Monday, May 23, 2011

The Black Heart Procession, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, May 21, 2011)

After last year's reunion with his old Three Miles Pilot buddies for the release of the rather excellent “The Inevitable Past is the Future Forgotten”, their first album in more than a decade, Pall Jenkins is back to his main job, leading The Black Heart Procession down the dark alleys of heartbreak and romantic despair.

For its latest tour the band is down to its two main members, the creative core of Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel, and is presenting a stripped down show, playing tracks from their impressive back catalog that work best with just the bare essentials.

Without the aid of a rhythm section to give a rock pulse to the music, Black Heart Procession’s main men relied just to Nathaniel’s piano, Jenkins’ musical saw and the occasional use of electric guitar to bring their dark songs to life. With this spartan orchestration the music sounded even more ghostly and haunting than before, a séance to communicate with the spirits of lost loves and broken dreams, while the weight of each song was carried solely by Jenkins’ voice and sorrowful lyrics, making their gothic universe seem an even darker shade of black.

For 75 minutes this bare to the bones incarnation of Black Heart Procession’s music accompanied damaged love stories about hearts that bleed raindrops, blue tears, drugs, thieves who cannot lie and letters that you carry with you without finding the courage to open. The highlight of the night came right at the end of the second and final encore with a spirited rendition of “It's a Crime I Never Told You about the Diamonds in Your Eyes”, one of the classics off their second album “2”.

Although in a few occasions I found myself missing the electricity that would come with a full band line-up, it was certainly intriguing to witness this stripped down and more intimate aspect of Black Heart Procession’s sound, even if sometimes the mood became much heavier than usual. A concert for piano and saw perfectly suited for a night of drinking your sorrows away.

The Black Heart Procession - It's A Crime I Never Told You About The Diamonds In Your Eyes (live @ Gagarin 205, Athens)

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