Daughn Gibson, Brokeback: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool


Daughn Gibson played to a sparse crowd but still gave it his all, Getintothis’ Liam Fay made himself comfortable and witnessed a display from the new rude boy in town.

It is Sunday night and at the East Village Arts Club a tall, handsome man stands in a cold, cold room that is bereft of people.
He’s adorned in a camo vest with the words ‘Private Rude’ printed across his burly chest. He sways and gurns. He is Daughn Gibson and he’s here to get weird.
Unfortunately there wasn’t too much to raise the eyebrows at. Save for a couple of tracks the set seems to move along without incident, without something to cling to. There just wasn’t anything that made this gig stand out.
Except for the minuscule crowd. It’s been a while since Getintothis has actually been to a gig where the turn out has been so small. Not counting the snappers, those reviewing it and those on the guest list we calculated that less than half a dozen have paid to get in here.
Sure it was a Sunday night and a chilly one at that but the lack of support shown for an artist coming from the States touring an album of considerable weight is staggering, saddening and unnerving. Frankly it angers us. We wouldn’t have blamed Gibson had he got off early, but not before smashing a few things and maybe stealing an ornate beer glass. The fact that he put in any effort is highly commendable.
Daughn Gibson and band member at East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
The man of the evening appears and noticing the crowd, or lack thereof, asks a question of us: “Do you guys mind if we fuck up and make errors?” There’s a vague murmur which he takes for a yes and then he cracks on.
There is nothing truly noteworthy about the set from the start and with the vocals never being loud enough to let Gibson’s lyrics punch through and spin his gritty, squirming yarns things blend and get boring.
He immediately signals for them to be pushed up. There is barely any change. It is only until he plays Mad Ocean, a highlight from his magnificent second album Me Moan, that things get going.
It’s like taking a stroll through a dense fog on a moor with a bagpipe-esque, haunting riff following you. You can barely hear Daughn though and it’s a real shame. He does his best to manufacture a vibe and an atmosphere though.
Daughn Gibson at East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
Standing with his mic stand between his legs like some sort of phallic symbol, he sneers and he sways.
There’s a jaunty, filthy, half-threatening-half-seducing swagger about him. He is a David Lynch creation. He is a caricature of a front man, like a Spitting Image puppet.
Kissin’ On The Blacktop is the next most notable track. Yet again Daughn’s vocals are indistinguishable against the wall of electronic noise and slide guitar.
This dirty, countrified song with a peach of a slide guitar riff is zipped through leaving barely enough time to savour it. The whole evening feels like this.
There is only twelve of us in the room so you can forgive him for wanting to get this over and done with. He does excite one man though who dances like a baby velociraptor being tasered.
However, we can’t be too critical of Daughn Gibson. While he didn’t wow, this performance certainly wasn’t a terrible one. It was just sort of ok. There were some good moments but they got swept along all too quickly.
The fact that you couldn’t really hear Daughn’s sumptuously deep vocals had a massive impact. They’re deep and snarling like a canyon filled with handsome, devastatingly chiselled wolves. This in turn meant that the stories being told could not be heard. We yearned for more but sadly it never really materialised.
Brokeback at East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
Earlier on Brokeback opened up proceedings and treated an empty room to gorgeous, heady, melodic oceans of guitar.
There are no vocals to their set and there doesn’t need to be as each track is so laden with mesmerising craft that you get swept away.
The best way of describing the set would be like a dirty, romantic western. In parts dramatic, in others sexy. Always intoxicating.
There’s something of a Division Bell-era Pink Floyd about Brokeback.
Couple this with a sinister Americana feel and the result is something else. Their latest album, Brokeback and Black Rock, is definitely worth giving a spin.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Simon Lewis.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Getintothis‘ Top 50 Albums that didn’t make it into the Getintothis Top 50 albums of 2013.
Getintothis reviews Arcade FireThe Reflektors: Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
Getintothis on 10 Bands 10 Minutes: Michael Jackson set for Kazimier new year party.
White Denim zip up for May date at East Village Arts Club.