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 camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)

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graeme
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PostSubject: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:55 am

well I have been reading folks experience of the tour mostly positive some constructive(one that mighta been misconstrued as negative added weight by tim`s comment)...but all in all interesting stuff, I still haven`t put my review up but will do shortly ...I had good friends at Manchester,London,leeds and newcastle who have given me a balanced insight....I made it on to one of their fan photo`s of the audience..i wasn`t the miseable one...this off Geoff from our site, shacknet

Thoroughly enjoyed Camera Obscura with graeme last night in Manchester.

I think I have seen them four times now and that was easily the biggest turnout I've witnessed.

The Camera Obscura demographic appears to be 50% young attractive female studenty types and 50% middle aged men. The front row was fully populated by the latter.

They have such a strong list of songs now over their five albums that they have the luxury of ommitting some great songs from their set list. They played "Teenager" which was their token oldie and I have to say that was the only disappointment as it seemed dated and weak in comparison with the rest of the set, but maybe that is just testament to how well TracyAnne has eveolved as a songwriter. The new songs sounded great but the encore of French Navy and Razzle Dazzle Rose was the absolute highlight - the band in full swing with Nigel imperious on the trumpet for both songs. Razzle Dazzle rose is simply untouchable as a closer - hairs on the back of the neck every time I hear them play it live.

I managed to pick up a signed vinyl pre gig which is sounding particularly good this morning.

Get to see them before she drops the sprog....
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:16 am

