Cate Le Bon - Leaf, Liverpool - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Cate Le Bon - Leaf, Liverpool

by Bob Coyne Rating:10 Release Date:2012-07-08

There’s something pretty awesome about the Welsh accent; it’s what also drew me to Super Furry Animals all those years ago. It almost sounds European when sung and is probably just one of the reasons why Cate Le Bon's often compared to Nico. Another reason: there’s a timeless quality to these songs. If you didn’t know, on first listen you may ask if you’ve stumbled across a lost classic.

Le Bon’s music has been described as psych-folk but it leans more towards the psych than the folk side and that can only be a good thing. Last year’s Mug Museum was one of the top albums of the year and most of it gets an airing tonight. She opens with the gorgeous 'No God', followed by the title track from her second album, CYRK.

There’s some very shy, mumbled ‘hello'-type audience interaction and then it’s mostly back to a cold, ice maiden stare. Just the way it should be. Wouldn’t it be great if more artists gave off that aura of being a higher being?

Possibly the two best tracks from Mug Museum follow: 'Are You With Me Now' and 'I Can’t Help You'. What’s obvious by this point is that Cate and band are even better live than on record. Sometimes that can be misread as an insult but, based on the strength of Mug Museum, it shows just how good this performance is.

'Duke, Mirror Me' and 'Sisters' follow. Around this point the keyboard stops working (which I’m not supposed to mention). It doesn’t spoil the flow of the gig at all and gives me a chance to wander around the venue for a better spot, away from the idiots who have talked almost all of the way through. Leaf is a great venue, the PA is near perfection but a little quiet. Between songs you can hear the open mic night downstairs. Still, it’s just the right size for an intimate gig.

There’s a few more tracks. 'Wild' is simply stunning but it’s 'Cuckoo Through the Walls' which really shines. It is pure Velvet Underground & Nico.

Cate Le Bon is simply the most talented female songwriter right now. Catch her before she heads back to her new home in the US, or buy Mug Museum and play it to death like I have.

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