Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Deaf Institute - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Deaf Institute

by Miz DeShannon Rating: Release Date:

It's all in the name really: Casiotone - melancholy keyboard music - for the Painfully Alone; simple, bedroom-made songs full of love, longing and life as a shy and retiring individual. After 13 years 'being' Casiotone, Owen Ashworth is calling it a day. This is the last tour of the CFTPA songs, his final ever gig being on December 5 this year (the 13 anniversary of his first ever gig), and from what can be seen from the turnout at the Deaf Institute, he will be sorely missed. Never having experienced CFTPA before, listening to the basic clunky sounds took a while to get used to - more of that chip-tune nonsense, not very musically adept, all on top of a great but pre-recorded bassline…

Half-way through the gig, Ashworth's lyrics began to sink in. Apparently heavily reliant on The Smiths (quite obviously on 'Toby Take a Bow'), he builds empathetic and strangely alluring songs, which poetically are quite wonderful. The simple keyboard sounds and his fumbling around the various drum machines and devices wired together in front of him becomes endearing, and on stage it all has the feel of a modern, more pop Silver Apples.

Songs from seven albums, nine EPs and numerous collaborations are squeezed into just over an hour's set, with Ashworth's minimal melodies and heavy chords becoming less tedious than initially felt. It's still all quite twee, and the most avid fans seem to be female students who've probably not been around for even half of the years that CFTPA have and look the sort to still have bunny rabbit bed-spreads. But there are more knowledgeable and avid fans in the crowd, people who have become more absorbed in the poetic side of Ashworth's work, and appreciate the lyricism rather than the pretty-pretty jingles on the keyboards.

Here's wondering what the next project will sound like… Hopefully he's a happier chap after all this time, and will have a different viewpoint on life to write about other than loneliness.


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