Friday, 3 September 2010

EELS - Tomorrow Morning/Brixton Academy (1st September)

"Tomorrow Morning", is the final addition to the trilogy of albums that E has released in quick succession, and on this he is definitely looking up. To diehard Eels fans this may set off alarm bells: E's best work sprouted from the seeds of his misery. However, he has proven that an old-Lobo can learn new tricks (dear God!) The album starts with a slow intstrumental (In Gratidude....) that recalls the many, many instrumentals of Blinking Lights. Luckily, this is the only instrumental on the album (apart from After the Earthquake), and the record as a whole shows how E has broadened his horizons stylistically. From the strangely likeable jerk pop of Baby Loves Me, to the trip-hop influenced This is Where It Gets Good, E is really out to explore previously unexplored genres and to make a different album than previously expected. The white-man gospel track Looking Up is pitched perfectly and would, without a doubt, get a whole congregation dancing and singing.

The only aspect that sours E's party is the (at times) poorly written lyrics: "Used to be kind of bitter/ Always had a babysitter/ Now I'm feeling much fitter", sounds like the kind of words you would use in a poem in primary school, and "Teacher say's I'm not too bright/ Bodybuilder calls me pipsqueak", really highlights E's lack of lyric creativity. All in all, the album is a fine addition to E's works, and sits higher than some of his other works (*cough* Shootenanny *cough*).

7/10 - Good.

I turned up to Brixton with no preconceived ideas of what the show would be like. Previously in interviews, E has confessed to misjudging his live shows in the past (he turned up to a Jazz Festival with a full on death rock show, and at a rock show he played a set of acoustic, melancholy numbers. However, he found a very good balance for this show: he veered from heartfelt acoustic numbers (3 Speed, Daisies of the Galaxy) to heavy, bluesier numbers (Souljacker, Dog Faced Boy and a cover of Summer in the City). All of the songs in his set (bar one) were tight, captivating and above all extremely listenable. His mix of Twist and Shout, and Mr. E's Beautiful Blues was fantastic, and his fast cover of I Like Birds showed the audience that some of his classics can still sound great, even after a style change.

Sadly, there was one take on one of his classics that left me bewildered, and upset. His misjudged uptempo screech blues cover of My Beloved Monster was appauling, and upset the previously great balance that he was sustaining.

To sum up; this was a very good performance: but please may he never, ever do 'that' song or any other songs in 'that' style again. Ever. Period.

6.75 /10 - Close to being good.

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