My Luminaries shine at South Street
By Linda Serck
Reading's premier alt-rockers My Luminaries have spent a year away from the gigging scene but made a triumphant return at a home town gig on Saturday 8 November 2008.
See photos of the night here:
I look around me when My Luminaries take to the stage and I beam. South Street arts centre is ab-so-lutely rammed for the Reading band's first gig in a year.
All the nay-sayers who lament the local music scene in Reading is dying merely had to scan the venue with me to see how very wrong they are.
Samantha Marais from Carnival (C) Adam Ososki
Amid the whoops and the bundled shadowy figures cupping pints of beer is an communal sense of welcome. It's a welcome back to the band who tonight return with an overwhelming glow; a band who've progressed from writing great tunes and performing them with verve into a mature perfectionist alt-rock outfit that let the songs do the talking.
The addition of Simon Jones, who stands behind a pyramid of keyboards, a xylophone, a glockenspiel and more; and cellist Angelique, adds that extra thread that delicately weaves into known tracks such as burgeoning lament Parasol, shimmeringly dark Order Of The Chaos and the exhilerating The Sound Of Music.
We are also greeted with new tracks Homewrecker, Heads Will Roll, Ambition and gig opener The Firemen.
Ending with two acoustic numbers in the encore, frontman James Ewers harnesses our utmust attention with every heartfelt note, especially with final track Clementine, inspired by fellow Readingite Kate Winslet in the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.
They leave the stage triumphant, and an audible sigh of disappointment reigns when the lights come back on.
Working on their debut album as I write, I'll be first in the queue when it's - finally - released.
Tim Baggott from Fox Cubs (C) Adam Ososki
Carnival and Fox Cubs
Before My Luminaries' headline set they've chosen two bands as part of the new South Street arts centre nights, where notable bands curate the evening and choose who's on the bill.
The first is probably the most prestigious warm-up band for a local gig night EVER. Carnival is touted as a British folk super group, made up of former Verve guitarist Simon Tong, singer-songwriter Erland Cooper and folk songstress Samantha Marais.
Traditional British folk without the woolly socks, the band shine with dual vocal tracks and, indeed, a carnival of sounds as colourful as Samantha's long patchwork skirt.
Next up are Newbury's Fox Cubs, who blast forth a torrent of upbeat yet dark indie noir.
Not playing my favourite track, You'll Never Learn - a track which earned them a slot on the BBC Introducing stage at both Glastonbury and the Reading Festival this year - means a shade of disappointment from this reviewer, but otherwise the electro Killers element and the non-stop energy of this band makes it unsurprising they're appearing on Channel 4's JD Set music show mid-December.
last updated: 11/11/2008 at 14:05