Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Frightened Rabbit, James Murphy @ The Caves

Frightened Rabbit, then James Murphy, at The Caves, Edinburgh, 21 Sep (****)

live review for the skinny

The underlit crags of The Caves' interior make it a uniquely beautiful setting to watch live music in; a venue where gazing at the walls isn’t necessarily indicative of a pharmaceutical malfunction. Unfortunately, the height of the main chamber and all those rough edged surfaces seem to throw Frightened Rabbit’s sound around tonight: muddled within each other, each instrument is difficult to pick out. Still, Selkirk’s finest are in top form, particularly in the storming self-deprecation of The Modern Leper and Keep Yourself Warm’s massive, pounding finale. Half an hour’s just not enough.

We’re staring at the walls again as James Murphy gets his disco-not-disco DJ set underway, but only because we never knew a projected image of a smiling child could look so disturbing. Eventually Murphy gets into a groove with the crowd and we don’t let it go. The clattering beats and alien vocals of Liquid Liquid’s version of White Lines is an early highlight, showcasing the leftward bent of Murphy’s choices tonight; an extended but restrained mix of the Bee Gee’s You Should Be Dancing is by far the most mainstream it gets. We are, brothers Gibb, can’t you see? Nobody’s looking at the huge gurning faces now: we’re splaying our feet and arms, singing along with Ceronne, and wishing that this wasn’t a bloody school night.

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