We could have called this no sleep til Hoxton, being that MM and I were so severely short of shut-eye by the time we arrived at the London Hoxton Bar and Kitchen last night. Never mind though, all was well because we were there to see the Cave Singers on the only UK date of their European tour. If we were tired, the band could be forgiven for a little jet lag, having flown into London the previous evening, not that you’d know it.
I saw the Cave Singers live described as “unmissable” by a.n. other music critic. I’d go along with that and add many more superlatives to what was one of only a handful of utterly stand-out gigs in my life. The Cave Singers rock. They are astonishingly good, and if you don’t make every effort to see them play live at some point in your life then you’ll (a) regret it (b) deserve to be repeatedly hit over the head with a tambourine on the grounds of stupidity.
The venue – just right. The crowd – doing what an audience should do (namely listening, dancing, enjoying the music) – and a support band in the Werewandas, quirky, retro, tight. Ticking all the boxes. The very fact that these three beardy men make such great music when there’s so few of them is testament to their talent. There is no bass player but the songs have such foot-tapping, bone-trembling rhythm, it’s alchemy I tell you. Apparently, guitarist and man mountain, Derek Fudesco, only learned to play the guitar relatively recently – how so? You’d have to see to wonder at how good can you be, how quickly? And feel really shit about yourself because you’d never be quite that good at anything.
Ah well. Vocals equals Pete Quirk. What an unmistakeable voice laid bare and full. Marty Lund on drums … and washboard and maracas and other cleverness. Highlights? A rollicking version of At the Cut – and the crowd could not be still. Haystacks, Clever Creatures, Black Leaf to name but a few and the perfect encore that finished with the unmistakeable Dancing On Our Graves.
It was hypnotic folk, rock whatever you want to label it. It was raw, fresh, and inspiring and I absolutely loved every single minute. And do you know what, I might just have to grow a tribute beard of my own when I’m an old, probably genuinely smelling of fish, and remember bands that I have loved.
Mad Mackerel heart The Cave Singers.
Download The Cave Singers – Cold Eye mp3 (from Invitation Songs)
Download The Cave Singers – Dancing On Our Graves mp3 (from Invitation Songs)
Download The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind mp3 (from Welcome Joy)
Download The Cave Singers – Beach House mp3 (from Welcome Joy)
Download The Cave Singers - Swim Club mp3 (from No Witch)
Download The Cave Singers – Black Leaf mp3 (from No Witch)
Download The Werewandas – My Little Sister mp3 (from My Little Sister)
Buy the albums from Amazon here.