Low Anthem, Secret Garden Gathering: Kazimier, Liverpool

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The Low Anthem bring understated marvel to a sell-out Kazimier, Getintothis’ Alan O’Hare captures the action on a night were you could genuinely hear a pin drop.


The organ is playing gospel. The bass and horns are humming like Muscle Shoals soul and Ben Knox Miller is attempting to rip Sam Cooke from his throat.
The Low Anthem have decided to encore with Down There By The Train and a rapt Kazimier is enthralled.
As they have a been all night. A great song, sung by a great singer and everyone’s happy. It nearly wasn’t like this though.
The gig had started with a couple of lengthy, sparse tunes that hung on Miller‘s reverb-drenched electric guitar and seemingly whatever instruments were to hand.
The rest of the band swapped guitars, bass and percussion like kids with football stickers in the school playground and the evening felt shapeless.
That all changed with an electrifying take of Boeing 737, from under-rated fourth album, Smart Flesh.
The gig took off and we didn’t look back. After a couple of bone-shakers, it was back to the ethereal tunes, but now the crowd were ready for them. Matter Of Time and Burn, both featuring amplified xylophone and bowed guitar, were delights and singer Miller decided to enjoy himself and banter with the crowd.

This could be the worst we’ve ever played,’ he said with a mischievous grin on his face that told the real tale. ‘Give us our money back then,’ came the shout from the crowd. Wrong city for false modesty our kid…
We returned to louder territory with a frightening, Tom Waits-esque take on This God Damn House and the night was rocking.
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Low Anthem live at the Kazimier
The big hitters came next and didn’t disappoint. First up was the gentle strum of Charlie Darwin – complete with both wonderful high and low harmonies from Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Adams.
Then we had the big sing-a-long of To Ohio – possibly one of the most beautiful tunes of the last decade. It was gorgeous.
The Low Anthem could well be one of the best bands of the last few years. We just hope the singer wants them to be one of the best of the next decade too…

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Secret Garden Gathering live at Kazimier
Earlier, Secret Garden Gathering kicked the night off with a short, beguiling set.
Weaving an enchanting psych-folk spell, the five-piece flirt with PJ Harvey and The National before settling somewhere nearer to Fleetwood Mac, the yearning vocals of frontwoman Toots la Belle floating on a sea of subtle harmonies and melancholy melodies.
After a troubled year which saw drummer Jay overcome serious illness, the band were on fine form despite this being their first live outing for many a month. Standout tune Hiding Out will ensure they won’t be hidden for much longer.

Picture by Marie Hazelwood.
* Editor’s note: The seagulls outside were most impressed given their rapturous noises of approval after each song.

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