The Hidden Cameras, Manchester Night & Day, September 30, 2006

The Hidden Cameras @ The Night & Day, ManchesterNow I admit to coming late to the Hidden Cameras. I’d been reading great reviews of their CDs for a couple of years but it took Fopp marking down Mississauga Goddamn to £5 to get me to finally make the purchase. Now I feel a bit daft because this and their new record, Awoo are two of the best things I’ve heard this year. So needless to say I was pleased when they announced a gig in Manchester around the same time I had this revelation.

Now imagine my double delight to discover that My Latest Novel were opening the show. First spotted by us opening for Low back in April, they are a delight to behold with their strange concatenation of poppy, folky post-rock. They took a rather uninterested audience and won them over to the soothing and insistent sounds of violin-tinged beauty. I’d be lying if I told you a month later that I could remember every track they played, but they had me completely transfixed, as they did on the previous occasion. They manage to mesmerise with slightly repetitive, droning sounds but also to be utterly lightly melodic at the same time. They will be huge, or at least they should be.

As for the main event, it’s rare that both band and crowd are in the mood for the celebration delivered by The Hidden Cameras. With a band so large it looked impossible for them all to fit on the stage – 2 string players, 2 guitarists, 2 keyboardists and a drummer (did I miss someone out?), they managed, somehow. They positively romped through a set of new tracks and old classics with particular mention going to “Awoo”, “Death of a Tune”, “I Believe in the Good of Life” and “She’s Gone.” The enjoyment from the stage was so contagious it even had me dancing, in fact when I knocked into the guy behind me by accident he responded to my apology by kissing me on the cheek and shouting “Aren’t they amazing!” As it was one of the band’s birthday, the venue brought them a cake, which they shared with the audience before the spectacular encore rendition of “Lollipop,” as Joel Gibb muttered something about sugar. There was also a point during this encore when I counted something like 11 people on stage, including audience members banging tambourines and a couple of folk from My Latest Novel. This must be some sort of record for the Night & Day as their stage is about the smallest stage of any half-decent venue (the Roadhouse and Korova do not count as decent venues, sorry).
I was kind of expecting cynicism and indie detachment at this show and I’m not really sure why, but what I got was utterly unexpected and wholly enjoyable. Plus, for a change, the sound was even pretty good and we could even hear the vocals. It’s now time to buy that other Hidden Cameras album which is missing from our collection and get to know this band a whole lot better.

See The Ledge’s photos from this gig on Flickr.

10 Responses to “The Hidden Cameras, Manchester Night & Day, September 30, 2006”

  • Chris Says:

    Dammit, I’m disappointed I wasn’t around. My Latest Novel are impressive support too.

    Coming to any of our gigs?

  • JustHipper Says:

    I should look at your site before responding, because this is probably a stupid question, but do you have one coming up?

    Never mind. I’ll go look.

  • Chris Says:

    Whoops… a bit slow replying there. Yup, we’ve got Espers, Edith Frost, Danielson and Six Organs of Admittance this very month!

    Like the new design, by the way. Great masthead and forthcoming gigs is definitely the way to go. What’re you using for that, by the way?

  • JustHipper Says:

    Oooh Chris how dare you not reply straight away! 😉

    I think The Ledge is planning on coming to see Danielson while I’m off watching Dirty Pretty Things and drooling a lot. We may make it to one of the others as well. We saw Six Organs of Admittance when they opened for Joanna Newsom and they were quite interesting. I’m intrigued by the description of Espers on your website but I’ve not actually heard anything yet.

    Cheers for the comments, BTW, when you say “using,” what do you mean? The blog software is WordPress and The Ledge did the CSS by longhand.

  • Chris Says:

    Which WP plugins I meant. Or maybe you don’t use one for that. How are you getting the Latest search terms as well? Techy questions, I know.

    Say hello at the gigs then.

  • JustHipper Says:

    The Ledge should really be the one answering this as he’s done the design, but I don’t think he’s used any plugins as such, he may say different later. I believe he used one of the basic WP templates as a base (to get all the placement of divs correct without having to muck about with too many weird hacks) and then stripped out all the presentational bits and re-wrote them.

    As for the search terms, we’re getting those from our stats logs. You can see them at the end of the referring URLs from search engines. We just keep getting found for what we think are very funny terms. We had a hit a while back for “Nick Cave Richard Hawley moustache.” We’ve also been found on some unusual pornographic terms – which is mildly disturbing ;). So, we thought we’d share the best ones. They’ve been input by hand and will change as we see fit.

  • The Ledge Says:

    If I could get a word in edgeways… then I’d say that JustHipper is spot on. No wp plugins just html, php and css with hard coded html for the lists in the left hand sidebar. Maybe I’ll put all those in a database at some point.

  • Chris Says:

    Fair enough. There a plenty of WP plugins to do clever things, by the way. I’ve got one for a gig calenda, for example – I make brief posts about upcoming gigs etc.

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