Review: Peter Broderick at The Social

This is a show I booked because I was free, it was very cheap and (in warmer weather) was in walking distance. It was too chilly for me so I took the tube there and arrived at 7.25. The doors were supposedly at 7 but this was not so, so I stood in the lobby and picked up the new issue of Stool Pigeon.

After 5 minutes they let me in and I went and took a seat at a table. I noticed Emmy was in this issue so I skipped to that page. The article was obviously very biased (Emmy writes for Stool Pigeon) but it was good. She talked about how there’s so much pressure for artists to hurry hurry hurry and become ‘the next Amy Winehouse/Duffy/Adele‘ so she took her time and chose to self release. I think it paid off.

The Social is a pretty strange venue. It’s very long and narrow and cluttered with tables and chairs. If you’re at the front it can be a pretty intimate show but if you arrive late then you will see absolutely nothing from your standing point. Unless an unstoppable force prevents me, I will usually be there near enough on time so this is not a problem for me. 

The first band were called Trimdon Grange Explosion. They had a song about a mining disaster. Adam and I thought they were a bit of a pub/dad band. After a short change it was Hush Arbors. Adam has seen the band before and said that they were very boring. They looked like they could be good, they had all the right elements, so I was pretty keen to hear their set. They had a new female vocalist/drum beater and the frontman had a new beard, these are surely good additions to any band. I thought it started off pretty well, the more upbeat songs were good, but by the end of the set I was getting tired and bored so I opted to sit down and eat some food I had brought instead.

After a while setting up his complex array of cables and instruments, Peter Broderick began. The 21 year old Efterklan/Horse Feathers muti instrumentalist was utterly charming. He said hello to the crowd, standing up and raising his voice so everyone could hear. He had a piano, violin, strange little guitar, musical saw and a few little toy type instruments.  He uses a loop pedal to make really dense, layered songs by himself, which is impressive to watch live. The point at which I had a ‘wow this guy is amazing’ moment was during the song Below when at the end of the song he layers his vocals and in a really epic, beautiful way, you can hear the song on his Myspace. He did a song with a musical saw, which was brilliant, although I would have liked to have seen him use it more. He made a few mistakes during the set, grinning and shaking his head after each one. For the penultimate song he did lots of layered talking and looping our clapping, it was wonderful and light hearted. He had a swirly pink instrument that he waved around his head (and nearly decapitated Adam with) that made an eerie noise. After he finished the set he exited to the bathroom, there was nowhere else to go (no backstage, and the side of the stage was blocked with people). We all clapped for an encore, somebody came out of the bathroom, but alas it was not Peter but a confused looking girl. The audience laughed and Peter soon appeared. He played a final song and told us an anecdote about some t-shirts he had made for £9. Whereas the first two sets dragged Peter’s set went by really fast. I would love to see him play again, and I would recommend catching him if you get the chance.

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