthem Tiptoe. They’ve rearranged a lot of their songs lately:  Below the Belly of the 7 Train, their opener, now has a macabre organ intro from Sullivan, and a lot of dynamics – they don’t just barrel through it anymore. They did another one that had a beautiful Elvis Costello keyboard pop ballad feel, another equally gorgeous new jangly garage rock song called The Damage Is Done and even a Springsteen cover, a stunningly successful version of No Surrender. When Thomason sang “No retreat, baby, no surrender,” it was as much cajolement as defiance: disbelief was simply not an option. They closed with a typically fiery, snidely powerful version of their usual closer, Get Out of My Nightmares, fueled by Mills’ usual frenetic staccato violin crescendo at the beginning and then at the end. The place wasn’t as jampacked as it was last time they played here but there was a decent crowd, the sound was pristine as always and the crowd was into it. And maybe because of the depression or the cold night, Bedford Avenue was pretty much clear of trendoids and tourists. A sign of things to come? Let’s hope so.

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February 7, 2009 - Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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