Peter Broderick, Tsukimono at Manchester Academy 3, 19/10/2010

Sorry for posting this so long after the event – as it is, my memories may not be so clear, so excuse the inaccuracies and forgotten moments.

Anyway, after a nice pint in The Oxford and a Subway at Subway, it was time to head over the road for another Peter Broderick gig at Manchester Academy 3. I’d previously seen him there about a year ago and it was a very good show, however, focussed too much on his vocal/guitar work rather than the piano/string work which I much prefer.

But first up was Tsukimono. Turns out he is a Swedish bloke with a beard called Johan. He opened up with a nice electronic drone piece that blended in field recordings and built up to a nice crescendo. After that, Peter Broderick joined him on stage which was a surprise.  They proceeded to play together a Tsukimono cover of a song written by Peter Broderick about Tsukimono. How intriguing. Apparently they both wrote songs about each other. And then both covered each others songs. They wanted a 7″ to be out in time for the tour. But it wasn’t. Looks like its coming out soon, under the title Peter Broderick and Johan G Winther on Johan G Winther and Peter Broderick. Anyway, back to the gig. I think Johan played a song by himself, which was dull, and Peter joined him for a final song, which was made better by Peter’s inclusion.

So after that intro, on to the main act. I was intrigued by the stand-up piano on stage – thinking it to be a sign that he would play more of my preferred side of his output – alas it was not to be. Indeed he played a similar feel of set to the last time he played in this venue. Lots of talking between songs, lots of singing, a bit of guitar, violin, piano, and this time I believe he also played a singing saw. He opened his set acapella with the first song off his recent “mini-album” release How They Are. It made for an interesting and arresting opening to the show. He followed this up my playing most of How They Are, interspersed with a few random songs. I quite dislike How They Are on CD (the only Peter Broderick release I don’t like), the songs lack proficiency and could be worked upon – apparently he recorded them all in one day. It shows and I feel its a disappointing release. However, live, Peter gave something extra to these songs and I found myself appreciating them. I still don’t like the recorded versions, which is odd as live he played them very straight as they are on the record. It must be Peter’s stage presence – he really wins over the crowd and draws your full attention to him.

Apart from the How They Are songs, Peter also did his usual loop pedal tricks, and his “I’m going to go into the middle of the crowd and play violin and sing unmicced and everyone can crowd around me”. In all, if you’ve seen him play before (which I have, even in the same venue), his gimmicks appeared a bit dull. Overall it was a really entertaining evening and I will probably go and see him again – I really really enjoy his recorded output – particularly the piano/strings work like the recently released Music For Congregation.

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