Okay, the time has come, now I have been so surprised at the quality of Desire Lines, why! You may ask you know how good this band is and can be. Well, firstly the band have had such a lot going on in their personals that you wonder whether they would ever have the will to proceed, but what else do they know by now? Tracyanne`s current status of smiley face (obviously the stage persona keeps that to herself) but in all fairness her crumpled look on stage is normally battling with an ear piece and her over concerns of tuning and sound levels. I thought that it would be tricky for her and the pressure placed upon her to keep delivering the goods is too much weight, I was wrong. I think Desire Lines is lyrically the strongest album they have placed before us. You may have noticed I have graced this post with the grammar it deserves and also I am writing it in word. I have read most interviews available and heard a right lot of radio sessions and interviews and the determination of Tracy to see beyond her own life for inspiration was something she was going to master. Often, she would be accused by the person with the mic, particularly Nic Harcourt that without the turmoil where the words would show themselves from. Great writers seem to be able to capture expression, moments and visual beauty and place them in song. The vocal delivery by her of any written word seems to layer a song with even more beauty, her intonation and gift of vocal delivery. The lyrics penned for this batch of new songs are easily lost because of the manner of tone, do yourself a favour and listen to it with the lyrics in front of you from the album, only then the songs grow wings and show them for what they are. The attitude of the press suggested that they thought the band had dissolved and indeed a lot of casual fans must have thought this as well. The out pouring of press pages for this new album is absolutely fantastic to see and now, maybe at last a band with some artistical credibility may get the recognition they deserve and I couldn`t wish for more, for the band. Dare I mention Belle & Sebastian, hahaha okay, very much like them; they have gone from strength to strength as a live act. A friend mentioned they were maybe too polished on this tour, I remember another friend saw Prefab Sprout around the time of Jordan the Comeback and he said live they were the same as the record, is that a good thing? It was Tim Davidson who mentioned this on Facebook about the band endearing themselves maybe a little more with their block fan base. Personally, I think that this is the last major hurdle for them as a collective. They are all pretty shy folk so this transcendence is not a normal passing for them.
So, to the live set, well the set is very strong and I`ll take the Manchester one as an example for me apart from Teenager, French Navy and possibly Come back Margaret the songs sounded great, Margaret sounded good but it could have been replaced by James but again you can`t please everybody I suppose, Teenager sounded ploddy and I`ve worn tired of French Navy but then again when it was first played for me with Swans in 2008 at Shrewsbury it was sounding pretty good. I suppose everyone have favourites they want to hear played live so you can`t really complain, they are not just playing for me? There were a couple of false starts which was only to be expected with the band only rehearsing a couple of times really, they will be really tight if they make it to the end of the American tour. The thing that happens and I know Tracy is six months gone now but they visibly flag in front of your eyes the longer the shows go on. Again, it may be because of her condition, the heat or whatever but the one thing that came from the shows is that most were unhappy at the length of the set. I came away a little under whelmed and I don`t know why? That is why I decided to give it space before writing this. I really enjoyed the show, what was missing? I still don`t know? In fact everyone I know who went the shows, London, Leeds and Newcastle really enjoyed it. I think very much to Primerva 2007 and how much Tracy in fact all the band were enjoying it, she had had more than a few scoops and if you listen to the audio from it, it is as entertaining as fuck. What a peak, not a normal performance but a band delighted to be amongst friends and playing the songs. This tour has been “business like” and I have made my feelings known on here enough about that angle but again, it is very much their source of income so they can`t be knocked for that. The art hasn`t suffered at all and again, I would suggest that this album may just be the finest thing they have ever produced and I am not on my own in thinking that. The inclusion of Tim and he very much stayed in the background, I was a bit negative about it thinking he was just being added to the wage bill. The opposite was in fact the reality, he brought something different to the overall sound and his steel playing was flawless and more than that (I have some Attic Lights stuff) he seems like a genuine bloke and grounded. A friend of mine can`t stand Razzle, Dazzle Rose, Geoff who was with me in Manchester loves it, and that is the thing. Although Neil enjoyed it this time around, for some reason? The set included 5 or 6 off Desire Lines and all sounded fantastic, my initial dislike of “Do it again” warmed somewhat but every other song on the album are amazingly good.
I get the feeling that they have won some fans over, I couldn`t see if they had sold out the venue, scathing in mind set on the night I was thinking that for the most part all these people would have been at Jabez Clegg in 2006, the same amount of people although Geoff thinks it is the biggest audience he has seen at a venue. He has seen them play to 30 or people as well though. There were a lot of “young folk “there as well and fan bases can expand quite quickly, especially with the new love of vinyl and all ages finding bands for the first time, who can actually write ,play and perform. We are nailed on punters, long term fans and the band have always delivered, it`s these new fans that kind of "matter" most. Have seen the band quite a few times so it is lazy of me to dismiss any performance but I will have an opinion which is why I started this forum. I hoped there would be other people who had something to say, maybe too much like me? I keep on touting this site and may bother the band that I am using their Facebook and twitter streams to promote. It is not for personal gain and word of mouth is a great way to move product. The history of Camera Obscura and the world of internet isn`t great and each site launched has died a slow death. The new one looks great but no forum but I have seen that happen with Shack before and now Shacknet run by the fans and funded by them is 15 years old and is giving something positive back to the artist. This is a good forum and although it might have an older picture on the main page, we know who the band are these days and I like how natural it was, and enjoyable way back when. These are important times for the group, what with Tracy and Tim’s imminent arrival but people have babies and still go on within the music industry. There seems to have been a decision to go on as a band even when it appears to grind to a halt. This has turned out to be a good decision from an artistical level and hopefully a financial one. There seem to be very few credible artists that make millions of pounds quickly, if at all. The market place is for dicks and kids spewed out from talent shows and it must hurt. These are folk like me and you, who need gas, electric and food in the fridge and this is life, you can then go find the other stuff that makes it worthwhile, the experience and beauty that’s out there. So there you go grammar and all, just a few thoughts? Hahaha, so finally I am as happy as anyone that the tour was a success with very few exceptions with regard to audience comments(and there has been some bizarre one`s). I think the band will quite rightly view it that way, they appear jaded sometimes and their interaction leaves a lot to be desired (see what I did?) I wouldn`t like to hit the road, they have to. I`m not sure if they would have sold many mugs, I think they have to up their game somewhat with the merchandise but that is my opinion as its they only one I’ve got. The next months or two are going to be even more draining as it is a really heavy schedule ahead(hopefully the toilet on the bus doesn`t take the knock again) but hopefully they can enjoy the rest when they get back and hopefully top their bank balances up somewhat on the strength of a brilliant album and hopefully sell out tours stateside. I really do wish people had more to say about them but me and Tony probably make up for a few but you can lead a horse to water etc. I really wonder about myself sometimes whilst admiring Tracy`s white Joe Jacksonesque shoe`s (no, I have no foot fetish) and thinking I should just enjoy the music for what it is and not be caught up in the afters. Congrats on the Album, The Tour and the upcoming family and congrats to Kenny n`all.


Last edited by graeme on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:13 pm

In total there are 13 users online :: 1 Registered, 0 Hidden and 12 Guests
Most users ever online was 98 on Tue 5 Oct 2010 - 16:51


I always find this quite odd, that is quite a lot of vistors for this sleepy site...apart from when it was mentioned by the band...ah,well one day the obscuraphiles as carey called "us" may wanna say summit...I hope this is not down to me administration"skills" and they are all lined up,ready to jump in................

