OST Presents: Grass House, Max Taylor, and Matt Selfe at the Cinema City bar, Norwich, 5th November 2013. Review and photos
Grass House were to have been headlining tonight at Olives with Wooden Arms and Milly Hirst but the gig was amalgamated with the OST night at Cinema City, though sadly that meant there would not after all be appearances by Milly Hirst or Wooden Arms. It was still however a brilliant night.
Opening the event was Matt Selfe, who was to have played OST a couple of weeks ago but fell victim to illness. Now fully recovered, he plays a highly atmospheric style of guitar which along with some use of pedals and backing tracks with his voice floating over the top was very enjoyable.
One of my sillier decisions this year was hopping from one gig to another a bit too early and missing out on hearing Max Taylor at the Birdcage, and later hearing Iain Lowery and Paul Hubbard enthusing about his set. Luckily OST curator Iain gave me a second chance and I was absolutely spellbound by his set. Singing with a gorgeously expressive voice over his piano playing I was utterly drawn in to the stories told in beautiful lyricism. He played about five or six songs but I could have listened for hours. Quite brilliant.
Grass House were described thus on the original event page:
we loved them at Sound and Vision 2 years ago and have been trying to book them ever since.
“a lugubrious tale of survival in the face of an increasingly destructive Mother Nature, told like Nick Cave reciting a ghost story to small children over a gothy, bluesy guitar burr” – Pitchfork
Tonight they played a semi-acoustic set without drums, and immediately I could appreciate where the Nick Cave mention was coming from, although they have very much their own style, some of the dark mood lyrics, deep voice and pounding bass and guitar of particularly the first and final songs of their set really had a ‘Boatman’s Call’ era Bad Seeds feel. I was totally drawn into their musical world though and would absolutely love to hear them again with full band and electric set. They have something quite special and buying their CD was not something I could resist. I’ve been listening to it today and am very taken with it. Apparently they played St Lawrence’s a couple of years ago for Norwich Sound & Vision, possibly with BK & Dad, what a gig that would have been and one I wish I’d been present at. I’ll be sure not to miss them again next time they visit the fine city. Totally captivating, and not a million miles away from what our own Grazing Saints were doing at times.
words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2013