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Grizzly Bear, Serpentine Sessions, Hyde Park, London, June 28th 2010

July 7, 2010

This will be mercifully brief. Last summer, The Suit, Sigourney and I went to the Regina Spektor gig at the Serpentine Sessions in Hyde Park. These shows craftily use the second stage and back part of the bigger weekend Hyde Park summer gigs to showcase smaller bands than those that play at the mega event. So we went along to see Regina, had a pleasant beer at the picnic tables outside the big tent… and stayed there for the whole show. It wasn’t that we necessarily didn’t like the show, we just couldn’t be bovvered.

Likewise this year, with the big difference that I most definitely didn’t like the music. Critics have raved about Grizzly Bear’s 2009 Veckatimest album (which I haven’t heard), describing it as ‘compositionally and sonically airtight’, ‘chamber-pop’, ‘intricate’, ‘sophisticated’… you get my drift – I should have seen the warning signs. I ignored my instincts and went along, when I should have trusted my hunches.

They sounded dull, laboured and noodling, and we’ve all heard those swooping harmony things dozens of times in the past few years. In fact, part of me is crying out for a band that says, ‘Our vocalist’s great, but the rest of us? Tone deaf!’ And Grizzly Bear do that annoying soft/loud, quick/slow thing as well… bleurgh! What’s the bloody point? Waste of time. So we drank our beer, made our excuses and left, as the tabloid reporters used to say.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Astral Weekes permalink
    July 7, 2010 1:28 pm

    Oh dear. I went to listen to them, and they were worse than I feared.

    btw, isn’t “chamber-pop” a press release synonym for “Keane”?

  2. brandnewguy permalink*
    July 7, 2010 1:40 pm

    LOL – yeah. I forget how old I am, as “chamber-pop” used to be a synonym for “Beach Boys”, which would have been fine 🙂

  3. hippla permalink
    July 12, 2010 2:20 am

    Man, you have shitty taste.

    • brandnewguy permalink*
      July 13, 2010 11:10 pm

      Thanks! Send me a list of tasteful stuff and I might take a look…


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