Having low expectations when going for a concert to see someone you’ve never heard about before is probably the best way to end up satisfied regardless of the outcome.
Actually I’m lying as I had listened to Mr Alon’s tunes streaming on his myspace for a couple of days before the gig, while digging around his available material on the web…. not much though but enough to get a good idea of his Bowie lonely style (not pop certainly) and to decide whether he matched our “must follow” artist criteria list before the concert.
He did not on a first attempt, nor in a second but faith in live performances is the last thing you lose right? So off I went to discover this lone hearted, highway rider, live acoustic gifted Israeli on a cold Thursday evening; which I thought was going to be a rather bor-intimate experience…
For those of you not knowing who Geva Alon is he’s a fairly recognised folk singer & songwriter with quite some influence in the contemporary Israeli indie music scene and who after two albums with his rock band The Flying Baby & another 3 years with Shy Nobleman he finally went for his solo adventure in 2006 (maybe one of the best ways to start digging into this sub-culture).
Three albums after (Days of Hunger in 2006, The Wall of Sound one year later & Get Closer in 2009) Geva keeps most of the American folk & rock style that probably any Neil Young, Dylan, Bowie … or in general any 70s rock nostalgic would appreciate. Not being an enormous fan of this kind of music the surprise was not only pleasant but invigorating. The power of the chord never feel static or hypnotizingly sleepy as sometimes folk does, nor a bad cover of any American rock artist.
Mixing a repertoire from his solo albums while trying to keep the calmness & seriousness that usually accompanies this kind of concert wasn’t easy task for Monsieur Alon, a certain contagious pluto-alike laugh kept undermining the melancholic halo he was trying to spread during the first half of the concert. Maybe that’s why he decided to start insufflating some rock via Wall of Sound or Relaxation, no time for cheeky laughs when singing about locked-up feelings & deep regrets. Towards the end we all woke up to the dins of the acoustic power, which didn’t last very long unfortunately…. leaving us yearning for more, short & sweet, only time for a pint under those purple dreamy lights.
Alon’s performance wasn’t a crowded one, the Zigfrid’s basement by London’s Hoxton square wasn’t packed with the traditional trendy-seekers that usually populate the surrounding bars, it was more of a “group of friends meetup”, accustomed fans who come and see him in his regular London concerts. Personally, I shall come back for more the next time he’s in town (content & tour dates on his myspace… or our flickr & vimeo pages).