The Exeter Hotel
10:00pm, Mon 13 Mar 2000
Short Review: Melancholy
Apparently, the turnout to La Chambre’s gig on the 12th at the Stag was so miserable (3 people!) that they decided to cancel their gig on the 13th and go home to Melbourne. Unfortunately, the Melbourne gig they had planned was cancelled, and at the last minute the guys at the Exeter asked if they’d like to do a gig there… So it was that we, paying ticket holders, were NOT notified by FringeTix of the cancellation, but still managed to catch La Chambre anyway. Note that this was not, of course, an “official” Fringe show, but what the hell – they’re my reviews, I can do what I want with them!
La Chambre, despite their name (and Fringe Guide description), were not your average chamber music ensemble; they were a more contemporary kind of band – guitar, bass, drums, cello, tokkai harp and, as a bonus for Improv Night, flute and sax. The music – well, it kind of reminded me of a cross between early Smashing Pumpkins and the more tuneful bits of Sonic Youth. Songs were very melancholy, but seemed to leap into life at intervals.
Highlights were the opener to their second set, and the final two songs of the night – both of which stretched into 10-minute improv pieces. Fabulous stuff! La Chambre showed themselves to be worthy musicians. For scoring… well, 2 points for wonderful songwriting, 1 point for Jonathan, the coolest drummer I’ve ever seen, and 5 points for having a cello (even tho it was drowned out most of the time :)