I knew when I started streamlining my online presence into only two distinct personas (telecoms & not telecoms), that this site was going to see an increase in posts about topics that used to be show up on the PDP website. But I hadn’t expected it turn into a music blog. That said, there’s only a few posts in a row on concerts and I’m looking to get blogging more in April — both here and on the telecom website.
Caveats and context aside, this post is clearly going to be a concert review. First up in this week of back to back shows was Bowerbirds. This was my second show at the Garrison, after having seen Veronica Falls last month. I haven’t been to a lot of shows or venues yet but this is an early favourite.
Opening up was Dry the River, from London. I thought you could hear some Brit pop in their sound, especially bass lines. Put me in mind of Doves. But they also at times felt like their were channeling Bon Iver, matt pond PA or even Sigur Ros. They’re listed as folk rock on Wikipedia but it sounds like they’re still trying to figure out a direction for the band.
Lead vocals Peter Liddle at times seemed too focused on singing with an affected voice, with the strongest songs — for me — when they were closer to the Doves sound. Although doing post show research and seeing that he’s Norwegian helps temper my assessment, I still stand by it. Scott Miller, the bassist, seemed really excited on stage but strangely “puppy-like”.
This video, “No Rest”, has the most hits on Youtube, it’ll be the one I share.
I’ve previously noted I’m getting to the age where I appreciate one opening act on a weeknight. Or at least I’m that busy these days. So I was glad to see Bowerbirds on next. I knew a little bit about them, having listened to them on Rdio after spying them on an upcoming sign. Philip Moore handles most of the vocals, with Beth Tacular the alternative lead. I thought Mark Paulson did a great job on backing vocals and playing a number of instruments. That seemed a theme, with people constantly shifting positions. Not sure who the back up strings was, but I felt her play was also strong.
While Moore also has a distinct singing style, it didn’t have the same forced quality. They played a number of tracks that I recognized including “Teeth” (which Olivia had on her PDP11 mix, Hawaii Five O), “Northern Lights”, and, the below, “In Our Talons”.
I thought that the sounds were distinct enough depending on whether Moore or Tacular had lead, that long term might see the emergence of two bands. Though when the core of a band is a relationship, it’s gotta be a sticky proposition.
Overall, I enjoyed the set. They won’t blow you away but if you’re in the mood for some American roots/folk, you should check them out. Any band who gets a Take Away Show deserves a listen.