Acoustic: Beautiful sounds or dirty word?

Dominic Griffin at Gwdihw

Dominic Griffin at Gwdihw

I’m not entirely sure Nirvana knew what they were starting when they recorded Unplugged. Yes, there had been many acoustic acts before, and Dylan had propelled folk to the mainstream long ago, but since the session rock bands have queued up to do acoustic versions of otherwise heavy tracks at every possible opportunity (for a good ‘un, check out I’m Not Part of Me by Cloud Nothings).

On Thursday I checked out Dominic Griffin and Nanook of the North. I’ve seen Nanook a few times before, and their brand of ambitious, invigorating, melodic and expansive rock is something to behold.

Nanook of the North at Gwdihw

Nanook of the North at Gwdihw

I was massively intrigued as to how their sound would be reproduced in acoustic form. It turns out that the answer is massively well. The vocals flourished, and despite a reduction in the number of drums, there were some very strong beats on the go. The mix of electric and acoustic guitars made for a lovely contrast too. Check out their track Panda Eyes to hear how lush the opening minutes are before the heaviness kicks in (which is also fantastic).

I hadn’t heard Dominic Griffin before Thursday night, but he produces some gorgeous music. His voice occasionally reminds me a bit of Benjamin Francis Leftwich (with a touch more body), and with a band his music felt surprisingly full, especially so when elements like the drums were purposefully sparse. After his set I dutfully bought a copy of his Yangshuo EP  following the show, and whilst it’s not entirely representative of the full band sound, it displays the vulnerability to a tee.

So to answer the question of the title – I’ve seen many a duff acoustic act in my time that verges far too close to being middle of the road. But not on Thursday. Thursday was brill, and these dudes were awesome.

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About Dyfrig Williams

Music Bendigedig is a blog about the gigs I (Dyfrig Williams) get to go and see. I’m based in Cardiff, so most of the gigs I go to are here, with a few further afield. I don’t aim to be a critic – this is a music fan’s blog, written from that perspective.
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One Response to Acoustic: Beautiful sounds or dirty word?

  1. Pingback: Oxjam Line-up: Stronger than builder’s tea | Music Bendigedig

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