Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers (album launch) at CCA, 18/5/18

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder so a rare live appearance and some new music from Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers certainly piques the interest.

Always a visual extravaganza this album launch for The Hare, The Moon, The Droneis no different.

Jacob Yates (Jake Lovatt) takes to the stage at the CCA with the sharpest of suits and an elaborate Cobra headed walking stick against an urban backdrop of a typical housing estate.

This is where ‘Michael’ who features in the album has his bedroom below the electricity pylon, which looms large (the sun goes down on this backdrop during the course of the set).

The backdrop is all very central to the concept of the album, but not so relevant but all part of the spectacle is the artificial snow appearing thrice during the course of events; you’ve got to love the CCA as a venue.

Meaner, moodier and darker the new album is a tour de force in storytelling, but on this occasion in a more sinister folk style.

Performed here live and kicking off with ‘The Car’ there is definitely a more powerful and menacing feel in the live execution.

Writing and storytelling apart Lovatt’s dynamic vocal range is suitably matched by the incredible crooning of Cassie Ejezi.

None more so than the solo performance of Ejezi with the Gaelic rendition of ‘The Drone (part 1)’ where the strength and range of her vocals are beautifully illustrated.

With the addition of live favourite ‘Dundee’ interjecting the playout of the album, a raucous rendition of ‘The Drone’, the healing powers of ‘Mr Marouf’ or is it Professor Kajali, more snow and darkness in ‘Outside the Needle Exchange’ and the final track from the album ‘Michael’ the story of Michael and his sister Rachael and their dysfunctional family where Lovatt explains the relevance of the pylon and the backdrop this live show and the album are truly a work of art.

An unexpected finale of a full-length version (or more) of ‘Care Home’ off the previous album Goths!!!is performed and where Lovatt calls out the BBC, The Royal Family, the Security Services and where the Jimmy Saville, ‘Jim’ll Jim’ll Jim’ll Jim’ll Fix it’ chorus morphs in to Meghan, Meghan, Meghan Markle.

There’s no chance of Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gates Lockpickers avoiding the uncomfortable subject matter.

This Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lockpickers performance is the most accomplished, darkest, gloomiest and despondent I’ve seen; a masterstroke to host it at the CCA where the subjects of the performance both visually and auditory are so finely tuned.

The rarity of live performance and musical output suggests they do not clamour fame and fortune, but we should be thankful for such masterpieces when available, when they are so stunning and powerful.

Words/Photos: Derek McCutcheon


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