The Null Device
New Buffalo/Laura McFarlane/Letraset @ Pony
Tonight I went to Pony to see the electropop show they had. It was pretty doovy. First up, Letraset
went on, and played a set of experimental electronics; there wasn't much in the way of vocals as far as I can recall, though Nicole did play trombone alongside the filtered glitches.
Then Laura McFarlane
(of Ninetynine) played a solo set. She started with a jazzy number on vibraphone, her vocals infused with a smoky sorrow, and then went on to perform various songs (mostly from the Ninetynine back-catalogue and/or their upcoming album) on some Casio keyboards and a guitar. She totally rocked; her vocals alternated between the heartbreakingly fragile and an almost fearsome intensity, and she got surprisingly much dimension and expression from a table of Casiotone keyboards.
Then New Buffalo, aka Sally Russell, came on,
with her two analogue keyboards, vintage drum machine and guitar, and performed a pretty nice set. In one of the newer songs she kept changing between 4/4 and 6/8 time, which was pretty nifty. Towards the end, Laura joined her on vibraphone, which worked fairly well.
All in all, it was a good night; though I've never seen Pony as packed as this. Getting around was somewhat of a challenge.
(Btw, apparently New Buffalo are recording in LA soon, paid for with EMI money. I hope that they don't try to make her into the next Danielle Spencer or something, and that her album remains quirky, naïve and left-of-centre, rather than becoming slickly-polished commercial-radio fodder.)
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