Live review: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti at Stereo, 8/11/12

When first hearing 2010’s Before Today it takes a while to understand the hype behind this band, but after numerous listens it finally takes affect.

The best albums don’t make an impression at first, or can even seem boring, but they plant this seed that grows in your mind, until you almost feel a compulsionto listen to the album, and after a time you finally just understand what’s going on, and hear each sound and lyric in a new light.

This tour, they are promoting new album Mature Themes, an album which seems a lot easier to get into, while still retaining what makes them so great – a style of music which looks back to the music of the 70s and 80s and adapts them to the band’s own style (much like the late, great LCD Soundsystem).

It never seems like they’re just copying the music of the past however, because they reinvent it so much.

For the first two songs most of the audience is a bit confused as Ariel Pink hides behind a screen and singing while a camera takes footage of him, which is projected onto said screen.

When someone shouts: “get out of the closet!” he emerges laughing.

He seems too shy, but when you see his stage presence it’s hard to see why he would be.

Unlike several bands who basically just played the album back to you with no changes at all, this band breathe new life into their songs live.

They stick to songs from Before Today and Mature Themes, playing two favourites, ‘Round and Round’ and ‘Only In My Dreams’, back to back.

The main disappointment is the reaction of the audience, their style is so funky, I honestly don’t know how the audience could stand so still the whole time, but that doesn’t affect how great the gig was too much.

The set itself was superb though, although a touch on the short side.

Gutted they didn’t play ‘L’estat’ and ‘Are You Gonna Look After My Boys’ though.

Words: Phil Rodgers
Photos: Beth Chalmers

more photos (including support Geneva Jacuzzi)

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