Review: Alessi’s Ark at the Camden Barfly

I think if you go back to back with an absolutely brilliant, all round fantastic show, it can make it slightly harder to impress. I got there at 8.15 and waited for Adam outside the venue. Camden is a pretty interesting place with lots of interesting people to people-watch. When we went in the downstairs area of the Barfly was absolutely jam packed full. I had my back pack with my camera and lenses and stuff to take home with me after the show, which made everything even more awkward. We finally were let up and got a space at the front but at the right of the stage (which later proved to be an epic fail). 

I don’t really like to write negative things in my blog, but the first band were absolutely terrible, the worst band I’ve seen all year. They’re called The No Sorrows and are from our very own London. They played such tedious, boring, generic, TERRIBLE ‘music’, and they took themselves really seriously, especially the singer. Also, I think if you have a singer that does not play any instruments, surely it is their duty to actually be able to sing? His voice was awful. When he introduced a song with ‘I have to sing high on this one’ I just died a little inside. End rant.

After the change over it was time for Alessi. We saw a band setting up with a banjo and ukulele during the change over, we assumed there was going to be another support band, but when Alessi joined them on stage we realized this must be her band. She came to the mic and said ‘this is the Ark’. It all made sense now! When I saw Alessi last time I was really stunned and amazed at just how fantastic her performance was. It was her alone and her voice was brilliant and there was lots of quirky, endearing in between song banter, as well as a really nice cosy atmosphere. I think because the Barfly was packed full with a really mixed crowd (tickets were free via the Time Out website), some of that warm atmosphere was lost here. Alessi didn’t play for very long. She herself was fantastic, I just feel her band let her down and took away the subtlety of her songs, which is what I liked so much last time I saw her. Especially on The Horse, one of the members of The Ark tried to sing Jake Bellows’ part. If you’ve heard the studio version or have ever listened to Neva Dinova you will know Jake has a pretty strong, deep voice. The guy who sang his part live failed epically. Photography wise it was a nightmare, I was stuck in one spot (the ‘rock’ was there in the centre!), Alessi’s guitar head obscured her face most of the time and the lights were bad. Overall, everything was a bit disappointing. Perhaps that’s partly my fault because I get so excited about shows, and maybe because Frida was so all-roundly spectacular the day before it perhaps seemed a little less good in comparison. It also might be because it was just a free show and not an Alessi headliner, that something was missing. Nonetheless, Alessi’s voice was great and she was brilliant, just overall something was missing. I’m still looking forward to seeing her with Mumford and Sons in March, and I still think she is one of the most talented musicians in London at the moment. We decided not to stay for VV Brown, so left around 10pm. It was a very brief thing, but I can’t complain- it was free. Listen to Alessi on Myspace, she’s wonderful.

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One Response to Review: Alessi’s Ark at the Camden Barfly

  1. skopje February 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Good review, tell it like it is….

    I often feel its a shame when you fall in love with an acoustic artist, and then they get overproduced on the album against their will.

    Acording to rumours allesis album only has 3 or 4 songs with full production, and 8 other songs in true alessi style. I do like the production on horse, so i’m sure her album will be cool


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