Okkervil River live at Oran Mor, Glasgow, 9/11/08 (****)
live review for the skinny
Okkervil River's greatest moment yet is the seventh song of their fourth album, Black Sheep Boy. Halfway through tonight’s show, Will Sheff ushers his bandmates off-stage so he can perform "A Stone" almost-solo, so he can cultivate lumps in all our throats by explaining, through perfectly poised poetry, how baffling spurned affection can be; because love doesn’t behave as it should. Then, a trumpet heralds the arrival of something in my neck: so that’s what that expression means. But let’s not forget the overall quality of that album, nor the two since, and don’t mistake Okkervil’s smarts for rigidity: they’re more often flamboyant than reflective tonight. "Unless It‘s Kicks"’ riff is inspired by Bo Diddley‘s thrusting rhythms, and Sheff on-stage is a snaking hip and a swollen lip away from Mick Jagger; so they can rock, alright; but it’s "A Stone" which makes this show special.