Timber Timbre at Union Chapel 1st Nov ’11

You will not see a mosh pit at the Union Chapel. The support act for tonight’s show was “evening hymns” which indicates the true leanings of this wonderful gothic church bang in the middle of Islington. Tones of reverence continued once Timber Timbre took the stage amidst hushed pews and bathed in a soft red light. Admirably they got straight down into it — no sound checking, no fiddling and totally wordless — how I wish all acts would make an entrance like this.
The words when they come however, are a balm for the ears. Taylor Kirk’s got a superb haunting voice which I suspect if placed in a more traditional rock n’ roll setting would lean towards Roy Orbison’s soulful wail. I spent the night longing for him to unleash it but he never did; like his hunched, cramped guitar style the vocals often seemed to be crammed up inside a bulging tin straining to keep the contents secure.
If you get uncomfortable with ambiguous song endings then these Candians might not be for you. Extended playouts mishing up quavering electric violin and humming guitar feedback were a running motif throughout the night’s set. The overall effect is soporific and as the candles placed high in the eaves of the chapel’s stunning octagonal chamber flickered out one by one I found myself lulled into a mild stupor. “Are you still with us?” chuckled the frontman mid-way through the set. I suspect he was only half-joking. Timber Timbre aren’t the kind of act to inspire wild convulsions and if Taylor Kirk sang any slower he’d stop, which in fact he does quite a lot of the time, leading to premature applause for those unfamiliar with the music.
Stop-time wake-up calls aside, variations in tempo were few and far between. The songs are pretty uniform, the strict adherence to a chugging low-end guitar line and bass drum bang punctuated ocassionaly by Kirk cracking out one of his mischevious barks.

You will not see a mosh pit at the Union Chapel. The preceding act on a chilly November night was “evening hymns” which indicates the true leanings of this wonderful gothic venue  bang in the middle of Islington. Tones of reverence continued once Timber Timbre took the stage amidst hushed pews and bathed in a soft red light. Admirably they got straight down into it — and how I wish all acts would make an entrance like this — no sound checking, no fiddling and totally wordless. Read more

Jorge Drexler, Union Chapel, Thurs 19th

londres-junho-2008-078.jpg Jorge Drexler was one of South America’s best-kept secrets until he went an won an oscar in 2004 for the soundtrack to Che Guevara flick “The Motorcycle Diaries”. Although the softly-spoken Uruguayan now lives in Spain his appearance at London’s Union Chapel was his first ever UK performance. Read more