ETHER STATE/ NOW HE SINGS, NOW HE SLEEPS-
Tonight I feel like I'm attending a Hills Road Sixth Form production. That's probably because I am. And it's making me feel aged and irritable, not least because there doesn't seem to be a hot legal bloke in sight. So Now He Sings, Now He Sleeps, apart from having the most pretentious band name I have heard in a little while, are a surprisingly welcome breath of fresh air. An ambient blend of obvious influences, here are four lads who like listening to Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros, Radiohead and Elliot Smith and want you to know what became of it. Sweet and laidback, of course they need to practice their craft (notably perhaps introducing some kind of performance other than bantering with their mates in the audience) but the instrumentation particularly is very accomplished for their age. That and the exciting fact that Gadget from The Goonies plays violin for them. Worth checking out, if only for the rather attractive whippersnapper on singing and piano duty. My, if only I was ten years younger.
But seriously; it's great that this gig was put on this evening by the yoof of Cambridge. Which means that I am probably taking this reviewing process more seriously than they are (the children are our future, etc., etc.) Therefore, before I begin, could someone answer me the question if there is another band by the name of Ether State? Or have I just got confused? It would appear so. Because let's say that I was expecting something different from our final act. So much so that I was told by my saintly plus one not to write anything about them after all because I went into shock and started spouting the most unbelievable depletives. Not one to listen to anyone really, here is an edited version: by the second bar of Ether State's first song, I already wanted to hit the, er, bar. And the bassist. Call it a Paul McCartney moment. There's just something really annoying about him, isn't there? Maybe it's just too much for me to see young people enjoying themselves these days. So I only stayed for one song. Which was just your typical indie-rock track played badly (where was the "shimmering guitar" and the "extended percussion" they claim to use?) but, judging by the screams I could hear from the safety of the foyer, the friends assembled didn't care. Does the truth hurt? If you're brave enough to sit through a whole set, let me know. Rock and roll.
Thanks to Dan of Ether State for allowing me in to see them play. Sorry.