live review for the skinny
Shearwater @ The Captain's Rest, Glasgow, September 15
Shearwater's most recent two albums, Palo Santo and Rook, both benefit from a production aesthetic that values each quiet second equally with each loud second, forging a real sense of space. Unfortunately, tonight, something in the room making a noise like a camera film rewinding for the entire duration of the set makes it hard to appreciate the quiet moments so much. Still, that just means the songs have to hold our attention in more conventional ways, and they do. Jonathan Meiburg, formerly a member of Okkervil River, has a tremendous voice, that switches between a forceful yell and a tender falsetto, exemplifying Shearwater's dynamic strength. Opening number On The Death Of The Waters eventually builds into a swirling crescendo, but it's the song's delicate opening passage, as well as I Was A Cloud's exquisite unwinding, that really captivate this audience. The encore is a Talk Talk recreation: all things considered, it seems Mark Hollis is finally getting the idolisation he deserves.