Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: Duncan Everson (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
On a freezing Thursday night in Bristol, The Pineapple Thief returned from mainland Europe. Supported by Crystal Seagulls, who recently toured with Rival Sons, this was going to be an n interesting night.
The first thing that struck me about Crystal Seagull’s music was the intricacies of the drumming and the bass lines being played. All very impressive stuff, it’s just a shame more people weren’t there from the start to witness it, resulting in a very muted sounding response from the crowd. There were no guitar histrionics from frontman John Armstrong but that’s not their bag, they’re more of a song based band. At times sounding quite indie and at others they had quite a Queens Of The Stone Age vibe about them, showing the different sides of the band nicely. Special mention must go to Matt on lead guitar who stood in at the last minute due to illness and did an excellent job and also seemed to have a great time. I’ll be keeping an eye/ear out for these guys in the future.
John Armstrong – Lead Vocals/Bass
Jim Lawton – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Elliott Whitty (Matt Bray on the night) – Backing Vocals/Lead Guitar
Ben Heliczer – Drums
By the time The Pineapple Thief take to the stage, the venue had filled to near capacity and so there was a healthy roar from the crowd to greet their arrival. After playing part of “What Have We Sown” as an intro, they launched straight into “Wake Up The Dead” and the music combined with the lights and smoke effects created quite a subtle and immersive atmosphere. “Alone At Sea” followed in quick succession and I began to notice I couldn’t really hear Steve Kitch on keyboards at all. Unfortunately, that is my overriding memory of the song and it’s always a distraction when you know something is missing. My lack of engagement, I’m sure, lead to me becoming overly critical as it gave my mind time to wander rather than get lost in the music as atmospheric work like this demands. As far as I could tell however, everyone else was having a great time and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The songs that worked the best for me were the ones where it was just Bruce Soord singing and playing on his own, such as “Part Zero”. When the bass, drums and keyboards were also playing they never seemed to add to the sound, rather they were a distraction. The bass was particularly noticeable because it was so dominant in the mix – far too much for my taste. It wasn’t until “Nothing At Best” that it really worked for me as that song has a simple but effective driving bass riff that worked really well with the rockier and noisier guitar of that song. Unfortunately though, that was the last song of the evening.
This was ultimately a really disappointing gig for me as I had been looking forward to seeing some of the new “Magnolia” album being played live as I had enjoyed listening to it repeatedly in the days coming up to the gig. I do feel that I was the only one to come away with that feeling though, as I didn’t see anyone leave before the end and everyone else really seemed to enjoy themselves. Perhaps we should do this again next time, The Pineapple Thief.
Bruce Soord – Vocals/Guitar
Jon Sykes – Bass/Backing Vocals
Steve Kitch – Keyboards
Dan Osborne – Drums