David Kilgour at Arc, 13/9/07

I ventured out last night to the Arc, which is under “new” management (again.) It’s a good space but has struggled. I’m out of the loop with music at the moment as I have been engaged in different things in the last few years.

David Kilgour was playing a solo set along with the duo version of White Swan Black Swan . . . or is that Black Swan White Swan.

Anyway the Swans did a decent opening set, I liked the piano/guitar combination. It was actually surprisingly mainstream. Some of those retro sounds were very eighties indeed.

Mr Kilgour had a battle on his hands with guitars that detuned themselves and technology that wouldn’t play ball. His songs are completely suited to the electric-acoustic guitar and voice format. He decided to take things west with a laptop and backing tracks; definitely worth a try, but it just seemed to confuse the sound rather than adding much. That said, he pulled it all together with a last number where everything seemed to work and when it did work, it was good. Of course. First night of the tour and all that . . . I just wonder whether going back to the man and six strings format would be the best option for these analogue melodies.

The audience was sparse to say the least but made up for quantity by quality. After the Clean’s stonking set at the Regent for the Dunedin Sound thing a few months back, you would think the place would be packed. Glad I went anyway.

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