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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:30 am

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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:54 am

Jealous of everyone who will get to see them on this tour. Living in NZ which is a very expensive place to travel from, I doubt I"ll get to see them.
I've been looking at clips online, and I think were I disagree with an earlier poster is I wouldn't say so much that it's business as much as a  band that is very much out of the habit of performing live. I reckon give em a bit more time back out there and they'll start a bit more worn in. That 2007 show (if it's the one with Traceyanne in the long white dress) is amazing though. Everyone is on fire on that set.
I think for me, more than anything else, I want to see new stuff like Fifth in Line, Troublemaker, and William's heart in the set.
I'm guessing maybe they're building upto including the newer material.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:10 am

Will be going to my first ever CO show on 6/22 in Seattle.  Agree with el_hombre, the band is out of practice as haven't performed in over 3 years.  With a few shows under their belt, the band will be in top form.  Seen some videos of them performing live and they sound better live than on the records.  There is not much banter with the crowd as they do seem very shy and modest.  That's ok with me as their music speaks for them.

I hope they perform Cri Du Coeur, New Year's Resolution and Break It To You Gently from the new album.  Razzle Dazzle Rose is the perfect song to close the show.  I wonder who will be trumpeter as I have heard Nigel will not be on US tour.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:57 am

the percussionist is tim Cronin....I can`t see them doin cri du Coeur as I think it would be hard live in the same way careless love was,but an epic on the album....I hope you enjoy the show....it may be lazy of me to say it`s business like,there is little doubt that at this moment in time...they perform their songs "better"than they ever have...from what I have seen anyways.....you are in for a treat..........special
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:53 am

Thanks, Graeme.  Tim Cronin was great during the band's shows in 2009 and 2010 that I saw on video.  Pretty grueling tour schedule with not many days off.  I know it is a business but do hope the band will have fun performing and enjoy their stay in the US and Canada.  Hope they play to big crowds and the crowds will spur on their performance.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:07 am

so do i........................hope the shows are fantastic
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:20 am

I'd have to say I'm not really sure I'd agree with it being a business for them anymore. I'd love to see it being that way though: where they were able to make enough money from sales and shows to make it a full time living. It'd take a tour along the lines of the MMC one whihc I get the impression from interviews isn't likely to happen. What with parenthood and day jobs and the like.
I'd love to see them able to do it though and to be able to follow up with another album in a couple of years, and sheesh, a New Zealand show would be even better.
I'm guessing we'll get a month or two of touring here and there, but not enough to quit day jobs and do music full time. Which is a shame because I think they definitely deserve to be able to.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:32 am

Oh also I see they're bringing a pedal steel on tour with them, I'd love to see what that could bring to some stuff. Obviously Desire Lines features pedal, but I'd been keen to hear how some other songs like maybe William's Heart, Forests & Sands, and maybe Dory Previn would sound with some pedal in there. Kenny already does a nice bit of slide in Previn though.
Can't wait for some youtibe clips to surface from the US tour.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:15 pm

well - we're teeing up to go to our first (of several i hope) show on the desire-able tour.. it's in our nation's capital, Ottawa on Friday and i can't wait! its also the first time i will see them at a festival which is quite the opposite of some of you out there.. i saw a feed somewhere that asked what tunes they should play for their 45 min set which depresses me a bit.. much rather see them for a longer stint! i think i wanna hear all new stuff to be honest.. and maybe french navy cause that seems to pump the crowd up and if there's a bunch of new listeners in attendance then it should win em over.. i'm sure the dynamic of an outdoor show will make this a memorable experience and really hoping the weather co-operates.. its been raining for a coupla days now so hopefully that'll help.. the festival is called "bluesfest" and was originally started to promote blues bands but it has since stretched the genre of blues apparently.. seen rock, pop and folk at these (with the occasional blues band)..
anyhow, excited to see She & Him too - first time for that.. my kids are huge fans as well (of both bands) but tix are too expensive to bring 3 monsters along..
..the days at my desk are a-dragging..
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:39 pm

We'll expect a full report! I'm looking forward to the Atlanta show on the 13th.
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:20 pm

enjoy tony...shame about the short set but theyve been short anyways...they are bang on forum...hope the bin lids(kids)enjoy it.....and your better half
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:21 am

