Vetiver, By The Sea: Mojo, Liverpool

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San Fran’s Vetiver provide the perfect accompaniment for a hot, sultry June evening. Getintothis’ Jamie Bowman finds much to quench his thirst.


There is something about gigs held on hot, sultry June nights.
That first sip of cold beer, after arriving at the venue while it’s still daylight on a Friday evening is one of music’s special feelings and Vetiver provide a perfect soundtrack.
Since their far freakier debut album seven years ago, permanently hat-wearing singer/songwriter Andy Cabic has moved steadily towards the middle of the road, with new album The Errant Charm mining a seam of gorgeous melodies, muted drums and finger picking guitar, that sound delightful in the Mojo‘s intimate, but not stifling surroundings – “nicer than the Barfly” as Cabic puts it.
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Where sometimes, Cabic’s delicate slickness could be accused of creating aural wallpaper, live his band are a different proposition, as his history making far weirder sounds for the likes of Tussle and Devendra Banhart attests.
Sara Vesprille provides some jazzy vintage keys to proceedings, while Cabic’s jangly flourishes and the layered harmonies evoke a nicer Fleetwod Mac, without the affairs and cocaine.
Wonder Why sounds like a palpable hit with its bright guitar and dynamic drumming – ‘dynamic’ is not a verb you would normally associate with Vetiver, but live there’s steely determination in Cabic’s delivery that counterparts the lazy, hazy feel of their records.
As shown by their wonderful covers album of a few years ago, Thing of the Past, Vetiver is not a band to obscure their roots. There’s an undoubted West-Coast feel to proceedings with the band acting as a collision point for rock, folk, psych and country, which is why it’s such a pleasant surprise when they pull out a stunning cover of eighties Antipodeans The Go-BetweensStreets of Your Town.
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With it’s sunny, gorgeous harmonies contrasted starkly by Grant McLennan‘s lyrics concerning domestic abuse, the song neatly sums up the light and shade present in Cabic’s own band, who should appeal to far more than the fair weather fan.
Earlier in the evening, Liverpool’s By The Sea were in keeping with the evening’s sunny shades delivering a harmony-packed set of jangles.
Pictures by Joe Wills.

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