The old saying is if you stick to the middle of the road you get mowed down, and possibly made into some dubious taxidermy (the latter part may just be my addition).
The joy of being an alternative music fan is that you’re watching the alternative, so it’s not very often you end up watching bands that you’d normally see at a tricked up wedding.
Last Thursday I went to see Slowly Rolling Camera play at Clwb Ifor Bach. They’re a band I’ve been meaning to check out for a while, but because I’ve been a bit lazy (and their last gig in Cardiff sold out before I got a ticket) I haven’t managed to.
The signs weren’t good. The support bands were slick, to the point where the use of the word ‘soul’ was ironic. Vocal histrionics took the place of lyrics, and X-Factor style over substance took over from any semblance of feeling. Otis Redding begging for a bit of tenderness this was not.
At this point I was worried. If this was the starter, then the main course was going to be a shocker.
Except it wasn’t. If I’d sorted my life out and listened to them beforehand, I’d have known that whereas the support were defined by their genre, they were just starting points to Slowly Rolling Camera. There was a saxophone, but like every other element in the band, it was about subtlety. The support bands’ over-reliance on crisp high hats were replaced by rolling drums and off beats. All of a sudden there was a contrast in the songs, where both lyrics and music were given time to breathe. There was production and a MacBook, but it was the punctuation rather than the whole sentence.
And just in case you think I was alone in thinking they were awesome, pre-orders of their EP are flying out in record time. And their LP has been nominated for the Welsh Music Prize. Time for me to get myself in gear and get listening.