Doveman, The Silent League, The King Of France, Alec Ounsworth & The Pelican Picnic
The Mercury Lounge is located in New York City where the Lower East Side meets the East Village, and it was just a short walk through the village from our rented studio apartment. We only caught one gig there, but what a gig it was, it seemed like a weeks worth of performance in one night.
We arrived at the venue in time to grab a brew at the long bar, wander through to the back stage room and find a place to sit on the floor (it seemed to be the thing to do) to catch the first act, Doveman, play a gentle set, almost reverently appreciated by the audience. The set was so well reviewed by Jerry Yeti that I need not say any more.
Next up were The Silent League and just how they managed to fit all 10 (?!) members of the band onto the relatively small stage without poking each other in the head with their instruments was an achievement enough in itself, although there was one guitar dropping incident. By this stage the crowd had thickened and it was time to stand up and enjoy a show comprised of some old tracks and many new orchestral pop songs, which the band have been busily rehearsing and recording. It was a set full of banter amongst the band and occasionally the audience. Great music, great musicianship and great fun indeed!
There was plenty of room on stage for the bass guitar-less three-piece that is The King Of France, although they managed to fill the stage and then more. Take equal parts guitar, keyboard and drums, add tongue (to later be inserted firmly in cheek) and a measure of quirky lyrics. Blend with a dash of tenuous vocal delivery, but with the ability to move easily from bass to falsetto, and a veritable truck load of “don’t seem to give a fuck what's cool” (these guys have no pretensions at all) and you’re almost there. Why aren’t The King Of France touring the world, playing in (much) bigger venues and selling truck loads of records? The room was very full by this stage with lots of moving heads and feet. “Woo Hoo!” I say. Highlight of the evening!!
The King of France have just released their debut album (that is if you don’t count the previous release “Salad Days” which is a selection of some of front man Steve Salad's pre-band recordings), “The King of France”
These guys were my find of the holiday. Long live the King(s)!!!
The final band for the night was many bloggers favorite, Alec Ounsworth, although not wearing his Clap Your Hands Say Yeah hat, despite apparent rumours to the contrary. Alec Ounsworth & The Pelican Picnic are another incarnation of Ounsworth’s, and they played a set of country/folk tinged pop to a slightly reduced crowd. Perhaps people had to work early the next day, or perhaps they were frustrated that it wasn’t a secret CYHSY gig after all? The sign out the front of the Mercury Lounge warned as much, but it was a well received set by those who remained and was an appropriate ending to an eclectic night of new, New York bands.
Brooklyn Vegan was at this gig as well, so if you want another perspective and some photos of the sets of Doveman, The King Of France or Alec Ounsworth & The Pelican Picnic, the links will get you there.
For some sounds, check out the band's websites:-
The Silent League
The King of France
Plus here are a few mp3's you don't even need to go searching for:-
The King of France - White Confection
The King of France - Mexico
Doveman - Honey
The Silent League - Breathe