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You know, I haven’t been to a small gig for a while. Low key, low expectations but the knowledge that we’re just that little bit ahead of the game: that’ll be Clearlake, with the Ralfe Band as support.

Like many enthusiastic support acts, the Ralfe Band are at least as exciting as anything I’ve seen. Folk-meets-klezmer, with a whole bunch of grinning. An album buy later, and we’ll see how good they are sober.

My half-brother’s funny though, yeah?

I’ve been kind-of-into Clearlake since picking up Wonder If The Snow Will Settle on a Domino compilation. It’s really good, and second album Cedars is just that little bit cleverer and ambiguous enough to leave you thinking that little bit more. (Live up-tempo versions of slow tracks? That’ll do, Pegg!)

Current single Neon pulls off a similar trick – it’s understated and profound in a way that a number of successful acts very much aren’t.

100 Club is my new favourite tiny Oxford Street venue, too.

Upcoming

Dresden Dolls, TV on the Radio, New Pornographers and Tool. Hurrah for mainstream US acts!

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bothyesandno

February 2011

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