Gig Review

Death Cab For Cutie
Plus Vita Voce
London, Brixton Academy
28th June 2006

Death Cab For Cutie    Viva Voce

We wandered through the streets of Brixton, heading for the Academy; trying no to make eye contact with anyone else. We wanted to at least wait until after the gig before being stabbed, that way we good go out on a high. We turned the corner, and to our amazement, nobody was there. However, as we approached, and looked down a side-street, we could see that the queue had been shifted off the main road, and trailed for as long as the eye could see.

So we wandered down this alley, past all the gig-goers with black hair and sweeping fringes, and settled at the back behind two girls, getting pissed to good old fashioned way with vodka and coke in plastic bottles. More and more people came to the back of the queue, reaching us and saying<

“Fuck, does this STILL go on?”
Well. Yes. It does. Clearly.

Seven o clock; the queue starts moving. We amble up the alley towards the doors, passing Hare Krishnas, beggars, and a whole variety of characters handing out leaflets for pubs and clubs you aren't going to come back to Brixton for.

The Brixton Academy have this thing where they filter guys and girls out separately, to get searched and all that. For some reason, a guy scanned my ticket, so I started walking through when a security bloke had a go at me. Then, in turn, his boss had a go at him. Tosser. I got frisked by a nine-foot black man, and then wandered on through.

I was late with purchasing a ticket for this gig, and so had got my hands on some unreserved seating tickets. When we got upstairs, I realised just how many seats there were. I had been here nine months earlier to see The Offspring, however, had never been, looked, or even glanced up at, the upper circle. Luckily, getting there early, meant that we had a better chance of getting a front seat. Sadly the immediate ones had been taken, so we plonked ourselves in the centre, sixth row from the edge of the balcony; just able to see the stage, flooded with red light.

When the first band EVENTUALLY came on, they were a two-piece. A guy and a girl. Vita Voce. I'd never heard of them, and still didn't catch their name until coming home and doing some research. Their opening song, was not only the best of their set, but was also ridiculously catchy. It was called Alive With Pleasure. The way the woman walked out with a small dress and high heels on, you didn't expect her to pick up an electric guitar and whack out a fair riff or two. But she did. And it was brilliant. And THEN, in later songs, you didn't expect her to go all Matt Bellamy and fart about with pedals, making ear-bleed-worthy screeches, and smacking the neck of her guitar for feedback, but indeed, yes, she did.

Anyway, yes, this first song. Very catchy riff, and then for the verses it broke down to a very gentle slower song. And her voice was very reminiscent of Queen Adreena, just considerably more refined.

After this song, a third member, another woman came on, and picked up an acoustic guitar. The first woman still on electric, and the man on drums. They all sung at points, soemtimes all together, and their songs weren't bad at all. Worth getting into I'd say. But nothing compared to their opening track. Loved it.

Throughout their set, the drummer also played an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, and for the final song, turned to a small keyboard next to him, and played and sung; which sounded similar to something by The Arcade Fire.

Their set finished to much applause; they had done very well, and then we sat and waited in anticipation for Death Cab.

All the lights went down.
This was it, kids.
Applause. Cheering. Screaming.

Two guys came on stage waving. One sat at the piano, one picked up a guitar. The stage was now glowing a violet colour. And then it started. The piano intro to Passenger Seat. A beautiful song, which merged effortlessly into Different Names For The Same Things, and then the rest of the band came on, to much cheering, for the end of the song.

Then, the New Year. What a song.

They played some songs off of earlier albums that I wasn't familiar with. But I could just sit back and admire their talent, and also, their amazing light show. There were four massive lights beaming out into the crowd, as well as the normal ones just shining down onto the stage, and some rigs at the back with flashing patterns light-screens. And in different songs and parts of songs these lights changed between white, blue, purple, and orange.

Back to the songs I knew. Title And Registration, one of my favourites. Then Soul Meets Body, to the audiences delight.

I can't remember the exact order of songs, but they played a few others I didn't know, and then classics like A Movie Script Ending and Company Calls.

For What Sarah Said, the singer went back to the piano to play through, and then once that had ended, walked over to pick up an acoustic guitar, to play, not only my favourite Death Cab song, but possibly the best received song of the night. I Will Follow You Into The Dark. Everyone was singing along. And I mean everyone. It was truly fantastic.

“I'll be the first to announce,” said the singer, “that this is our last gig under the name of Death Cab For Cutie.”
*Stunned silence.*
“Yeah, as of tomorrow we're all joining Babyshambles.”
*Unimpressed silence.*

I gave a chuckle. But it seems the crowd full of 12-year old emo girls hadn't quite developed a sense of humour.

“Okay that didn't work how I'd hoped.”

The next song was dedicated to some people, I can't remember who, but as it started, I nearly weed myself. We Looked Like Giants. Such an incredible song. At the end, as the song broke down, a second smalled drum-kit was brought onto the front of the stage, which the vocalist sat down at; before proceeding to have a “drum off” with the actual drummer. This went on for a while, it really was amazing; changing between heavy and soft beats, lights flashing.

And then they went off; to a standing ovation from us lot upstairs. My friends grabbed their stuff and turned to leave.

“Where are you going?” I asked.
“It's ended.”
“No it hasn't.”
“The lights haven't come on yet.”
“Wait and see. Stay.”

So they did, and after five minutes of cheering in darkness, the band returned.

“Told you so.”

A slow one; Transatlanticism, before ending on the brilliant Sound Of Settling.

“This really is our last one, thanks for coming.”

And THEN it was time to leave.
A brilliant gig basically.

I wasn't used to going to a gig like that where, you see a band that you can just sit and enjoy, or stand an enjoy for that matter. Most gigs involve a crowd throwing each other about, but that just wasn't really their style of music. Then again, as I'd said above, the crowd's average age did seem to be about twelve, and was full of technicolour girls; not really the sort to smash each other up.

Review by Thom

 Death Cab For Cutie

Ben Gibbard
Chris Walla
Nicholas Harmer
Jason McGerr
 Viva Voce

Kevin Robinson
Anita Robinson
 Band Related Links
Death Cab For Cutie Myspace
Viva Voce Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?