Beirut, The Arches, 7 Nov

Such is the discerning buzz surrounding a 21-year-old American exponent of old-world European folk music, and such are the narrow, flat-floored dimensions of one of The Arches, that it’s virtually impossible to catch a glimpse of Zach Condon’s Beirut without the use of a hand-held periscope (if only). So it’s just as well the music that reaches everyone unobstructed is predictably inspired. Critics have rushed to classify Condon’s style first as Balkan and then as French-chanson, for obvious reasons. But it’s more accurately an imagined romanticism – like a contemporary filmmaker shooting in black and white – and no less magical for its artifice. Backed up by his eight-member band, a swap-shop of accordion, violin, ukelule, trumpet, clarinet and more, Condon raises goosebumps with Postcards From Italy, Mount Wroclai and new material such as A Sunday Smile and the stirring In the Mausoleum. Even if we’re blind-sighted, it’s a pleasure to hear this musical journeyman sing from his well-travelled songbook.

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3 Comments

Filed under gigs, music, reviews

3 responses to “Beirut, The Arches, 7 Nov

  1. yer not that wee Nick, surely. Was there giants standing in front of you? I wish I could’ve been there, I have an unnatural love for both Beirut albums – but it was Barcelona-Rangers the same night! damn football :(

  2. lotsofrandomwords

    it was weird, maybe beirut fans are unnaturally tall, or maybe there was a sudden, widespread revival of platform shoes for one night only. i had to be on tiptoes to see anything, which is painful when you’re not much of a ballet dancer. aye we saw a few steaming gers fans falling about outside the venue afterwards – talk about culture-clash!

  3. it’s more accurately an imagined romanticism

    I think this sums them up very nicely indeed – one of the neatest descriptions I’ve read.

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