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What You Missed: Chapel Club

25 Mar

“We’re a very nervous, self-conscious band. I probably shouldn’t admit that. I’m drunk.” With that, Chapel Club‘s singer Lewis Bowman kicked over a drink and the London lads tore into a packed, 40-minute & encoreless set that had the mostly-filled Entry nodding along and cheering, with some pockets of all out dancing. Touring in support of their debut full-length, Palace, they kicked their set off with “Surfacing”, whose throbbing bass line and swirling guitars put the night on the right footing, even if guitar player Michael Hibbert and bass player Liam Arklie seemed to be having issues with the mix in the monitors. Some of the technical issues seemed to follow the band through the night, but the only real indication that something was wrong was from the band’s exasperated or bemused looks, as well as the punctuating “Fuck!” from Hibbert and apologetic aside from Bowman.

Chapel Club shouldn’t have been hard on themselves at all, though, because it was a beast of a set, filling out their record with an intangible, critical live energy that served them well. Songs like “O Maybe I” became sweeter and more supple in the dark of the club, taking off some of the polish of the record, “Bodies” became a sexier slow jam as Bowman’s voice took on a Richard Hawley-like longing, drawing out the ending refrain, “You my act of love.” Lyrics like that, the occasional huge hook and the overall confidence whilst also projecting potential disaster was the thrill of the night, meaning that the $2 spent for a ticket at the door made this Thursday night just about the biggest bang-for-the-buck night that the Twin Cities might see in a while.

Taking care of the rest of the music, Hibbert and Alex Parry, the other guitarist, built a thick, swooping cocoon of shoegaze guitars on top of Rich Mitchell’s bristling, stuttering drumwork that kept everyone, even the supposedly hammered Bowman and the usually staid Minnesotans in the crowd, on their toes. They ended with the one-two knockout of “All The Eastern Girls“, the huge, shiver-inducing radio hit, and “The Shore”. Towards the end of “The Shore”, Bowman closed his eyes and rocked back on the balls of his feet, lifted away by the roar of the music and smiled through his cue to sing again. He caught himself and jumped in at the next refrain, still giddy but making it through, because hey, that’s rock and roll.

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  1. A Slice of 2011 | Cake In 15 - December 26, 2011

    […] Chapel Club: ““We’re a very nervous, self-conscious band. I probably shouldn’t admit that. I’m drunk.”” […]

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