OK then, a very quick round up of the first night of the Sea Monsters 2 festival (is it a festival or a series of gigs?) at the Prince Albert.
First up, Heliopause, who I was mightily impressed by. Two guys on stage making dreamy music which was somewhere between folk and post rock. A very big sound from a very small band. They were giving away their cd from a couple of years ago, which I’m very much looking forward to listening to. I’d say out of tonight’s three bands, they’re the one I’m most likely to go and listen to again.
Next up was Robert Stillman. Before tonight, I’d scanned over the program and seen the words composer, multi-instrumentalist, and folk, so I wasn’t expecting half an hour of avant garde contemporary music. Maybe I should have also read the words “sonic arts” and “American pre-jazz”. It was incredible though, and fascinating to watch so close up. Robert Stillman is an amazing pianist. Congratulations to One Inch Badge for having the balls to put something like this in the middle of their gig, and congratulations to the audience for being so broad minded as to lap it up.
Headlining were The Sons of Noel & Adrian, who squeezed eight people onstage. Apparently the full band has twelve members – thankfully they didn’t try and get them all onto the stage. They describe themselves as folk noir, which translated into folk with lots of added instrumentation (three guitarists, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, two drummers). They were the only act of the night to play songs in the more traditional sense of having verses and structure, but it was only as a measure against the other acts of the night that they seemed more traditional.