Our Broken Garden-drummer
I have to say, buy if there hadn’t been a very special reason to go out I would have stayed in last night. Needling icicles of rain ain’t what I need heading into town at nearly 9pm on a Pashley with a flat tire. But head I did, because last night Our Broken Garden were playing their only date in the UK for the foreseeable future and this I did not want to miss. And boy was I glad I made the effort. It’s no secret to my regular readers that I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Our Broken Garden. They are nothing short of fabulous, especially the glorious vocals of sometime Efterklang keyboardist Anna Bronsted.
Our Broken Garden perform live at St.Giles-in-the-Fields. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
On arrival I was in a bit of a grump to discover there was some time to wait before Our Broken Garden came on stage, but all that was put to rest when I sat down to listen to their support band Still Corners.
Against a blood red swirl of light the singer contributed dreamy vocals on top of swirling 60s keys and the odd dash of country and western melody. The beautific tunes worked particularly well where they stepped the beat up, and I’m eager to hear more. In the meantime enjoy the video for Wish. Just delightful.
Thereafter followed some fabulous electric noodling, which I presume came courtesy of Ulrich Schnauss, a once-upon-a-time Amelia’s Magazine interviewee whose latest stuff I have not heard, but was perfectly suited to the hushed setting.
Against the up-lit cross at the back of St Giles a bit of stage set pfaffing took place before Our Broken Garden took to the stage – four cute Scandinavian guys and one absolutely stunning lady. And by stunning I don’t just mean looks, though I was very taken with her slinky metallic wide-legged pants suit. Anna has a voice to die for. Whilst the rest of the nation is wondering if any of the X Factor vocalists can even sing in tune, the real talent can be found in places like this. Quietly going about their exceptional way. We were treated to a selection of tracks from the new album Golden Sea as well as a few tracks from earlier album The Departure, as Anna skipped and bopped in front of a large fabric tree.
And we all drifted off somewhere quite magical.
Really, more people should know about Our Broken Garden. They are surely my favourite discovery of the past few months, and every bit as good, if not better, in the live flesh. Oh, and did I mention that the drummer is really cute?…but I was so mesmerised by Anna that it took me better part of the gig to notice.
Why not check out my review of new album Golden Sea, out now on the fab label Bella Union and an interview with the director of the Garden Grow video whilst you’re at it too. Jessica Furseth met with Anna before the performance and she will be posting an interview soon.
All photography by Matt Cheetham
Camden’s iconic venue, The Roundhouse, is humming with the buzz of energy and anticipation for Chromeo. The band released their third album, ‘Business Casual’, in August of this year and tonight will play a sold out show, their biggest to date. As we wait, the familiar Chromeo chant begins to resonate across the room, a now familiar underscore to all of the Chromeo shows. They are half an hour late, but this doesn’t deter the audience and as soon as the guys make their way onto the stage, amid a chest-shuddering bass, the chanting only gets louder. The duo immediately own the stage. They open the set with the catchy and aptly titled ‘I’m Not Contagious’ from the new album, which showcases the smooth vocals of ladies’ favourite, Dave 1, and P-Thugg’s keyboard and synth wizardry. The audience begin moving instantly, and The Roundhouse becomes a sea of swaying bodies and waving hands.
The stage is lit by two pairs of shapely neon legs, synonymous with the sexed up electro funk that the band delivers. Dave Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel, Dave and P-Thugg respectively, are credited with spear-heading the revival of 80’s disco and giving it a much needed makeover and modern spin. The atmosphere intensifies when ‘Tenderoni’ kicks in, a true Chromeo classic and fan favourite. The standing audience are jumping around, and the seated have left their seats, and all are singing along with suit-clad Dave before he even knows it. The beauty of The Roundhouse is in its name, and the stage is projected right into the audience, making the bond between band and audience just that little more special. When ‘Tenderoni’ finishes, Dave takes a moment to thank the audience for the overwhelming reception and highlights what a great show it is so far. You get the feeling that everyone in the room is thinking exactly the same thing.
New song, ‘Don’t Turn the Lights On’ causes what appears to be mass hysteria in the audience, before leading into the ultra-cool and sleazy ‘Bonafide Lovin’ from their second album. Dave confidently whips around the stage during his guitar solo, taking a quick stop to give P-Thugg a brotherly hug. Keeping it in the musical family, a quick guest appearance from Dave’s brother, A Trak, adds an injection of lively pop remixes and is a welcome addition to the show. This is outdone however, by the explosion of glitter paper that falls from the roof in the next song, a fun moment to celebrate the band’s reputation as the charming maestro’s of modern disco.
The encore brings about ‘Needy Girl’, one of the band’s most successful songs, and one that is best saved till last to induce some serious jiving en masse. There are more thanks and praise from the band, and they exit the stage to a thunderous cheer. The real joy of a Chromeo show is watching how the band can get the audience dancing and this one was no exception. As I leave the venue, I’m not the only one with a need to keep moving, and slip off with many others to the after-party, to shake a neon leg.
Chromeo are back next April, at London’s Brixton Academy.