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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 107 - 06/22/05

This is Your Captain Speaking
+ Because of Ghosts + Sunwrae Ensemble

The Rob Roy, Melbourne, AUS, 21.5.05

Tortoise, though often maligned, have done one thing right: they've ushered in a renaissance for the vibraphone. Previously a jazz staple, the vibraphone is now used to jaw-dropping effect by modern instrumental bands who conjure beautiful shimmering textures. The Sunwrae Ensemble are fronted by the considerable talents of musician, composer and vibraphonist extraordinaire Rae Howell. Their set was mesmerising in its prettiness and simplicity.

Because of Ghosts were my main draw for the evening. The first time I saw them supporting Tortoise they performed beautifully; then, a daytime slot at the Festa El Cheapo was lacklustre. Here they played a great set, stirring some moody, growling grooves, lightened by the post-rock staple, the glockenspiel. I could live without the glockenspiel, but the roar they mustered from guitar, bass and drums was hearty and moving.

This is Your Captain Speaking headlined, launching their debut album Storyboard. They must have been very nervous - their performance was a little leaden, and the compositions, though pretty, lacked vitality and dynamism. On occasions it was a little too reminiscent of some ungodly prog rock, or even Mark Knopfler's soloing, but there was enough melodic interest to suggest their CD could be a grower.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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