Also The Trees
A remarkably well-behaved audience has gathered in this upstairs room in Kilburn tonight. And Also The Trees, it seems, are a band one appreciates in a suitably restrained manner, rather than rock 'n' roll wild men who inspire rampant debauchery. And perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at that. After all, this is the band that put the pastoral into post-punk.
in 1979 - post-punk's year zero - in the village of Inkberrow, Worcestershire,
And Also The Trees were always the odd ones out among the dishevelled
urban urchins and disaffected suburban art-rebels that populated, and
to a great extent defined, early eighties alternative music. If anything,
And Also The Trees could have been the serious elder brothers of those
mischevious surrealists (and fellow Worcestershire post-punks) The Dancing
usual function of a support band at a gig is to warm the crowd up for
the headliners. Well, it appears that Evi Vine
has no truck with usual functions. She cools things down with a set of
amiable ambience, crooning her neatly and sweetly ethereal songs amid
a lush musical backing that includes her own plangent guitar, two (count
'em, two) cellos, restrained drums and a careful, precise, bass
Also The Trees figured out how to show a little edge, while never descending
into crass rockisms, many years ago. And they certainly know how to do
presence, too. Vocalist Simon Huw Jones is dressed like a defrocked eighteenth
century parson, his gaze alternately unnervingly keen, as if he's staring
into other worlds, or downcast and introsapective, as if burdened by this
world. He dominates the stage, part troubadour, part shaman.
music billows like cumulus over Kinver Edge, ebbing and flowing like the
tide in the Severn estuary. It claws up to crescendos, then drops back
to a sepulchral rumble. The slow-burning epic that is 'The Legend Of Mucklow'
is a veritable concerto of dynamics - and more or less provides an all-purpose
guide to What And Also The Trees Do in one song.
Here in an upstairs room in north London - as gritty and urban an environment as you could ever find - bathed in the wan glow of LED floor lights, And Also The Trees should be awkwardly incongruous. But, somehow, they're not. They create their own landscape, and take us with them as they stroll and stalk through it.
more photos from this gig, find And Also The Trees by name here.