Review: Final Fantasy at Union Chapel

Here is a photographer-y bit, skip ahead if you are not interested. The tickets said doors were at 8, but it turns out they were earlier. We were too busy in Nandos nomming chicken to know (!). All the good pews were taken. Bobbles and I split up for Cryptacize and both got good spots. The light for Final Fantasy was horribly dark, which made photos very hard. I’m not happy with any of my FF photos, which is a shame because Owen is so photogenic. Ho hum!

The first act was called Castlemusic, from Toronto. She had a great voice which suited the chapel very well.

I was really rather excited to see Cryptacize again. Unsurprisingly, I loved them. Absolutely epic. Their latest record, Mythomania, has become one of my favourites of the year. They played songs from it and a couple from their previous record, Dig That Treasure, including Cosmic Sing Along (which was perfect) and Say You Will. The sound was spot on and swoon-worthy as ever. It’s pop music at its finest. I would have quite happily watched them play their entire back catalogue, they captivated my attention for the whole of their all too brief set. It should be noted that Galvanize was particularly beautiful in the gorgeous acoustics of Union Chapel.

After their set I happened to pass Chris on my way back to collect my bag (I just left it on the floor, full of all my stuff, by a pew on the other side of the church. Stupid.). He graciously accepted my geeky, adoring praise (I couldn’t help it) and asked how the Bowerbirds show I went to instead of their Brixton show was. He says they hope to be back in the fall, and I hope they are. Amazing band, listen to their records, go see them play. Only have good things to write about Cryptacize, one of the best bands I’ve seen in a while.

Then there was an interlude to allow people to buy tea and ice cream and the extortionately priced Kit Kats. Final Fantasy were brilliant. The violin was stunning. I couldn’t help but compare Owen to Andrew Bird, musically and thematically they aren’t really similar, but they both play gorgeous violin. As aforementioned, the lights were very low. This was to allow the projectionist who joined Owen to beam her wonderful creations around the church. Without a doubt, the best use of an over head projector that I’ve ever seen(!). Beautiful shapes and images, she was very talented. I won’t do it an injustice in trying to poorly articulate what she was doing… so I guess the only thing you can do is go see them live and witness it in person (though I’m sure youtube could probably help you out…). It was hypnotic and the perfect accompaniment to Owen’s music.

I didn’t really know what kind of setlist he would play, I don’t know much about him and I only casually track what he’s up to. He performed a few new songs as well as some favourites (which drew particularly large cheers) from He Poos Clouds. I was hoping he would play Ultimatum from 2008′s Plays To Please EP, but alas, he did not. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant set followed by two encores. Owen has an effortlessly soothing voice, which I love very much. Talented musician and unique songs which translated so well live. Go see him if you have the chance.

On the way out I saw Nedelle looking bored sitting by the merch table. I went over to say hi again and do some more gushing. I asked her about the Brixton show and said it was terrible, and then realized she got it mixed up with Brighton, and it was actually awesome. Lots of love for Cryptacize. Listen to them.

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One Response to Review: Final Fantasy at Union Chapel

  1. Paulo May 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Ugh, Castlemusic were awful. She could sing, but the songs were a bit of a random mess, especially any of her weird solos, the lyrics were bad, and she kept doing an annoying head shaking thing- which pretty much summed up how I was feeling about her.

    Cryptacize were a welcome change. I wasn’t wow’ed by them, but they were nice enough, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves (including the lady singer with her strange tattoo arm band). Maybe I’ll give them a go on emusic, but the snippets haven’t grabbed me yet.

    Final Fantasy was great. Was my second time of seeing him (first time was at Latitude, where it was super packed, and he had to play a shorter set as they were running late), and was just really impressive.

    (oh, and I’m enjoying Alessi’s Ark on Spotify, maybe I’ll have to buy the cd. I’ve seen snippets of her live (once ages ago at Adem’s Homefires Festival, and once at End Of The Road, but might be good to catch a whole gig after hearing the album).

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