Friday, 11 September 2009

Man Ray (LaMontagne)

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Ray LaMontagne, of whom I'd only read in Word magazine. (Thanks, by the way, for your comments). Why do all American musicians have beards at the moment, except Kelly Deal? Talking of Kelly Deal, she really is the perfect woman: she's designed her own font and it's free! Her band The Breeders have a site called Breeder's Digest, which is rather brilliant.

I went because Christine and James had managed to book an extra ticket in a different area of the venue - so I ended up on my own, in the balcony, directly in front of the singer - brilliant. Less brilliant was sitting next to a yummy mummy and her daughters Portia and India (I'm guessing). Clearly Mr. LaMontagne and his support act, Radio 2-friendly Josh Ritter, are approved objects of middle-class desire. After they sneered at the scruffy fat singleton in a Green Lantern t-shirt, I sipped beer and read my Shakespeare commentary during the intervals. That showed them.

So anyway, the music. It was odd. I'd heard of LaMontagne and Ritter, and assumed that they were middlingly well-known sensitive folk-country artistes, and so they are. I didn't realise that Mr. Lamontagne is the object of freakish devotion - a mostly full hall (probably 2500) at £25 a go in Wolverhampton is truly astonishing. They whistled, stamped and cheered like Mormons at Joseph Smith's resurrection (don't write in - I've no idea if Mr Smith is expected to rise again, though I imagine the Church would like to know the whereabouts of the golden tablets detailing the Semitic origins of America's ancient peoples he 'received from the prophet/angel/time-traveller Moroni' and then 'misplaced' or 'returned to the angel' before anyone else got a look. Actually, Some Chilean Woman could enlighten us). But I digress. LaMontagne's music was good. It was country-folk-blues and the later the set got, the more impassioned he became. The band was beautifully lit in pools of liquid, varying light, and they stood on rugs, which added to the 1970s atmosphere.

Actually, they reminded me of the post-Slowdive band Mojave 3 but more country, which is high praise from me (listen to some here)!

Then home for the glorious, ambiguous and complex ending to The Wire… Here's LaMontagne on somebody's crappy mobile phone from a couple of years ago, in Wolverhampton. There's nothing up yet from last night's gig.


Some Chilean Woman said...

Funny! I was just talking to my coworkers about Joseph Smith the other day. I never believed that crap, it's just too convenient. 15 yr old boy sees God and His Son, finds some plates, translates them, loses them, he's a prophet and we must do as he says, blah convenient that.

Benjamin Judge said...

La montaigne is popular largely down to the television advertising campaign and him being sold in supermarkets. He is (in terms of marketing) the folk David Gray. I have never listened to him but I am pleasantly surprised he isn't awful.

Funny story - my first girlfriend was a mormon. As you can imagine it didn't last long.

The Plashing Vole said...

I don't think you're far wrong there Ben. Great debut girlfriend choice…