Sunday, October 5, 2014

Steve Craddock (Live at The Ambersham Arms, 20/9/14)

I was on a total high after watching Sin Fiction, which was ruined slightly for me the moment that Steve Craddock came on stage. The DJ was playing 'Drain' by Peace, and when Steve came on he told the DJ to 'turn that shit off'. Within seconds the man had unwittingly slagged off my favourite band and pissed me off. You know what  they say about Glass Houses...

The ability to hear colours is a strange trait possessed by creative people, examples include Tyler,The Creator, asking to make the song more yellow on the intro to IFHY or Captain Beefheart berating the magic band for not being able to play the colours  he was seeing. I must too possess this trait as throughout the show I saw beige, a sea of beige. What didn't help was the man's sartorial sense, dressed in a dull grey jumper, with white casual trainers that stepped on his own trousers. Performing on stage with his own wife and singing songs in a low key voice with titles such as 'Finally Found my Way Back' 'Anyway the Wind Blows' and ' I am The Sea', Steve's music came across as a man having a bit of a midlife crisis, singing about escapism and travelling to far out desert islands. These songs were all as comfortable and satisfying as putting on a pair of slippers, and all about as dangerous or thrilling as making yourself a cuppa tea.
Annoyingly this could have been much much better, all would be forgiven if he could just play The Riverboat Song, or the Day we took the Train. But not a single Ocean Colour Scene track was on the list. Things looked up when his band bought the funk on 'steppin aside' which was the real highlight for me. Throughout the set it was obvious that Steve Is a hugely talented songwriter. Each track he played proved this, and there were mellow traces of psychedelia in his sound. Some people seemed to love the gig, one man who I think was a friend of the band stood at the side of the stage in a silent reverence, while two guys started doing a sort of strange cross between moshing and slow dancing. Plenty of people in the audience seemed to be enjoying the show. Yet I just felt underwhelmed. Rock n' roll is by no means a young mans game, and there is no problem with songs being laid back or mellow. But there was no grit or emotional power to make these songs inspire me. The sad truth is that Steve seemed outclassed by his own support bands.

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