Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Erland & The Carnival, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 21.09.10

Sounding like The Kinks playing folk songs at a village fete organised by someone with a penchant for psychedelic drugs, Erland & The Carnival are an engrossing incarnation that borrow as much from old traditional British folk songs as they do from modern British rock. They sound much the same live as they do on record, except with added wig-outs (remember these are folk-rock wig-outs, so band members stay firmly rooted to the stage and no one goes particularly mental). It’s a satisfying sound, convincing you that the beardy men and women who wrote the folk songs that the band update really did have thumping drums and blasts of electric guitar in mind to accompany their quaint songs when they wrote them 500 years ago, they just didn’t have the available tools. The audience chose to take advantage of The Brudenell’s copious amounts of upholstery rather than get up and dance but understandably- this isn’t folk music to jig to, it’s folk music to brood to, with tales of teenage suicide and tortuous unrequited love. Erland & The Carnival are one of the few bands around who are taking it upon themselves to blend folk and rock so literally.

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