Home > News & Reviews > Jessica Bailiff

Jessica Bailiff / Boduf Songs - Café Oto, London - 17th April 2013 (Live Review)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 Written by Ben Bland

Somebody once said to me that a good song is a story, not necessarily in terms of its lyricism but in terms of what it tells us about its creators. If that is the case then Mat Sweet (aka. Boduf Songs)’s life must be one, perhaps unsurprisingly, of subtly bubbling tension. His songs, even those given a full band treatment on recent album ‘Burnt Up on Re-Entry’, are reduced to bare bones at Café Oto tonight. Perched in front of a mostly seated crowd, Sweet’s voice cracks lightly above his gently reverberating guitar work. It’s a performance that verges into hauntingly insecure territory on more than one occasion.

Sweet later joins Jessica Bailiff on stage for her set. It’s a classic power trio setup; bass, guitar and drums. Despite this, however, Bailiff’s songs are rendered less potent than they are on record. Last year’s  ‘At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky’ was a slow-burning collection, not a million miles from both My Bloody Valentine and Red House Painters at the same time. In live performance, however the spacey, almost drone-like ambience of her, quite often very beautiful songs, is occasionally somewhat lost.

Part of this is down to the set-up. One sense that just Bailiff’s dreamy voice and her guitar would provide a more suitable effect than the style she has chosen. Bass and drums dominate the mix; the guitar is reduced to being barely audible at points. What does remain is Bailiff’s wonderful voice, which genuinely soars as delightfully here as it does on record. Even if there is an awkward delivery to some of her material on this occasion, then, some of her songs at least are still allowed to shine brightly.

‘At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky’ is out now via Kranky.

‘Burnt Up on Re-Entry’ is out now via Southern.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >