Sympathetic Stupid

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Epicure @ The Corner

I've been a big fan of Epicure for a long time, and I still am. I think most of their recordings (except the patchy Airmail which is the really early stuff) are very good quality. And I've seen them live probably six times.

But I'm not convinced they're going the right way. Their live performances have been steadily waning for a long time. Ever since they stopped playing the rockers from Fold, the sets have wanted for excitement. And the new album seems to sit right on that trendline, if Friday's gig is any measure.

Now, admittedly they had excuses. Juan had a cold so he couldn't go for those pure high notes. The crowd was rude and uninterested; between songs you could barely hear Juan on the mike for the chatting. They haven't played live for months. And they haven't played any of the new tracks live. The gig wasn't bad. But they remind me of no-one so much as 2003-era Art Of Fighting, playing that shoe-gazing sort of rock which really doesn't excite me in concert.

They played all the singles from The Goodbye Girl, the new single and about five new songs. The new tracks sounded pretty good but a refinement of the last album's sound rather than a real progression. But I'll have to wait until the album's released and they have a chance to polish them up live before a verdict.