Sufjan Stevens

First trip to King's College Student Union tonight, and up to the 4th floor (Tokyo style!) for Tutu's bar. Classical music set the scene for tonight's 'Acoustic Evening With Sufjan Stevens', and beer was at student prices. No jelly vodka shots though.

Scottish opening act My Latest Novel start things off, and were sounding good but were unfortunately another case of 'listen but don't look'. A lack of experience and stage presence, mixed with a constant swapping around of who's playing what, plus one too many toy instruments failed to keep this chimp focused. They did sound OK though, and they almost certainly must know those Fence guys.

Sufjan Stevens and his gang took to the stage in semi-freaky Halloween masks, but the itchy feathers soon put an end to that. One album into his quest to record an album for every state, Sufjan Stevens was already distracted with the non-US State based Seven Swans, so it was good to see him sticking to his plan with the release of this year's Come On, Feel The Illinoise!. That album in particular has a tendency to use repeated compositions and melodies, meaning it can sometimes start to sound more like a movie soundtrack than an album proper... and that was reflected in the live show. Serial Killer classic John Wayne Gacy Jr. was a stand out for me and the show in general sounded great (just like the record!), but the lack of energy and too many songs with 80% of the band just standing still were a bit of a mood killer. Give me a shuffling, high kicking Bob Pollard any day.

For once it was a case of 'less cowbell', and 'more guitar, bass, drums and attitude'. Please.