Tony, have a great time at the show.  The band sounded so good on the show I attended in Seattle.  They played a lot songs from the Desire Lines album.  The show was about 90 minutes but time just flew by...wish it lasted longer.  Will you and your family go to other shows besides Ottawa?  Your kids already have good taste in music!
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:24 pm

I see someone has ripped the KCRW session video on HD to dimeadozen......great show (and audio of a few others)
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:17 pm

yeah, we're corrupting the little minds early! funny thing, all i have to do is say "spent a week in a dusty library" and all three will continue the tune! its pretty funny.. we were debating on driving to Toronto for the next festival which is on the next night but we couldnt afford the extra cost.. plus, my kids are doing a 2km run on Sunday so it would be about 1000km worth of driving in 2 days which is a bit much even for me.. i'm holding out for some concert dates later this year or early next.. but not too sure when their baby is due which may curtail some touring! altho, i'd still go see em even if she had a little tyke strapped to her back during the show! would be epic as the kiddies say!
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:20 pm

well - that was memorable! i'd like to say that it didnt downpour and drench us to the bone 10 minutes before CO took to the stage.. but alas, we were pretty damn wet.. still managed to have a fantastic time tho cause once you're soaked, it doesnt really matter anymore does it?.. the band started up about 15-20 mins late due to the weather and they draped tarps over the equipment - some of which they kept up throughout the show.. poor Carey got "obscured" by a large tarp that spanned from mic stand to mic stand! I saw a pic on the flikr account below. . and the crowd erupted with cheers when they finally took it down. all in all, they played fantastic for the conditions (did i mention everything was wet?) and to me they felt really relaxed and loose.. its the most i've seen all of them smile while performing - not to say they dont smile or have fun up there but they are usually so focused and intent on getting each tune perfect that they get upset at things most of us dont notice maybe?.. they played about half n half new and old with some witty comments between like “bluesfest means you’re supposed to be blue” and “that’s what you get (rain) when you invite Glaswegians”..
setlist (not positive of order and I couldve sworn I heard Missed Your Party but other sites I checked left it out?):
Do it Again
Break It To You Gently
Teenager
Tears For Affairs
New Years Resolution
Every Weekday
Fifth In Line to the Throne
Lloyd
French navy
Looks Could Kill
Come Back Margaret
Razzle Dazzle Rose

I particularly liked the slight differences in a few of the older tunes that I know and love so well.. almost like they were evolving them into something closer to what the new tunes sound like – does that make sense? All of the tunes, new and old, seemed to work so well together since I’ve heard the older stuff 3 or 4 times live, it was kindof unexpected and pleasantly so as I feel each album stands out on its own with an overall, very distinctive sound.. I would’ve liked to hear Troublemaker and maybe another Desire one but with a short set, its to be expected.. as i said above, i loved how it all meshed with the rain dripping down my face - i surely won't forget it!!

lots of flikr pics here.. check out Carey behind the plastic wall! http://www.flickr.com/photos/7218210@N02/tags/cameraobscura/
http://musicinsanity.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/ottawa-bluesfest-2013-day-2-she-him-dawes-camera-obscura/

mini reviews in Ottawa here... http://www.digitallounge.ca/review-camera-obscura-she-him/
and here.. http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/OttawaBluesfest/camera_obscura-river_stage_lebreton_flats_ottawa_on_july_5
pics and review... http://blog.jambands.ca/blog/2013/7/6/july-5th-bluesfest-was-a-little-bit-more-blue.html

more to follow later with the She n Him part of the show…
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:46 am

nice review...we have been waiting...sorry ya got soaked
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:35 am

Thanks, Tony for the review and the links.   Glad you and your family had a great time despite the rain.  Poor Carey, got hidden behind the plastic sheet.  Hope some She and Him fans become fans of Camera Obscura's music.  Below is video of the band performing one of the songs in Ottawa.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egyS8gICFuQ

Like what the band is doing on their Facebook page by posting a thank you and a picture of the crowd from each performance.  It allows people to post comments on the shows.  Also, feels like you are touring with band without actually being on the tour. Less than a week remaining on the North American tour...........
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:07 pm

yeah the crowd pics are great - you can see us nicely in the one in Ottawa.. its nice to see the number of fans too. fans who will hopefully drop by here eventually!
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PostSubject: Re: camera obscura on tour(what did ya think?)   Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:37 pm

I`m on the Manchester one, shame we only picked up one new member cos the site had loads of views on the USA tour?
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