After seeing strings wonder-kid Pallett perform several yeas ago in a sold out gig in a dingy 100 capacity venue in Bristol, there was a part of me that never needed the pleasure again because that experience was so freaking perfect and it would be mean to put that much pressure on an individual. I got the feeling that half the crowd gathered in the astonishing Gate venue were there knowing his work as Final Fantasy, and the other half were there on word of mouth purely on the weight of his association with acts like Arcade Fire. Either way, the crowd were led by their surroundings (seated and very formal) and gave Pallett the silence and absorbed response he deserved.
Having seen a string only set before, the addition of keys didn’t sit so well with me. Normally a loop station is used to counter the stripped down curse of touring budgets (or lack of) and without suggesting that Pallett doesn’t use it with full effect and artistic license I do wonder if someone with his virtuoso talent for the strings really needs another (forgive me) string to his bow? His earlier works really showed an understanding of how his voice and violin interact and the more he adds to these, the less the impact of his immense talent is felt. I’m in no doubt that this is only a natural progression that follows on from his ever increasing notoriety (he played the main stage at Field Day the afternoon prior to this gig. I saw the gig, it was ‘ok’. This explains the lack of review for the two support acts. I arrived just at the end of Mariee Sioux which was not what I needed to hear after a crazy ‘don weekend..) It would be foolish to expect his performance to remain the same forever but I’m hoping that as he wants to expand his sound, as he hinted at this evening, that he enlists some equally talented musicians to help him out so he can focus on his forte, that violin playing.
Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that the audience, (myself included) were left enriched for seeing this performer bare his music to us, especially those seeing him for the first time. For those who saw him play the post-gig gig in the car park, it was more akin to his earlier live performances and to see that contrast really made the night. I took the decision to go to the other C P – that would be Cash Point ‘cos I wanted to grab the 2 limited 10”s (sucker!) I did however get a chance to thank Owen as I got back for playing my request “do that one that goes “had a good time anyway” .. Hang on, don’t listen to me – I don’t even know the titles of these songs!