Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Final Fantasy + Lightspeed Champion @ Manchester Academy 3

Part of Manchester's International festival, this gig was probably one of my most eager anticipated ever...which made it all the more infuriating that i only got to see 25 minutes of the Final Fantasy's set.

But before that Lightspeed Champion calmed by annoyance with a jolly and lively performance. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect and whether i was going to like LSC before the gig, as i was never a big fan of Dev's previous outfit, Test Icicles, but was immediately won over by the first line of the first song, which was an Incredible Hulk reference, and then wholeheartedly enjoy the rest of their folksy riot of a set. Dev turned out to extremely entertaining and a great frontman, never faltering even when his keyboard fucked up and no one, not even the band, could hear the twinkling on the ivories. The finale was an epic 8 minute marathon of a tune called Midnight Surprise and ended on with an awesome fiddle lead rock out, which the all red instruments being played to an inch of breaking.

Then the moment i'd been waiting for for months, as Owen Pallett walked on stage and started tuning up his violin. Being the first night of his mini tour, he seemed a little nervous - or maybe thats just how he always is - but as soon as he started layering those violin parts all his shyness fell away and a guy with alot of musical talent and some great tunes. It was a shame that the venue didn't suit his sound too well, leaving the mix to heavy on the violin so that Owen's vocals - which aren't amazingly strong anyway - were a little lost. It also didn't help that a few annoying people wouldn't shut up so songs like What Do You Think Will Happen Next? which should be utterly compelling ended up losing their edge. Fifteen minutes into the set, Owen invited Stephanie to accompany on stage. Stephanie produced "movies" using pieces of OHT, which she moved, while Owen produced the soundtrack. There were pianos being played, letters being written and crowns sparkling and it all helped to exaggerate the melancholic and fantastical effect that FF's music already possesses. It was at this point that i had to grudgingly depart to catch the last train home, on which i had to contemplate missing Many Lives 49 MP, This Is A Dream Of Win And Regime, some amazing covers (apparently James' Hymn From A Village) and from what i heard later 3 encores. It was not a happy journey home.

Lightspeed Champion - Mr Fisk
Lightspeed Champion - Snow Mountains
Final Fantasy - What Do You Think Will Happen Next? (live)
Final Fantasy - Many Lives 49 MP

There's more photos of this on my flickr, go and have a look.


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