Monday, May 19, 2008

Caspian with Tunturia live show review

The Loft at Tommy Doyle's
Harvard Square, Cambridge MA
Saturday May 17, 2008
Support act: Tunturia


It is not very often that many folks will simply read a glowing album review and do whatever it takes to track down the physical disc. After a little work I was able to track down the full length from Toronto's Tunturia and the cd hardly left my player all year. It made my "favorite cds of 2007" list. It worked, for a while, but I needed to see the band live.

The band had booked a US tour and it stopped in Cambridge on Saturday night. A few weeks leading up to the show I had a few very nice e-mails from drummer Michael Lynch. My first email was just telling "whoever" read the message on the other side that I really dug the disc. Michael came back and we have had a few emails. It was nice to finally meet him on Saturday.

When Tunturia took the stage shortly after 9:30 the band was only "half" of what was on the record. As a younger band its easy to understand band members just being unable to tour, or not have the money to tour. Michael and guitarist Ihor Dawidiuk enlisted the help of two friends and quickly rehearsed for the tour. The end result was a tight and sonically pleasing set. The band members would swap out an instrument as a backing track would loop underneath, but the band never waiverd. The set, albeit short, was pretty well received. At first the early arrivals talked during the quiet parts but by the end of the set the band seems to have won over the few that paid attention.

The set list (thanks to Ihor for clarification)
Echoes of the Unmoved Mover
Panic Attack
October 4, 1957
Cast Shadows on Clouds

Pre show I had a good amount of time to chat with both Michael and Ihor, both were very cool (as were the other guys) and we talked about music and other venues the band might be able to play when they come to New England.

Check out Tunturia on myspace


After a relatively short stage roll over, Caspian was getting ready to take the stage. I have been a big fan of these guys (they were also on my list for favorite cds of 2007) as well and had missed them time and time again.

Caspian guitarist Philip Jamieson took the mic, thanked us for coming and said they'd play "as long as they could".

The stage was small but the band made the most of what they had space wise. Guitarist Calvin Joss was way over to the left and tucked in the back, but making himself easily seen was bassist Chris Friedrich. Set up center stage towards the lip was drummer Joe Vickers, who for the record, beat the ever living hell out of one of the smallest drum kits I've ever seen in a live setting. Behind him was guitarist Erin Burke-Moran and then Philip.

Opening with "La Cerva", a track that is part of a 7 inch split, they opened up the floodgates. It was a wall of sound and the night would not let up, ever. There was so much I "wanted" to hear and honestly, they gave me everything and then some. I'll admit I was really wanting to hear the whole "Quovis->Further Up" (from the You are Conductor album. It arrived towards the end of the set, but it was everything I wanted. On the cd Friedrich has this very cool bass work, that just kills me every single time. As the song neared that point I focused on him and tried to watch the hands move but couldn't keep up. The audience as well, went wild.

The "main set" ended with "Sycamore" which all works to one massive crescendo of which Burke-Moran, Joss and Jamieson all working on drums and the drum set. It grows and grows and when it slams to a halt the audience just lost its mind!

Tired and ready to call it a night the club asked them to one more song. I saw Friedrich sort of say "no" but the rest of the band sort of looked at each other and said "yeah what the heck". Before the final tune a birthday cake was presented to Philip and the audience gave him a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday". They would close with "Crawlspace".

Ears ringing the show came to an end.

Their full set:
La Cerva
Ghosts of the Garden City
Some Are White Light
Further Up
Further In

It is not very often you get to see two bands in a row for the first time, that you have wanted to see. It was a great night.

Caspain on the web:
Caspain on Wiki
Official pagehere
Caspian onmyspace

Caspian is playing one more show June 21st at The Paradise, then they will be hitting the studio.

Tunturia is on the road, go out, see them, say hi and buy the cd. These guys are doing it the DIY way..and any support (showing up, buying a cd etc) goes RIGHT into keeping them touring.

Thanks to both bands..well done.



At Monday, May 19, 2008 2:47:00 PM , Blogger Brad said...

Great write-up. I'm kicking myself for missing this one.


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