Dylan Carlson - The Left Bank, Leeds - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Dylan Carlson - The Left Bank, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating:9 Release Date:2012-09-16

There's something about the onset of autumn and gigs in big, old churches that works a treat. The Left Bank is turning out to be a pretty special venue, decked out in fairy lights and with the kind of acoustics that only come from sound bouncing around a particularly large building. Wrapped up and clutching a beer, we sit down on benches to watch Earth main-man Dylan Carlson.

Before this, however, we are treated to a set from Elizabeth. Despite the name, Elizabeth is actually Andy Abbott from Leeds noise-makers That Fucking Tank, although what he produces here is a vastly different proposition. The stage is set with pedals and effects, and things start with some ambient, choral sounds reverberating around the room. This is only briefly interrupted by my phone ringing (very embarrassing). Abbot builds up layers of soothing sounds before picking up his guitar and adding the cherry on top of a particularly tasty cake. The set is one long piece which transports the audience to somewhere quite beautiful and unique.

Tonight Dylan Carlson is performing a set of solo material with drummer Rogier Smal. There's also an Earth track and some surprise cover versions. Carslon is quietly spoken and relaxed as he sits down to take us through some of his more recent musical excursions. We get some stunning renditions of tracks which appeared on the Latitudes Sessions album, including a loose reading of lute piece 'The Faery Round' and the gorgeous 'La Strega and the Cunning Man in the Smoke'. Without the vocals which appear on the recorded versions of these tracks, they slip even more effortlessly into his other material. A captivating guitarist with a thoroughly distinctive style.

Smal provides engaging accompaniment . He has quite a different style to that of Earth's Adrianna Davies, adding a jazzy vibe to proceedings. While Earth's material is known for its slow, heavy pace some of tonight's tracks take Carlson in whole new directions. There's a new song called 'Dutch Courage, Swedish Regret' (written while on tour) which bounces along with rock 'n' roll vigour.

Carlson's a hard man to pin down; one song is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials while another turns out to be a Bon Jovi cover (no, really!). All of this is carried off with the kind of casual authority that comes from being genuinely well-honed, talented musicians. Inbetween tracks you could hear a pin drop as Carlson tunes up. It's a set whih immerses every one of us.

A special venue and a special musician; an extremely good night.

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Nice Eulogy. I initially read the footnote statement as "Edgar, this is little comfort to us" which I thought was amusing irony. Another of the pioneers to go.

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I remember being blown away the first time I heard Phaedra. I couldn't believe it was made in '74.

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I just read that it sold really poorly in Germany but earned six gold records elsewhere

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Yeah I initially read it that way too.

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