bobby seale
song for the morning to sing
red shoes
i pledge resistance to the flag
down between

birth of the project then this. we present at tonight's big event witness what appears to be the final stages of bravecaptain's metamorphosis from yer more traditional singer-songwriter (though admittedly there are few compositions among the bc back catalogue to date that can be described as 'traditional') to proper pop-star of the future.

okay maybe not pop-star of the future, but isn't this what we imagined pop music would be like when we were kids? if not we should have, because the truth is even as recently as five years ago few of us could really have imagined a gig being delivered like this.

if you haven't seen the photos yet, it's a simple set-up. bloke behind a table with a pint and computer. the laptop generates the tunes - in some cases the very same sound files that will be released on cd at some point. it's a total solution. you can compose and rework tracks as you tour, and then simply plug your machine in at the venue and play your work in progress! it's seems such an obvious, natural way of working it's a wonder it feels so unique.

so to set the scene, we enter cardiff's famous clwb ifor bach to be greeted by a crowd of generous numbers. clearly the combined appeal of bravecaptain and the increasingly popular gold chains is strong, especially as there's a mogwai gig taking place just round the corner.

among the crowd are such names as euros and richard form gorky's zygotic mynci, gruff rhys from super furry animals, mark bowen ex-creation and now wichita recordings and mogwai themselves, who appear before and after their own show to provide dj expertise.

bravecaptain takes to the stage at quarter past eleven, pint in hand, and after firing up the laptop (it seems he's sensibly turned his windows start-up sound off) the show begins with the first of many new tracks. opening with a rough-sounding high-hat, 'bobby seale' grows to combine thick drum sounds with a mashed-up, looped speech (presumably a speech by bobby seale!).

as the tune develops it becomes apparent that it might not be obvious when the next track has begun, but those thoughts fade when the opening sample of 'song for the morning to sing' kicks in. this beat-heavy reworking of a (very) old boo radley's album track features martin's first singing of the night, and his effect-soaked voice wrestles with the layers of sound flowing from the laptop's output jack until the track ends and the bout is declared a draw.

the set continues with new tracks in variations of the theme - the theme being dirty beats, looped melody and two tablespoons of panning. instantly recognisable is a much harder interpretation of 'stronger', with full vocals over a dance beat. this is followed by the much anticipated 'lazarus', though the exclusion of lyrics at the expensive of a drawn out jam of the opening dub parts is a slight disappointment.

we draw to a close with single-in-waiting 'i pledge resistance to the flag', which slides seamlessly into a short, instrumental version of 'down between'. and therein lies the trend that must frustrate more casual bravecaptain fans - a half hour set and only three minutes of music from the current album!

so excitement then. nobody present would deny tonight was an exciting debut for the new-style live show. at the show's sudden end, headline act gold chains is on stage to congratulate bravecaptain. this was an accomplished performance, and the inclusion of more songs that we know in a longer set should make the forthcoming bravecaptain tour fascinating for fans new and old. this is how it's meant to be.

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